Generals Lee and Jackson Birthday Ceremony Cancellation
this is the copy of a postal letter sent to the president of Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. William R. Brody
The Johns Hopkins University
242 Garland Hall, 3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
I am writing to you from Madrid, Spain, after it came to my knowledge that you have ordered, the cancellation of the use of the facility rented during the last decades in Johns Hopkins University to hold the festivities planned by the Maryland Division of the UDC and SCV to honor General Lee and General Jackson Birthday Ceremonies in 2009.
You took this decision acting in your full capacity as the President. Your representative stated clearly that permission was denied because they are “Confederate organisations”. This shows that your intention is to attack your own history and heritage by going one wicked step forward in the direction to oblivion.
Robert Edward Lee, “one of the most gifted men in American history” according to President Eisenhower, and General Thomas J. Jackson, personal symbol of faith and rightfulness, are important figures of your history. They have never been controversial and both were widely respected even by their enemies. To hold festivities in their honor is something your University should be proud of. Even more surprising is the fact that you want to harm your traditions quick before your retirement on December 31 as President, thus being no longer in charge the day of the festivities. Will this be your legacy? To help to destruct sense and respect for history??
I quote you: ”Students are the lifeblood of any university and the future of the world and certainly Johns Hopkins students are the best of the best.” I think a University that starts erasing reality, history and traditions is a morally rotten institution. And as such it should be treated. You maintain many international contacts and distance education programmes that reach Europe. You can be sure that a controversial discussion about your attitude towards American history and the moral weakness of your presidency will arise soon. People like you, who act damaging their past instead of honoring it, are not worth to be remembered in an academic environment.
Yours most truly,
Raphael Waldburg-Zeil
Madrid, Spain