Thomas Jefferson was human. He was a flawed man who lent his brilliance to the cause of liberty for a new nation. He was a slaveholder and while we should refrain from condoning the institution of slavery, we should surround our understanding of Jefferson with a deeper understanding of the times in which he lived.
Should the man who proudly and eloquently called for the freedom of his nation have also recognized the need for freedom for all men and women? Yes, of course. But should his acceptance of slavery bar him from his rightful place within the Pantheon of America’s brilliant founders? Absolutely not.
Students at the College of William and Mary have defaced and defamed Thomas Jefferson. The school which Jefferson attended is the latest to fall victim to rabid political correctness and students recently adorned Jefferson’s statue with Post-It notes reading such things as “incestuous rapist”, ”racist”, “Black Lives Matter” and “He knew it was wrong.”
Now, predictably, students are calling for the removal of the statue.
Jefferson is the latest victim of political correctness mobs who lash-out at anything that is not a celebration of black victimhood.
At Princeton, students held a sit-in to protest Woodrow Wilson’s name on buildings.
Students at the University of Missouri recently started a petition to remove Jefferson’s statue from their university. The petition reads:
The need to project a progressive environment is just as important as food and shelter to survive. A welcoming environment does not stop at the feet of individuals in particular spaces. A welcoming environment is also determined by its physical environment e.g., the use of artifacts in designated spaces. Some individuals may not see Thomas Jefferson’s statue in the quad as a form of oppression, but in higher education settings where highly conscious students are present, it is relatively easy to see and read such nonverbal messages.
Thomas Jefferson’s statue sends a clear nonverbal message that his values and beliefs are supported by the University of Missouri. Jefferson’s statue perpetuates a sexist-racist atmosphere that continues to reside on campus.
The legacy of Thomas Jefferson is a complicated one and a discussion of his apparent contradictions in philosophy are worth having.
However, what is occurring on the campus of William and Mary and Mizzou is not a discussion about the flawed ideology of one of our nation’s most-important founders, but a continuation of the cultural jihad being conducted by the left.
All things Confederate have come under fire by the leftist race-hustlers and politically correct bullies. No longer content with that crusade, now the left is coming to dismantle the history of America itself.
Though these 20-somethings might grandstand and speak boldly about freedom, I question if a single one of these activists who are currently attacking Thomas Jefferson can measure-up in any measurable way to the man they seek to destroy.
Thomas Jefferson helped build a nation; these fools seek to tear it down. Who is the real villain in this story?