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Thomas Jefferson Quotes Offensive Say Professors @ University OF Virginia

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posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 11:36 PM
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Jefferson owning slaves is grounds for President of the University of Virginia Teresa Sulllivan to stop using Jefferson's quotes, she thought Jefferson's words could bring inclusion to the school after the election.

Several professors at the university collaborated to write a letter to tell Sullivan that some people think Jefferson is celebrated for is accomplishments but people forget the atrocities that affected 100's of people. This letter had some 400+ signatures from faculty and students.

Jefferson was a founding father in a time that is very different from ours, should we retroactively scrub his words from our mouths?

Are the professors time better spent than getting over 400 signatures for a opinion on a man who has been dead since 1826?





The letter requested that Sullivan stop using Jefferson quotes in emails as they may be offensive to some students.

This article has been updated to include President Sullivan’s response.

Several professors on Grounds collaborated to write a letter to University President Teresa Sullivan against the inclusion of a Thomas Jefferson quote in her post-election email Nov. 9.

In the email, Sullivan encouraged students to unite in the wake of contentious results, arguing that University students have the responsibility of creating the future they want for themselves.

“Thomas Jefferson wrote to a friend that University of Virginia students ‘are not of ordinary significance only: they are exactly the persons who are to succeed to the government of our country, and to rule its future enmities, its friendships and fortunes,’” Sullivan said in the email. “I encourage today’s U.Va. students to embrace that responsibility.”

Some professors from the Psychology Department — and other academic departments — did not agree with the use of this quote. Their letter to Sullivan argued that in light of Jefferson’s owning of slaves and other racist beliefs, she should refrain from quoting Jefferson in email communications.

“We would like for our administration to understand that although some members of this community may have come to this university because of Thomas Jefferson's legacy, others of us came here in spite of it,” the letter read. “For many of us, the inclusion of Jefferson quotations in these e-mails undermines the message of unity, equality and civility that you are attempting to convey.”

The letter garnered 469 signatures — from both students and professors — before being sent out via email Nov. 11. Signees included Politics Prof. Nicholas Winter, Psychology Prof. Chad Dodson, Women, Gender and Sexuality Prof. Corinne Field, College Assistant Dean Shilpa Davé, Politics Prof. Lynn Sanders and many more. Asst. Psychology Prof. Noelle Hurd drafted the letter.

“The intention of the email was to start a conversation with our administration regarding ways to be more inclusive,” Hurd said in an email statement. “In the current climate, we must seize every opportunity to communicate that this university welcomes individuals from all backgrounds.”

Politics Prof. Lawrie Balfour said she believes everyone who signed the letter, including herself, was grateful that Sullivan responded to anxiety following the election — however, many felt it was the wrong moment to turn to Jefferson, following incidents of identity-related hate speech.

“I’ve been here 15 years,” Balfour said. “Again and again, I have found that at moments when the community needs reassurance and Jefferson appears, it undoes I think the really important work that administrators and others are trying to do.”

Not all signees believe the University should move away from quoting Jefferson in all email correspondence, including Balfour.

“I think we have an opportunity to think about the contradictions that Jefferson embodied," Balfour said. "The point is not that he is never appropriate, but the point is that the move that says, he owned slaves, but he was a great man, is deeply problematic, and I think it will continue to prevent us from being the kind of inclusive, respectful community that President Sullivan and the rest of us envision.”

Hurd said she believes the University should consider ways to better express inclusion.

“I drafted the e-mail because when Jefferson was referenced in emails related to the election, it communicated to me a message of exclusion,” Hurd said.

Both Hurd and Balfour said they hope this issue encourages conversation about Jefferson’s place at the University.

“I think that Jefferson is often celebrated for his accomplishments with little or no acknowledgment of the atrocities he committed against hundreds of human beings,” Hurd said. “This is a complex issue but members of our community are intelligent and compassionate enough to be able to wrestle with this history and decide how we want to move forward as an institution that welcomes all.”

Sullivan responded to the letter Monday afternoon, affirming her support for the freedom of University community members to express their opinions.

“I fully endorse their right to speak out on issues that matter to all of us, including the University’s complicated Jeffersonian legacy,” Sullivan said in a statement. “We remain true to our values and united in our respect for one another even as we engage in vigorous debate.”

Sullivan said quoting someone recognizes “the potency of that person’s words” and that she agrees with Jefferson’s message of University students helping to lead the country.

“Quoting Jefferson (or any historical figure) does not imply an endorsement of all the social structures and beliefs of his time,” she said.

Jefferson could not have anticipated the diversity of leaders the University would produce, Sullivan said.

“All of them belong at today’s U.Va., whose founder’s most influential and most quoted words were ‘...all men are created equal,’’ she said. “Those words were inherently contradictory in an era of slavery, but because of their power, they became the fundamental expression of a more genuine equality today.”

Winter, Dodson, Anthropology Prof. Kath Weston, Psychology Profs. Joseph Allen and Beverly Adams, and Diana Wilson, president of the Memorialization of Enslaved Laborers — all letter signees — did not respond to requests for comment.

