It seems the college yearbook photo of Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) in blackface or a KKK robe may have sparked a new trend.
At Wake Forest University (WFU) in Winston-Salem, NC, a yearbook photo of Martha Allman, the school’s dean of admissions, surfaced showing her standing in front of a confederate flag hung on campus in 1982. Allman sent an apology to students, faculty, and staff after the photo was discovered via an email obtained by The Daily Wire.
“That flag was a symbol of pain and racism then just as it is now, and I understand that much differently in 2019 than I did in 1982,” Allman wrote.
“Thirty-seven years of life, experiences, relationships and education have made a difference in my way of understanding the world and my ability to empathize with those who are different from me,” she continued. “Throughout my career in admissions, one of my goals has been to create a more diverse and inclusive Wake Forest. It is my hope that I will be judged by my professional dedication to Wake Forest, my faith and civic involvement, and by my future work with the Wake Forest community.”
WFU President Nathan Hatch accepted Allman’s apology after a campus forum was held regarding the 30-year-old photo.
At the forum, according to the conservative Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s Collegiate Network, “Leftist students demanded not only Allman’s termination, but also for increased diversity of students and professors, eliminating Kappa Alpha fraternity, increased space for African-American student groups, and more strict rules to punish students for hate speech.”
Further, WFU students on Twitter “called the Dean of Admissions a white supremacist and a racist ally, accused the University of ‘institutional trauma that disproportionately burdens Black students,’ and that Wake Forest should be ‘safe and comfortable,” ISI wrote in a press release.
When a conservative student stood up during the forum and suggested the school was “fine” and that everyone should “calm down,” students began shouting and yelling expletives as others began talking over him using another microphone.
Friday, the day after the forum, activists dropped flyers demanding Allman’s resignation over the Dean’s List Gala.
In an interview with The Daily Wire, ISI President Charlie Copeland said that ISI would have reported on Northam’s blackface yearbook photo had the situation involved an immediate campus issue.
“I thought this was a country of second chances and redemption, and should be able to apologize for their mistakes,” Copeland said, adding that “absolutely” ISI would respond the same way if the Northam photo broke just before he was coming to speak on a college campus.
The one difference, Copeland said, between the two cases, is that just before Northam’s yearbook photo made headlines, he had casually discussed infanticide, which would have necessitated a different response from the pro-life ISI.
Ultimately, the question comes down to whether we, as a nation, are going to allow anyone to make mistakes in their early 20s and have a successful life after — and if not, then the rules need to be applied equally.