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Bob Jones University Apologizes for the Racist Past

Bob Jones University, the Bible university in Greenville, sc, would not acknowledge black pupils until the 1970s. Then, for a period that is 30-year interracial relationship had been forbidden. Now the university has established that its polices had been incorrect.

Missing in the news that is spectacular for the election of the black colored guy as president regarding the united states of america is yet another event — this time around in degree — that appears as being a milestone in racial progress. In a eloquent statement, Stephen Jones, great-grandson associated with the creator and also the 4th president of Bob Jones University, has apologized for the institution’s racist past.

President Jones reported, “For nearly two hundreds of years Christianity that is american BJU in its first stages, had been described as the segregationist ethos of US tradition. Consequently, for much too very long, we permitted institutional policies race that is regarding be shaped more straight by that ethos than because of the maxims and precepts for the Scriptures. We conformed towards the culture as opposed to give A christian that is clear counterpoint it.

“by doing this, we did not accurately express the father also to fulfill the commandment to love others as ourselves. Of these problems our company is profoundly sorry. Though no understood antagonism toward minorities or expressions of racism on a individual degree have ever been tolerated on our campus, we permitted institutional policies to keep in position that have been racially hurtful.”

By means of history for this remarkable announcement let’s review the racial reputation for Bob Jones University.

The university’s founder, Bob Jones, had been a fundamentalist evangelist whom thought that the idea of development ended up being an abomination. He called the pope the anti-Christ and dismissed Catholicism being a “Satanic counterfeit.” He as soon as stated, “I would personally instead visit a saloon on every part than the usual Catholic within the White House.”

Jones Sr. ended up being of this view that twentieth-century blacks must be grateful to whites for bringing their ancestors to the country as slaves. If this hadn’t occurred, Jones composed in 1960,“they might still there be over when you look at the jungles of Africa, unconverted.” Integrationists, in accordance with Jones, had been wrongfully attempting to expel normal boundaries that Jesus himself had established.

By using rich supporters, Bob Jones founded a university near Panama City, Florida, in 1926. Bibb Graves, that has simply been elected governor of Alabama with all the backing that is official of Ku Klux Klan, provided the keynote target in the groundbreaking ceremony. When classes started in 1927, admission of pupils ended up being formally limited to people in the white competition, a policy that persisted until 1971.

Experiencing Depression-related difficulties that are financial 1933, Bob Jones had been forced to offer the Florida land and move their college to Cleveland, Tennessee. In 1936 A billy that is young graham this new Bob Jones university in Tennessee. But he quickly became disenchanted using its strict doctrine that is religious social policies and used in Florida Bible Institute. In 1947 Bob Jones university moved once again, this time around to its current website in Greenville, sc. Now financially seem, the school begun to provide master’s and doctoral levels and assumed the designation of a college.

When Bob Jones Jr., the son associated with creator, became the institution’s president, the institution’s was continued by him policies of rabid bigotry. During their tenure he bestowed honorary levels on George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, and Lester Maddox. Whenever Pope Paul VI passed away in 1978, Bob Jones Jr. called him the “archpriest of Satan, a deceiver, in which best real hookup sites he has, like Judas, attended their place that is very own.

Whenever Bob Jones III assumed the presidency regarding the organization in 1971, male pupils had been required to wear coats and ties to classes. Ladies were obliged to put on dresses or skirts. Rock music had been prohibited on campus. Pupils had been forbidden from going to films. Pupils weren’t allowed to take off-campus dates with no chaperone. On campus, the university maintained two “dating parlors” where pupils could fulfill to talk. Touching had not been kissing and allowed ended up being strictly forbidden even when the couple had been involved to be married. Male and students that are female perhaps perhaps maybe not permitted to talk with one another after 7 p.m. The campus ended up being divided through the town of Greenville by an iron and barbed-wire fence.

Under authorities stress, Bob Jones University finally exposed its doorways to unmarried black colored pupils. But strict laws had been founded because of the college to stop interracial relationship. The policy on interracial dating resulted in the Internal Revenue Service’s revoking the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University retroactive to 1970 in 1976, during the administration of Gerald Ford. The IRS demanded the repayment of $490,000 in straight straight back taxes. The college appealed the ruling. Fundamentally, in 1981, the Supreme Court for the usa heard the scenario. The brand new Reagan management initially supported the positioning for the college but, following a general public outcry, switched edges. In 1983 the Supreme Court ruled against Bob Jones University in support of the IRS by way of a vote of 8 to at least one. The dissenter that is lone belated Chief Justice associated with united states of america William Rehnquist.* On being encouraged for the choice for the Court, Bob Jones III ordered that the flags that are american campus be flown at half-staff.

A public relations spokesman for the university, explained the school’s prohibition against interracial dating: “God has separated people for his own purposes in 1998 Jonathan Pait. He’s got erected barriers between the countries, not just land and ocean obstacles, but additionally cultural, social, and language obstacles. Jesus has made individuals not the same as the other person and intends those distinctions to keep. Bob Jones University is opposed to intermarriage of this events as it reduces the barriers Jesus has built.”

In 2000 the university finished its prohibition that is official against relationship. Now eight years later on, the college has admitted that its policies had been wrong.

This change of heart at Bob Jones University comes from the heels of present great news about black colored enrollments in the nation’s other Bible universities. JBHE’s database implies that in 1997 there have been just nine Bible colleges where blacks constructed ten percent or even more of total enrollments. Today you can find 29 schools that are such.

*William Rehnquist had an extended reputation for opposition to the development of blacks. He opposed the 1954 Supreme Court choice in Brown v. Board of Education and also as A gop that is young pollwatcher Arizona, Rehnquist ended up being active in challenging black voters’ skills.

To get more regarding the racism of Rehnquist, see “The Racial Views for the Chief Justice associated with united states of america,” JBHE, quantity 23, Spring 1999, p. 72.

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