THOMAS JEFFERSON is in the news again, nearly 200 years after his death — alongside a high-profile biography by the journalist Jon Meacham comes a damning portrait of the third president by the independent scholar Henry Wiencek. We are endlessly fascinated with Jefferson, in part because we seem unable to reconcile the rhetoric of liberty in his writing with the reality of his slave owning and his lifetime support for slavery. Time and again, we play down the latter in favor of the former, or write off the paradox as somehow indicative of his complex depths.
Comments: How stupid is this article? Let me count the ways... A perfect example of political correctness, bogus history, hatred of our past, and mind-numbingly pretentious crap. All brought to you by the great newspaper of record.
Whether or not one believes in evolution, selection pressure is undeniable. Since liberals are "less hearty" than conservatives, we are always only one economic collapse away from returning to freedom.
Why should I be outraged about a 200 year-old issue? We need to worry about the fact that the New York Times endorsed Obama who gave 2 billion dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood this year. Now, my tax dollars are underwriting the subjugation of women and slavery in Egypt. Also, the soon to be destruction of the Coptic library and the pyramids. Why isn´t the NY Times writing about that?
You cannot put a pretty face on slavery. It is also problematic to expect people, who lived in America 2 centuries ago, to have the same values and behavior as folks in the 21st Century. A modern person would be appalled to travel back there in time. In fact, they would be physically sick, quite literally, since this is a time before sanitary plumbing. The fact is, you don´t have to go all the way back to Jefferson´s era for a night and day change of culture. Pre-WWII America was brutally racist. But it was a culture in which people were born into, and raised in, and their then contemporary values were as right to them as water to a fish. Our Founding Fathers, many of whom owned slaves, also risked their lives starting a revolution that was the eventual death knell to slavery. We owe them respect and gratitude and endless thanks, and the effort to understand human thought in different eras and cultures.
I have not read Alinsky, but I can easily imagine that part of the ´Plan to Destroy America´ involves the annihilation of our founders´ good names, revealing they were evil white men. I expect Old Media will aid and abet by tearing down any and all heroic leaders of the past. Maybe Maureen can win another Prize with a story about the vicious men who structured the U.S. Constitution. .....Let´s face it, Obama cannot carry out his tyranny if the Laws of our Land remain intact.
Who will they go after next .... John Adams or Thomas Paine?
Just want to point out to all you ´evolved´ types... slavery was considered to be a moral issue that half the country disapproved of but the beneficiaries of it reaped economic benefits that would have been extremely disruptive to abolish. And it was legal.
Kinda like abortion.
Before you go barking off about what Jefferson did, where do YOU stand on abortion?
Since the NYT is so concerned about slavery, weakness of character, prejudice and exposing the dark secrets of history, when can we look forward to pieces on Sen. Byrd and Gore Sr.? How about the many atrocities committed by the ROP?
Funny how selective the left is in revealing the dark side of people and history.
Reply 20 - Posted by:
Lucius Vorenus, 12/1/2012 9:33:03 AM (No. 9042761)
I hate to have to say this - because our hostess, Lucianne, was born into that Tribe [although I guess now she´s an Anglican Papist] - but her former co-tribalists [in this case, the likes of Wiencek and Finkelman] are on a scorched-earth warpath to absolutely annihilate any positive memories or romantic recollections or wistful reminiscences about the America that once was.
You simply cannot misunderestimate the all-consuming nihilism of the Pharisees.
They´ve been holding this grudge for 2000 years now, and, at this point, they´re so close to the prize that they can hardly contain themselves any longer.
And if that degree of honesty gets me banned from Lucianne, then, well, so much for the salving benefits of Anglican Popery...
A good example of presentism, malice and moral vanity - in other words, of Leftism.
The author is either uninformed or deliberately disingenuous regarding Thomas Jefferson´s actual beliefs about chattel slavery.
This kind of appalling ignorance and hatred of Americans long dead makes Leftists feel morally superior and provides them a target for their seemingly endless malice, which they disguise from themselves and others as disinterested love of justice. It is all too typical of the mentality and intellectual poverty of modern American college graduates. It finds a receptive audience in kindred souls who elevate their self-esteem by devaluing and denigrating others, especially great and respected figures of the past, "the mighty dead."
Slavery was an accepted institution in every civilization from the dawn of recorded history up until the 19th century AD. Everyone has ancestors who were slaves, and there was nothing unique about the American situation. Yet everyone today exhibits this ahistorical conceit that our founding fathers had the burden of ´knowing´ it was wrong, dispite the evidence of millenia, and stopping the practice immediately. Oh brave new world to have such people in it.
