How many teenagers these days know what Jeffersonian democracy is?
A colossal figure in every respect, the man should not be reduced to snide attacks and "He owned slaves, he was evil, let's purge his memory..." rhetoric, which is gaining ground. Children should not only be taught about the his character flaws, but also the fact that he was a polymath, president of the APS, fluent in several languages and founder of the University of Virginia, and so on.
It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good,
When the Saxon began to hate.
"It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to." - W. C. Fields
Bring it all down and give our founders numbers instead names. Sanitize our history and wipe out the past. Can't risk even one special little snowflake to be psychologically damaged because of the blemishes of our past.
"I believe in a Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists, but not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and actions of human beings."
--Albert Einstein, 1929
"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
You have to literally have to think like you're in the 1700s
How many people today understand chattel slavery, and how degrading it was? Not as many as one might think.How many teenagers these days know what Jeffersonian democracy is?
A tour guide at a plantation, for example, wrote an article for Vox which described reactions to discussions of slavery on the tours:
I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won
I don't see any genuine movement to purge his memory. What I see is right-wingers who are freaked out about state governments and commercial entities turning their backs on the confederate battle flag (a long overdue measure), and The Dukes of Hazzard getting pulled (a bit trivial, but hardly a threat to American culture), and see slippery slopes everywhere.A colossal figure in every respect, the man should not be reduced to snide attacks and "He owned slaves, he was evil, let's purge his memory..." rhetoric, which is gaining ground.
And yes, I do think it is important to recognize that Jefferson both advocated for human freedom, and owned slaves. Same with Washington and other prominent politicians at that time. We should also recognize that Hamilton and Adams and others were against slavery and did not own slaves.