Founders’ Are Denigrated In Their Own Homes …And An Organized Protest Is Required

Apparently the Mad Left’s historical air-brushing mania that began with toppling statues of important American figures from the Confederacy such as Robert E. Lee, moved on to removing statues of Teddy Roosevelt and banning benign college mascots that evoked the Revolutionary era (like George Washington U’s “Colonial”), and generally has sought to “cancel” any American patriot or President who owned slaves, is now turning tours of Thomas Jefferson’s and James Madison’s homes in Virginia into attacks on the two essential figures in our democracy.

At Monticello, Jefferson’s self-designed home that is a tourist attraction in Charlottesville, Virginia, the non-profit operating the site is using its progressive political agenda to make a visit less a pilgrimage of respect than indoctrination into anti-Jeffersonism. A recent visitor described the experience as “depressing and demoralizing and truly upsetting,” with Jefferson-hostile tour guides claiming that his reputation is “wildly overblown.” Of course, this is all because Jefferson was a slave-holder, in direct contradiction of the values and rights he espoused in the Declaration of Independence. Arguably, Jefferson’s slave-holding was more revolting than that of other men of his time, as it included treating one of his slaves, Sally Hemings (and his dead wife’s half-sister) as his concubine. Ick. But Jefferson was a weak and conflicted man with a brilliant and perceptive mind; his slave-holding and other personal flaws, and there were many, are not why he must be celebrated and honored as one of those most responsible for the nation’s existence.

I haven’t visited Monticello since its wokification, but the redesigned website is strong evidence that the place is now being used as Critical Race Theory propaganda. The site signals the new priorities with a large slavery topic link ob the home page, a vague justification for the slavery obsession within the house, with a new essay titled “Monticello and Honest History.” That rationalization reads in part,

The recent news cycle has seen a number of articles and a television interview proclaiming that Monticello is no longer a place where you can learn about Thomas Jefferson’s contributions to American history. Instead, these stories claim that the only thing you can learn is that Jefferson was a slaveholder. These stories are disappointing and inaccurate, but not at all surprising…The principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, words Jefferson specifically wrote, serve as our nation’s mission statement, and provide common ground for all Americans. Sharing this history is central to our mission…We have and will continue to present an honest history of all aspects of Monticello and Jefferson’s life and legacy….As our nation approaches the 250th anniversary of its independence in 2026, we are committed to discussing all aspects of Jefferson’s history and of Monticello. Jefferson believed that education, bolstered by the exercise of reason and a free conscience, was the surest path to human progress. We share that belief, and our vision is to bring history forward to better understand our present and to improve our future. Our work is important in this moment.

This moment, as we know, includes a relentless assault on our nation’s values, its history, its legacy, heroes and ideals, all beginning with the “oribinal sin” of slavery. It is a cognitive dissonance game: just as the falsified “1619 Project” seeks to make past slavery the central fact about the United States so rising generation can feel no pride or satisfaction in citizenship, the emphasis on slaveholding in portrayals of figures like Washington, Jefferson, Marshall, Jackson and even Ben Franklin is a deliberate effort to strip all honor from these men.

Here is the Cognitive Dissonance Scale again, the invaluable conceptual tool of Dr. Festinger.

Since Americans have been marinated now for decades in the Left’s cant that slavery and racism are by far the most important aspects of our history and society as well as the dead-weight anchor to any claims of American virtue and exceptionalism, attaching either of those, and especially both, to any historical figure no matter how high on the positive side of the scale guarantees that the individual’s reputation and regard in our society will sink like the Titanic. If Thomas Jefferson is a plus 100 on the scale, slavery is minus a million. The supposed balance described on the Monticello site is impossible. The message a concentration on slavery conveys, and is meant to convey, is that Jefferson was evil, thus the nation he substantially created (and served as President) must be evil as well. It’s time, as Black Lives Matter, “the Squad”, Senator Warren and so many other anti-American revolutionaries suggest, to plow it under and start again.

