Anyone with two functional brain cells who lives in Alabama ought to be up in arms over the current attempt to have the legislature abolish the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Fund which has been in operation since 1955 and which awards small scholarships of $1,000 or so to deserving students at ANY Alabama institution who write a suitable essay on the life of either Jackson or Lee.
Again the old jeremiad of such a named scholarship being racist and a reminiscent thought of slavery is used. And of course the black caucus members are leading the brouhaha, easily forgetting that the scholarship is awarded with no thought or criterion of race, religion or ethnicity.
As one whose last college kid graduated only a few years ago, I can attest that even a small scholarship of the amounts stated helps — ANYTHING helps. A thousand bucks buys books at least, probably for the entire year. Mentioning that it has received only a handful of applicants in the last few years, and last year received none, attests to the fact that the fund is not being properly advertised or promoted.
Valerie Richardson’s well written article in the Plugged In section today points out that in the recent past one of the scholarships was awarded to a student was to one planning to attend a traditionally black college. The scholarship comes with some restrictions, and appears to be more of a grant-in-aid as they ask it be repaid within five years. But is open to all.
But to today’s collegians, and I feel sure Alabama is no different, every thousand bucks helps. Since Southern heritage proponents are frequently told to “get over it” where their background is concerned, perhaps it is long past time that their detractors learn equally as well to “get over” their objection to scholarship assistance with Stonewall’s name attached.
In the inimitable words of today’s youth, give me a break.