Reply 24 - Posted by:
Lucius Vorenus, 12/1/2012 9:56:34 AM (No. 9042815)
A good example of presentism, malice and moral vanity - in other words, of Leftism.
The problem isn´t "Leftism".
The problem is PHARISEEISM.
The Pharisees have been belching this noxious poison into Western Society for more than 150 years - ever since their "emancipation" [and even earlier than that, if you go back to the likes of Spinoza].
Until we are willing to call a spade a spade, then we can´t even begin to regroup and mount a counterattack against them.
The problem isn´t the "Left" - the problem is Marx and Freud and Birkman and Goldman and Luxembourg and Aschberg and Finkelstein and Gompers and Alinsky and Minow and Geithner and Ohrnstein and Blankfein and Bloomberg and Eisner and Moonves and the entire Ochs-Sulzberger clan.
The Pharisees don´t just want to enslave the Shkotzim - the Pharisees want to utterly annihilate them and erase every single memory of them from the history books.
Good post, #11, though we must credit #13´s Wilberforce for the push to end slavery.
You´re right to point out how important the cultural milieu of the time was, to the or tolerance of slavery.
A current example of the influence of the cultural milieu is the "modern" attitude toward abortion. Sixty years ago, abortion was considered a heinous act. But decades of propaganda by the Left has convinced a large segment of our population that abortion should be tolerated.
Years from now, future generations will look back on our time, and shake their heads at our tolerance of the excruciatingly cruel practice of abortion -- just as current academics excoriate our Founders for tolerating slavery.
First of all, I won´t click on a NYT article, but I think they should have their researchers work on something a little more relevant, say Barry´s college transcripts or where Barry was during the Benghazi attack.
Second, I will never believe, nor do I think they can prove that Thomas Jefferson had a fling with Sally Hemmings and fathered her children. DNA from heirs might indicate a Jefferson, but Thomas had a father and a brother that could be the culprit. I will not make that leap.
Third, Jefferson was a man of his time - and people in that day owned slaves. It was wrong, but it was a way of life then.
Thomas Jefferson was a great man and a great president and Barack Obama is not fit to enter Monticello, should he ever desire.
http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/quotations-slavery-and-emancipation is a good reference source for those who would like ready information about the truth of Thomas Jefferson and chattel slavery. As noted before, the author of the NYT piece(and book) is either appallingly ignorant or deliberately disingenuous on this topic. Knowingly or not, he is spreading false information about Jefferson and slavery. The good news is that it is now possible and easy to check such things out for oneself on the internet.
Paul Finkelman should be ashamed of himself. The NYT should be ashamed of itself for publishing this grossly misleading and untruthful column. There are still people who actually believe what they read in the NYT. They will be harmed by such lies, which are entirely preventable and therefore all the more inexcusable.
What Jefferson did or thought in his personal life has had no effect on the rights of black Americans. What he wrote, in the Declaration, is the reason slavery ended and the basis for equality of black Americans under the law.
The goal of the Socialist reformers is first to take over and redefine the language. They have done that with excellence- result is a frozen "group think" encased in the defines of political correctness. Secondly, they re-frame the nation´s history. They erase the sacred heritage that protects the ideals the nation was founded upon. Then they attack the very heroes that established the nation at great cost in treasure and blood. They do this so they can then install their own ideals, hertiage and heroes and feed the result like pablum to the children. In the end, they reaise up an entirely new generation of "Think Alike" little monsters that demand the complete erasure of the old nation and the installation of the new slave state- and they are so enthralled to march into slavery of the state, they exalt the new "God Hero" elect.
Writers are getting to be like politicians. Way too many justifying their existence.
I believe the founding fathers were more educated and dedicated than the current politicians. What they did at the time cannot be reproduced today. Today, they would still be arguing about what color paper to sign and how to cover PC.
Paul should put as much effort into Benghazi or Zippy´s college records.
George Mason’s home, Gunston Hall, just down the river from Mount Vernon, is closed on Thanksgiving Day but reopens to visitors the day after. In this season when Americans reflect upon all that we are grateful for, these stately and hallowed grounds are a good place to start. Commonly referred to as the “forgotten founder,” George Mason IV had a fair amount of contempt for politics. Especially politicians. It was a dirty, grubby affair that attracted mostly dirty, grubby people. In other words, Mason was clairvoyant.
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