I had been trying to not sound like an angry black woman and come up with a different title for this post, but I’m tired of trying to not sound like an angry black woman.
Doug Muder, in his opinion piece in the summer issue of UU World says,
So, for example, it’s hard for us today to put ourselves back into an eighteenth-century mindset and realize the full outrageousness of the Declaration of Independence’s “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal” and “are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” Forget that Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner when he wrote those words.
Is this a white thing? Asking people to forget that Jefferson was a slaveholder I mean. Because seriously, I don’t get it.
Since the time of Jefferson’s death in 1826, official America has done nothing but ignore the fact that Thomas Jefferson was a slaveholder, and everything that goes along with that. There are still people arguing that Jefferson did not have the six children with Sally Hemmings—that we know about—even though DNA (and the Monticello official diary) has proven that he did.
How much more willful amnesia should we sanction? How much more blindness to something fundamental to the understanding of Jefferson do we push aside in order to make him this radical that he never really was?
It took American historians a DNA test to finally start writing the truth about Jefferson’s relationship with Sally Hemmings. There has to come a point where we can start asking people to not forget that Jefferson was a slaveholder.
So I’ll ask the question again; is asking people to forget that Jefferson was a slaveholder a white thing?