Americans by-and-large revere and respect the contributions the Founding Fathers made to create this great nation. However, social justice warriors are more focused on the fact that some were slave owners.
A student at the College of William & Mary posted photos to the Facebook group “Overheard at William and Mary” depicting the statue of Thomas Jefferson with fake blood smeared on his hands. On the ground next to Jefferson, “Slave Owner” is scribbled out in fake blood as well.
The caption read, “Overseen: TJ caught with the blood of all the people he owned on his hands.”
Jefferson, who was a graduate of William & Mary in 1762, was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence and part of the Continental Congress. He was the first Secretary of State, the second Vice President, and the third President of the United States.
Over the course of his lifetime, Jefferson owned over 600 slaves and allegedly fathered many children with them. And while slavery is an abhorrent part of our nation’s history, many students felt that vandalizing a statue did little to produce effective dialogue.
One commenter on the post wrote, “What does this accomplish? I know this likely isn’t the case with many other places, but at least in this community of intelligent, well-read people, I would imagine that most people here are aware that Jefferson did indeed own slaves. Owning slaves is shitty and inexcusable, full stop. But I’m confused about what this accomplishes.”
Another commenter quipped, “Congrats about whining about the life of a guy who died almost 200 years ago. Your virtue has been signaled.”
“Absolutely nothing except forcing the College’s underpaid maintenance staff to take time out of their day to clean up petty vandalism,” said another.
Brian Whitson, chief communications officer at William & Mary, told the Daily Caller, “The graffiti on and around the Thomas Jefferson statue occurred over the weekend. We are in the process of determining the best way to remove the paint without damaging the statue. We don’t know who is responsible for the graffiti.”
Whitson continued, “William & Mary is a place where we encourage civil discourse about challenging topics, including those about the university’s own history with respect to slavery, but it is never acceptable to deface property to express an opinion.”