University of Virginia Got Money From KKK. Here's How It's Using It

'I hope any remaining members of the KKK will appreciate the irony'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2017 6:38 PM CDT
U. Va. Will Acknowledge 1921 Pledge From KKK —by Helping Rally Victims
A group of protesters stand in front of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia for the one month anniversary of the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017.   (Zack Wajsgras/The Daily Progress via AP)

In 1921, the Ku Klux Klan pledged $1,000 to the University of Virginia. That amount, in today's dollars, would be about $12,400, and with that in mind, the university is allocating an equivalent amount, $12,500, to the Charlottesville Patient Support Fund, which will be used to pay medical expenses for those injured in the rally on campus last month when white supremacists clashed with protesters. "In other words, we are allocating that century-old pledge from white supremacists to heal the wounds inflicted by the dying vestiges of white supremacy that struck Charlottesville last month," said U-Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan to the school's Board of Visitors Thursday, per the Washington Post. "I hope any remaining members of the KKK will appreciate the irony." Sullivan noted that though U.Va.'s president at the time did acknowledge the pledge, she found no evidence it was paid.

Sullivan, however, has been the subject of some controversy in the wake of the violence on campus, some of which was centered around a statue of the school's founder, Thomas Jefferson. To mark the one-month anniversary of the violence, some anti-white supremacist protesters shrouded the statue Tuesday night, and in an email to the campus community, Sullivan said she disagreed with the covering of the statue by protesters and also noted that a person was arrested for public intoxication during the proceedings. It was a Charlottesville resident, not a student demonstrator, who was arrested, and critics say Sullivan's response—she also told alumni that protesters "desecrated ground that many of us consider sacred"—made it seem as if she thinks student protesters, not white supremacists, are the bigger problem. During her speech to the Board of Visitors, Sullivan did denounce white supremacism, NBC 4 reports. (Read more University of Virginia stories.)

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