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University of Virginia Students Vandalize Thomas Jefferson Posters

Rep. Chip Roy, National Review editor smeared as 'racists defending rapists'

Thomas Jefferson statue at the University of Virginia / Wikimedia Commons
• October 21, 2021 5:00 pm

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Students at the University of Virginia vandalized posters that advertised an upcoming event to celebrate the school's founder, President Thomas Jefferson.

The school's chapter of the Young America's Foundation on Thursday tweeted images of several posters for their "Defending Mr. Jefferson" event that had been scribbled over with permanent marker calling the former president a "rapist" and his defenders "racists." Texas representative Chip Roy (R.) and National Review editor Rich Lowry, both alumni of the university, are set to discuss Jefferson's legacy.

Roy told the Washington Free Beacon that the school has slid into the "leftist cabal" of elite learning institutions.

"It's no surprise that students at my alma mater are trashing things that great Americans like the Young America’s Foundation are doing, like flags for 9/11 or banners in defense of Justice Amy Coney Barrett," Roy said. "You'll have the university defend them to the hilt, but they're not going to stand up and allow us to have a free exchange of ideas at Mr. Jefferson's university? It's slouching into the leftist cabal of the Ivy Leagues, unfortunately."

Conservatives at the University of Virginia continue to face intimidation and pressure from progressive peers. Earlier this semester, students destroyed the Young America's Foundation's memorial for the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The university's College Democrats chapter in 2017 smeared College Republicans as racist and falsely accused its members of attending the white supremacist "Unite the Right" Rally in Charlottesville. And alumni, students, and staff were outraged in 2018 when the university hired Marc Short, an aide to former president Donald Trump.

A message left on one poster read "racists defending rapists" underneath the name of the event, which was crossed out. Other posters were covered up with fliers that advertise a student-led campus movement to divest from fossil fuels.

More than half of the group's posters were drawn on or covered up, the Young America's Foundation said in its tweet. A spokeswoman for the university did not respond to a Free Beacon request for comment in time for publication.

While only a handful of students could have responsible for the vandalization, Roy said the actions still represent a pattern of anti-conservative sentiment at the university.

Nicklaus Cabrera, the chairman of the Young America's Foundation at the University of Virginia, said left-wing students are focused on "reframing" Thomas Jefferson—and the school's history.

"We're against this indoctrination and against reframing our university's history around hate. That's what the left is focused on here at the University of Virginia," Cabrera, a junior, told the Free Beacon. "We're standing up for conservative values and the freedom of speech, regardless of who you are. That's very important, and that's what we're fighting for."

Cabrera told the Free Beacon he thinks Divest UVA, a group that promotes divestment from fossil fuels, and Brown Residential College, a living community, are behind the vandalism, as their fliers covered the Young America's Foundation posters.

Divest UVA denies the charge.

The University of Virginia was accused of violating state law when in December 2017 it initially refused the Young America's Foundation application for chapter status. The organization was approved weeks later after the school faced pressure from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit legal advocacy firm.

"This is why it is more important than ever to Preserve Mr. Jefferson's Legacy," the Young America's Foundation said in its Thursday tweet.

Jefferson has in recent years faced an increasing number of attacks from the left. New York City Hall announced Tuesday that it will remove a statue of the third president following a "reassessment" of his legacy.