The same process is underway a few miles away at James Madison’s home Montpelier, as described by the New York Post:

“[B]lindsided tourists are hammered by high-tech exhibits about Madison’s slaves and current racial conflicts…Outdoors and in the house’s huge basement, dozens of interactive stations seek to draw a direct line between slavery, the Constitution, and the problems of African Americans today….Hurricane Katrina flooding, the Ferguson riots, incarceration, and more all trace back to slavery, according to a 10-minute multi-screen video. Another exhibit damns every one of the nation’s first 18 presidents — even those, like John Adams and Abraham Lincoln, who never owned slaves — for having benefited from slavery in some way. The only in-depth material about the Constitution itself appears in a display that pushes the claim, championed by the controversial 1619 Project, that racism was the driving force behind the entire American political system....

The Left desperately wants to get rid of the Constitution now that there isn’t an activist liberal Supreme Court working to de facto amend it to progressive desires. Framing its primary champion and visionary, James Madison, as a villain is part of the long-term strategy of accomplishing that.

Regular readers here know what a low opinion I have of most protests. The transformation of Jefferson’s and Madison’s homes into anti-American propaganda and indoctrination centers demands an organized protest, and a citizen boycott of both sites. Strong public objections to the Smithsonian’s presentation of the bomber Enola Gay as an agent of a racist war crime led to the elimination of that despicable slant. The Founders’ homes are operated by private organizations, and they cannot afford mass public rejection.

We all owe a massive debt to Jefferson and Madison. Ensuring that their own homes aren’t used against them is one way we can begin to pay them back.

 

 

15 thoughts on “Founders’ Are Denigrated In Their Own Homes …And An Organized Protest Is Required

  1. Jack,

    ” … and a citizen boycott of both sites.”
    And just take your word for it? No, sir. I’ll go visit the sites for myself to decide if they’re worth visiting like a reasonable person. In fact, your advice is antithetical to your message. “Liberals refuse to learn our version of history, so let’s refuse to learn anything about theirs.”

    In other words: “Don’t ask reasonable questions, Thomas, just accept the word of a dead man.”

    • In a word, bullshit. Jefferson’s slavery and Madison’s as well are not quite footnotes to their lives and contributions, but close, much like Martin Luther King’s misogyny, FDR’s infidelity, and Andrew Jackson’s dueling. Their importance to US history and values is in their service to their nation, not in their economic decisions and their adoption of the practices of their region and time. I’ve seen what has been done to Mt. Vernon, and the Monticello website is sufficient evidence of what awaits visitors at Jefferson’s home. The Founding documents are, all by themselves, sufficient justification for respect and honor to these men.We’ve seen and listened to the efforts to have them (and others) “erased”—you are searching for an excuse to look the other way. And that’s how the obscene denigration of the Founders has proceeded as far as it has. Nobody but the Monticello website has disputed the media reports regarding the politicizing of the two homes. It’s not like this is a rumor, Neil. I checked many sources on this, and there are plenty of eyewitnesses.

      And I am far from a Jefferson admirer. He was in many ways a horrible person. But if he were a serial killer, we would still owe him a place of honor where he doesn’t have to endure self-righteous slaps by his inferiors.

      Boycotts and protests are the only options at this point.

      • At issue is why is it necessary to point out a persons negatives at a place of honor. We should ask those who seek to expose the entire history at places of honor should we create a tour of the proclivities or unstated ideals of FDR, MLK, Wilson, Sanger et al. I can just imagine the pushback at the MLK memorial by having a virtual tour of King’s adulterous escapades.
        The sad fact is that human beings are imperfect beings whose behavior is a often a function of learned responses to external stimuli. Jefferson and the rest were merely reflections of the times. What bothers me is that of those who rely on the slavery argument to torment the history of the United States they are all deafeningly silent on the existence of slavery in those countries from which they hail or profit. When LeBron James calls out Chinese slavers or the squad becomes highly vocal about the continuation of human trade in Africa only then will any of them hold any moral high ground.

        I would posit this question: What would life be like today for Blacks in America had their been no importation of slaves? Further, despite the era of slavery and Jim Crow how do American Black’s standard of living compare to the Average black African never affected by such burdens?

