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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Jefferson record

August 7, 2013

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To the editor:

Cal Thomas’ recent column justifiably takes a critical look at Ho Chi Minh but fails to consider the complete record of Thomas Jefferson. The fact is that the latter deprived human beings of their freedom and dignity by enslaving them and taking for his own the fruits of their labor. A comparison with George Washington is instructive — the father of our country ultimately granted freedom to all of the people enslaved by his family while Jefferson did not take that step.

Comments

leonardpike 1 year, 4 months ago

Jefferson is one of the great paradoxes if history. Opposed to slavery but owned slaves. He was on record saying his opposition was to avoid a rebellion, but I think it was because he was terrible with money and needed slaves to work off his debts.

rtwngr 1 year, 4 months ago

So, Stuart, what's your point? Are you saying that the comparison that Cal Thomas referenced in his article is unfair or are you saying that Ho Chi Minh really was a visionary like Thomas Jefferson.

Personally, I am sick to death of the slavery argument. It has been decided. It no longer exists. We cannot turn back the hands of time and relive that era. To rail about history through the prism of modern day is a huge waste of time.

The immigrants to the colonies did not all of a sudden wake up and say, "Hey, I know where we can get some cheap labor!"

This was a practice begun by Spain and then carried to the colonies with the express permission of the Crown. There were those that spoke out back then although they were few. Every colony had its own governance and there was inconsistency between them on laws. Now we trash our founding fathers, who were bold innovators by the way, because they indulged in an area of commerce that is now known to be horrific. These were great men that stuck their collective necks out for me and you! So we can peacefully assemble, write letters to the editor viscerally criticizing our leaders if we want, maintain the ability to protect our homes and persons from threat, worship in the church/synagogue/temple/mosque/etc. of our choice without fear of reprisal from the government. We live in the greatest country in the world where people from other countries want to come to make their future. All of this because of men like Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Payne, and many others too numerous to mention. Some of them owned slaves and some didn't. To sully what they gave us by spitting out the phrase, "Well they owned slaves, you know," does a disservice to history and those who handed us our freedoms. Personally I would rather you either say thank you or remain mute on the subject because you have nothing new to add to the conversation.

History cannot be rewritten it is what it is. How many people lost their lives when the question of slavery was finally decided in our country? The price has been paid long ago for the trangressions of greed upon our shores.

bearded_gnome 1 year, 4 months ago

well said Rtwngr!

judging historical figures by today's mores andstandards is incredibly stupid and prejudiced. and RE Jefferson, without his works at our founding, blacks wouldn't have been emancipated in 1865 across the entire U.S.

plus people like this LTE writer forget that actually the grandchildren of slaves here in the U.S. are far better off than the grandchildren of those left in africa who were not enslaved. no, I'm not in favor of slavery but it is ironicly true regarding how well the grandchildren of slavery have it in our country.

FlintlockRifle 1 year, 4 months ago

rtwngr, you have said a lot in a very short and to the point letter, good read, thanks.

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