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(The Spirit of VMI) As anticipated by the SOVP Press Statement dated 17 February 2023. Washington Post Columnist Ian Shapira’s latest work continued his bias against VMI Alumni who resist the implementation of DEI at the school. Thinly veiled as a human-interest story about conflict between two Brother Rats with differing opinions about the Institute’s future, Shapira took every opportunity to smear SOVP Chairman Matt Daniel by doxing Matt’s social media and other public statements to imply that Matt is racist and anti-semitic.
However, during the following news cycle, facts and statements from his article were published in the New York Post, and The Daily Mail, among other news outlets. These sources reframed the piece with different titles and without Shapira’s smears of Matt or his cringeworthy Civil War metaphor, resulting in a number of inquiries from other media sources. SOVP welcomes the opportunity to debate the origin and purpose of DEI and its implementation at VMI on the national stage.
Oddly, Shapira unwittingly refuted his own paradigms about VMI in his article, when he mentions Matt’s and VMI Superintendent Cedric Wins’ matriculation at the school. After drawing contrasts between their backgrounds, he observes, “In August 1981, though, the pedigrees Daniel and Wins brought to VMI didn’t matter. They were now among an estimated 455 freshman “rats” entering the “rat line,” a grueling, months-long initiation period similar to boot camp.”
With that description, he stumbled onto pure truth—that VMI’s educational system was not institutionally or inherently, or in any other way racist, from the first day. But in the next sentence Shapira proceeds with a head count of his subjects’ class by skin color, which is evidently the contemporary…The Spirit Speaks: Washington Post Article Backfires