        • “At issue is why is it necessary to point out a persons negatives at a place of honor. ”

          It’s only at issue if the person is white, conservative, or considered a traditional hero. The woke movement wants to pull as many bricks as it can out of the traditional foundation of America so that they can replace it with their own narrative a la 1984. They don’t want to hear any criticism of their folks, though. As far as they’re concerned MLK was a saint of nonviolence, assassinated by an apostle of hate, and George Floyd was a model of human decency, murdered because he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to give hate an opening to strike. If you say otherwise they will call you a racist and cancel you. It cuts the other way on the other side, though. Although the left typically says those who offend shouldn’t be defined by their offenses, if you are someone they decide they don’t like, you are defined by your offense, be it big or be it small, and that is all anyone is allowed to talk about. That goes double is you are a pillar of the American traditional narrative.

          • I agree. That is what should be called out. Where is the leadership to address this challenge? If I had the skills and rhetorical resources to make the case I would but for now all I can do is stand up as a mere picket in the fence holding the left at bay

      • Jack,
        You miss the point and I never suggested it was false or a rumor. My only point is that I refuse to boycott something simply because someone ELSE tells me to. That, to borrow your French, is bullshit. I’ll make up my own mind like a free person, thank you,

        “Go to the website, see for for yourselves. This type of historical revisionism represents a dangerous trend, and I ENCOURAGE everyone to reconsider visiting.” would have felt much less coercive.

        • That is a perfectly reasonable position Neil.

          I still believe that it he historical issues of slavery at any of the founders’s memorials, monuments or homes detracts from the honor that is meant to be bestowed. There are other venues to address these issues and I would say that all Americans except for the lunatic fringe will stipulate that slavery is an abomination. In fairness however we must evaluate whether or not it was perceived by most at the he time to be an abomination. Using the logic the left wants to employ which states that all attitudes are timeless and irreconcilable is hen that would prohibit so many including Obama and Biden from evolving on many of the social issues they once held bigoted views. No one can say whether or not the founders would maintain the beliefs they held then in today’s society. Therefore, it is unfair to hold them to social standards that were virtually non- existent in their day.

  2. We heard about Montpelier’s “make over” and will be making a trip there in a couple of weeks to check it out in person. Montpelier used to run the “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” program for middle and high schools in Virginia, and we’ve been very involved in that amazing in-depth academic exercise – helping students make the connection between our founding document and their daily lives as they develop Constitutional Literacy. It was a real eye-opener for many. The program is now under the leadership of the non-profit Virginia Civics organization, with many of the former Montpelier folks involved. This year’s competition did not have signs of being hit by wokeness. Periodic review would be wise though. https://vacivics.org/

  3. I just visited Monticello in April for the first time. I took the organized tour and I did not hear a leftist/woke bent. There is a dedicated tour, “Slavery at Monticello”, that probably talks more about Sally Hemings, but unless things have drastically changed in three months, I didn’t feel that they were disrespectful to the legacy of TJ.

    • I wish I could get out there myself. I assumed, since the accounts of the “woke takeover” started popping up just last month, that there has been a recent change. As I noted, the slavery emphasis on the website is ominous, and the explanation for the “balance” is brand new.

      • I visited Monticello in 2017, before all this woke bs started. I was going to visit Montpelier this September, but I think I will visit James Monroe’s Highland instead.

  4. We were in Richmond the end of June (our granddaughter’s 4th birthday) and got to Yorktown, but not to Monticello or Montpelier. They are certainly on the list (our daughter-in-law is a teacher and a history buff, too) and we will try to visit at least one our next trip.

  5. Recent college grads have evidently taken over the museum curating industry as they have newsrooms and college and university faculties, and the Biden administration. We visited a western art gallery last year and were brow beaten throughout for being white and having demolished indigenous cultures and ruined the ecosystems of the entire region. Delightful.

    • How many museums or cultural heritage sites have been created or preserved by the indigenous peoples for which the self righteous curators advocate?

      Every indigenous population conquered by virtue of advanced technology advances faster than if left alone. Unfortunately, many primitive cultures also adopt behaviors and practices that have negative social effects from their technologically advanced immigrates.
      Technology transfer allows what we’re once primitive cultures to improve their living standards. The irony of many anti-Americans fail to acknowledge that so called American colonialism never sought to capture ground for itself outside its continental borders. The only difference between Native American expansionism was that white settler expansion is that white settlers had significantly better technology than those they displaced. The notion that Native Americans were peace loving peoples who shared the land in ecological harmony with nature is a myth. Most were nomadic people who followed the food sources and threats to those food sources were met with violence.

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