The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Technology management sophomore Ashley Mendoza and communication junior Madeline Sturm work at the MSC Help Desk on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
University classes canceled due to IT outage
An error released in an update to Windows devices has shut down A&M’s technology network
J. M. Wise, News Reporter • July 19, 2024
Texas A&M LB Taurean York (21) speaks during the 2024 SEC Media Day at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas on Thursday July 18, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
A&M predicted to finish ninth in SEC football media poll, three Aggies earn preseason honors
Luke White, Sports Editor • July 19, 2024

Texas A&M football is expected to finish in the middle of the pack in the conference this season, per the SEC football preseason media poll...

Bob Rogers, holding a special edition of The Battalion.
Lyle Lovett, other past students remember Bob Rogers
Shalina Sabih July 15, 2024

In his various positions, Professor Emeritus Bob Rogers laid down the stepping stones that student journalists at Texas A&M walk today, carving...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
Analysis: Chancellor Sharp’s retirement comes with new dilemmas
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

On the wrong side of Sully

Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

Michael Alvard is an associate professor of anthropology at Texas A&M University.
To Chancellor Sharp,
In 2018, you wrote an article for Texas A&M’s student-run newspaper. Your letter was in response to another letter to The Battalion published on Nov. 18, 2018, and written by Margarita Zollo, then a political science senior. The subject of both letters was Lawrence Sullivan Ross and the statue.
Mr. Sharp, in the letter, you made the following statement about Ross, “…he had NO ties to white supremacy as the writer wrongly asserts.” You went on to chastise Ms. Zollo with the following statement, “We are all entitled to our opinion, but we are not entitled to our own wrongheaded facts.”
Now that two years have passed and we know more about Ross’s life, I want to ask if you are willing to revisit the statements you made in your letter. Notwithstanding the evidence you brought to bear to convince the reader that Ross was “the best friend Black Texans ever had,” it is challenging to defend the absolute rejection of Ross’s ties to white supremacy when, for example, Ross’s daughter wrote of his efforts to ethnically cleanse central Texas and “to establish the supremacy of the white man.” Ross was, of course, a Confederate general with a reputation for slaughtering surrendering Black Union soldiers. In his position as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1876, Ross was instrumental in segregating public schools in Texas.
I could go on, but given these undisputed facts, do you still believe that Ross had NO ties to white supremacy and that Ms. Zollo was wrongheaded to think so?
I ask about this now because President Michael K. Young’s Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will report in mid-November, and I’m sure many of its members look to you for guidance and leadership. Your response could make a real difference.

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