LETTER from Blue Ridge Assembly CEO
First, please accept my apology for taking so long to respond, I have been traveling the past week.
Let me begin by emphatically agreeing with all of your statements regarding Gen. Lee. I believe our board agrees as well.
At issue is not political correctness but a lack of understanding of who Lee truly was. The problem is not with Lee, but the “brand” as one board member put it.
The fact is that Gen. Lee and the battle flag of Virginia are the two most recognized symbols or brands of the Confederacy. Unfortunately, we have to live in this reality and do not have the chance or opportunity to visit with each of our guests to educate them about who Lee really was. To this end, we will put a marker in the building along with his portrait and an explanation that the building was named for him for 100 years and why that name was changed.
Our goal as a Christian organization is to be welcoming to all, in a ministry of hospitality. If the name on a building makes someone feel less than welcome for whatever reason, then making the change is the correct thing to do. Many of us are saddened and grieve the name change even as we understand it was the correct thing to do.
Regards, -Kurt Eckel
President/Chief Executive Officer
YMCA BLUE RIDGE ASSEMBLY
84 Blue Ridge Circle, Black Mountain NC 28711
(D) 828-210-8452 (M) 828-669-8422 Ext: 452