By Sean Langille, Washington Examiner
University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan on Wednesday rebuked protesters who covered a statue of the the university’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, with a black tarp with placards that called him a “racist and rapist.”
“They shrouded the Jefferson statue, desecrating ground that many of us consider sacred,” Sullivan said in a letter to parents and alumni. “I strongly disagree with the protesters’ decision to cover the Jefferson statue.”
Dozens of students joined a protest led by Black Lives Matter Tuesday evening exactly one month after a white supremacist rally resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer and two state police officers. The protesters scaled the statue and displayed a placard that read “TJ is a racist and rapist.” They later marched and chanted “no Trump, no KKK, no racist U.Va.,” around the Charlottesville campus.
Sullivan said Jefferson was a firm believer in freedom of speech and was no stranger to harsh media criticism in his time and that activism at the university he founded should come as no surprise.
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