Get to know our own HBCU

The Nov. 24 commentary by Ben Crump, “Elite Colleges Could Atone by Investing in HBCUs,” made an excellent case for a way our country’s most exclusive universities could atone for their past history of supporting slavery. The photo accompanying the article showed a building on the campus of Hampton University, one of the nation’s HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), founded in 1868. A more appropriate photo for The News & Advance would be a photo of Lynchburg’s own HBCU: the Virginia University of Lynchburg (VUL).

VUL was chartered in 1886 and is one of the group of schools founded in the 19th century to education African Americans who were not allowed to attend predominantly white institutions. For more than 120 years, VUL has served the African American community, educating students from many states and foreign countries. Unfortunately, many people in Lynchburg do not even know where the school, just off Campbell Avenue, is located.

One of the most famous graduates of Virginia University of Lynchburg was the poet, teacher and civil rights activist, Anne Spencer, who was the first Virginian and first African American to have her poetry included in the Norton Anthology of American Poetry.

Over the years, VUL has quietly educated many teachers, missionaries and ministers. VUL’s more well-to-do neighbors — Liberty University, Randolph College, Sweet Briar and the University of Lynchburg — would benefit from collaborative programs with VUL. And if these institutions look into their pasts and find a history of racial discrimination, they might consider such connections with VUL worthy atonement.



A meaningless move

How many Americans would want to take their families vacationing in an area proclaimed to be a “Gun Sanctuary”? How many entrepreneurs and investors would want to set up business in an area proclaimed to be a “Gun Sanctuary”?

With the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll showing that 85 percent of Americans support gun restrictions, it is difficult to see how Bedford County’s big plans for tourism and economic development will move forward, now that the Board of Supervisors is proclaiming the county’s “Gun Sanctuary” status. In their short-sighted pandering to a few, Bedford County officials have managed to harm the future of all their citizens.

I wonder if Bedford County would dare erect highway signs on major roadways proclaiming their new status: “Bedford County ... A Gun Sanctuary.” It’s hard to imagine how any governing body could have thought that this was a rational move.



Guns ensure our freedom

Thank you, Second Amendment communities, for pledging to defend the Constitution. It is the law of the land, and it has a long history.

Our Founders wanted a local militia that could be summoned in a hurry in case we were attacked. America had had many such attacks — from the Indians, British, Spanish and pirates. So a well-armed and trained military was thought to be necessary.

The original Constitution did not contain a well-defined way to “defend and protect” our citizens, and therefore a Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments, had to be added to ensure the adoption of the Constitution.

In fact, right here in Central Virginia, we had been subjected to “Lynch’s Law.” In 1780 during the American Revolution, Charles Lynch had gone from one terrorist Tory home to another and confiscated its weapons. We don’t want the Democrats in Richmond to do that to us again. Even though we have well-trained and well-armed local, state and federal officers who have sworn to protect and defend the Constitution, we are better off if we have assault weapons at the ready. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

However, I have some caveats: I want to know who is armed to the teeth (he/she might be a terrorist). I want to know that he/she won’t kill him(her)self or innocent people. I want to be sure he/she is not a minor who just picked up the weapon to play cops and robbers with his siblings and friends. I want to be sure he/she is trained in how to handle the weapon and how to secure it from children and burglars.

The Second Amendment was included in the Constitution for the protection of American rights, and we all should continue to ensure it remains as insurance against our enemies foreign and domestic.



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