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Joined: 1/4/01 Posts: 16665
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I think the best response to this is in PK German's post

a couple of threads up. When ever we're looking at the past we need to put it in the context of the past. IMO the best MLB player in history by miles is Babe Ruth - HOF caliber pitcher who became a groundbreaking hitter. But I find his name rarely comes up in such discussions. I don't know that Babe Ruth transported as is from 1920 to 2017 could be any of those things, but in the context of his day, nobody in baseball history comes close to what he did in his own time.

Everything I've read about Jefferson over the years talks about his flaws and virtues. His contradictions - his words said debt was evil, but he used it to finance the LA Purchase and to live above his means in his personal life. He acknowledged the evils of slavery, but failed to free all his slaves when he died, and thought they'd need to be shipped out of the country once freed, because blacks and whites couldn't live together in peace. In 1800, he was probably an alarming progressive to some of his fellow slaveholders. But if he were suddenly airlifted as is to 2017, he'd be a white supremacist favoring ethnic cleansing.

To judge a historical figure's contributions in the context of present day sensibilities does not provide a fair reading of the meaning of those contributions through history, and how they helped us get to where we are. I don't think I could add much more to what PK said above about all this, but to say that Thomas Jefferson's legacy today is about slavery and rape because of his conduct in the late 1700s and early 1800s is unfair and IMO inaccurate.

For the students involved in this protest yesterday (day before?), it should be a teaching moment. There is a way to read history rationally and constructively, and a way not to. I think this latest protest was an example of how not to.
[Post edited by hoolstoptheheels at 09/13/2017 5:45PM]

(In response to this post by Ronald Mexico)

Posted: 09/13/2017 at 5:42PM


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