University of Virginia commission finds slavery was 'core' to institution

A presidential commission at the University of Virginia in a report released Tuesday found that slavery was central to the institution’s creation and that its founder, Thomas Jefferson, had planned on slavery continuing its legacy.

The report, released just days ahead of the first anniversary of the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., where the university is located, found that Jefferson believed “it to be an institution with slavery at its core.”

“He believed that a southern institution was necessary to protect the sons of the South from abolitionist teachings in the North,” the report states.

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The commission recommended that the university create an endowment to fund further research of U.Va.’s history, place signs marking locations on the campus significant to slavery and establish more scholarship programs for African-American students, including a fund “designated for descendants of the enslaved community.”

The report, which was the result of five years of research, noted last year's deadly rally in its findings, saying the violence “brought into sharp relief just how important this work is.”

White supremacists had marched with torches on the U.Va. campus the night before the rally.

Jason Kessler, the organizer behind the original “Unite the Right” rally last year, had sought to hold an anniversary event in Charlottesville, but withdrew his petition after the city denied the request.

He and others will hold a rally in Washington, D.C., to mark the anniversary, an event that is expected to draw in counterprotesters.