Emory & Henry College in Virginia has announced to students the school will re-examine its wasp mascot. Why? The bug may appear “exclusive” to students who are not White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, or “WASPs.”
While a public outcry over racism continues around the nation, the college is already concerned that its two historical namesakes — Methodist Episcopal Church bishop John Emory and founding father Patrick Henry — were slave holders. The school mascot has also come under scrutiny.
“Conversations must examine how Emory & Henry’s past has contributed to current and ongoing systemic oppression,” said Dr. John Wells, president of Emory & Henry College, according to the email obtained by Young America’s Foundation.
“For example, discussion should be renewed regarding the college’s mascot, the wasp, and the impact of this mascot on inclusion and diversity on our campus,” Mr. Wells said.
“This decision is beyond parody. The college’s mascot is clearly in reference to a wasp – the literal insect — not a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. This school’s administration is seeking out any and all reasons students may be offended by something. A bug seems like it should be the least of their worries,” wrote Kara Zupkus, an analyst for Young America’s Foundation, a conservative interest group.
“The initial email from the administration also states that the college will re-examine building names, publicly displayed portraits, and statues that ‘point to ties to slavery.’ Decisions over potential removals of these figures will involve students, alumni, and other stakeholders,” she noted.