Correction: This article previously stated that student groups on Grounds collaborated to write this letter. While students and student groups signed the letter, it was drafted and circulated by University faculty.
Published November 13, 2016 in News






www.cavalierdaily.com...
edit on 14-11-2016 by seasonal because: spacing



+9 more 
posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 11:45 PM
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Everyone from history has skeletons in their closets, and was guilty of doing things that are wrong. So does that mean we will no longer quote anyone? Is Jesus the only one left to quote now since no one has any solid dirt on him yet?

This is beyond ridiculous. I am constantly amazed at how complete idiots can both attend Universities and then gain leadership positions at those institutions.

How is it possible to be exposed to so much information and inquisitive material yet still NOT LEARN how to think critically at least a tiny little bit? It's preposterous!


+3 more 
posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 11:48 PM
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Are people just looking for reasons to be offended? This is beyond stupid.



posted on Nov, 14 2016 @ 11:58 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

Are they extending this to the use of other Founding Father quotes? Like George Washington and James Madison? Seems odd to isolate Jefferson when so many of them were slave owners.


but the point is that the move that says, he owned slaves, but he was a great man, is deeply problematic

I can sympathize with it being problematic, but it's a problem we can attribute to many of the men involved in the founding of our nation.


+11 more 
posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 12:04 AM
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This bs is part of why Trump won the election. The more they do this kind of thing, the more liberals will lose elections.

This is extreme paranoid, authoritarian behavior, the same thing the founding fathers fought against.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 12:09 AM
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I weep for the future of our country with the colleges and universities seemingly complicit in churning out graduates with poisoned minds and no idea how to handle adversity when they are faced with it.





This is extreme paranoid, authoritarian behavior, the same thing the founding fathers fought against.



^^ THIS

The founding fathers may have had their flaws but to scrub them from history is just wrong.......

They were human.....and there are no humans without flaws.....to erase them from history is to make it so we as a species won't ever learn from the mistakes they made nor learn of all the great things they did for human race as a whole.

edit on 15-11-2016 by Darkphoenix77 because: (no reason given)

edit on 15-11-2016 by Darkphoenix77 because: (no reason given)

edit on 15-11-2016 by Darkphoenix77 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 12:17 AM
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Makes sense.

Surely they banned writings from such Founding Fathers as Patrick Henry and George Mason long ago.

The greatest civilizations have lasted an average of 225 to 230 years. Maybe it's just our time...



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 12:33 AM
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a reply to: seasonal

Liberals Whitewashing History.

You cannot look at history through modern glasses to judge it accurately.

What's next?! Not learning about the Pyramids of ancient Egypt because it was built with slave labor??

edit on 15-11-2016 by Kalixi because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 12:44 AM
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This is just the death rattle of the regressive ideology. Let them lash out, it'll merely hasten the demise of this Orwellian, sexist, racist ideology.

They are wrong about literally everything, and see nothing but enemies and everything is evidence of evil to them because they no longer live in reality.

The democrats will abandon this ideology following its humiliating defeat, return to traditional leftism and that will be the end of this madness that has plagued us for so many years once and for all.

Just like the gradual demise of every other totalitarian ideology that has no connection to reality.
edit on -060012am11kam by Ohanka because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 12:47 AM
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Such a failure in the use of that thing on their shoulders for anything more than a hat rack...

Wow... I am stunned... what complete and utter bollocks...



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 01:26 AM
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a reply to: seasonal

The thing that I find ridiculous about this, is that as far as I can understand it, what they did in founding the nation, was in effect, to create the circumstances necessary for the country to change its rules to fit the needs of its population. They did not create a perfect thing, or behave in perfect ways, but they did create a thing that by the framework they developed for the evolution of law, could evolve and become better, ever better than it was, rather than remain static and therefore wither on the vine after its first season.

So, do you stop quoting them because they were great men living in an age of ignorance, or do you continue because they are responsible for the fact that the enlightenment you are now living in, was able to come about, and the law rise to meet the challenge of this bright era you are living in?



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 01:27 AM
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originally posted by: Ohanka
This is just the death rattle of the regressive ideology. Let them lash out, it'll merely hasten the demise of this Orwellian, sexist, racist ideology.

They are wrong about literally everything, and see nothing but enemies and everything is evidence of evil to them because they no longer live in reality.

The democrats will abandon this ideology following its humiliating defeat, return to traditional leftism and that will be the end of this madness that has plagued us for so many years once and for all.

Just like the gradual demise of every other totalitarian ideology that has no connection to reality.


Unfortunately I dont think so. I know many of these delusional folks. Most of them are decent people, but seem to be almost mentally infected, for lack of a better description. No, it will take a lot more to shake them from their mass delusion.

Their entire identity now relies on the collective far left hysteria, so they will defend their ideology as if it were their life. Their psyche has been so manipulated, their ego so crushed, that this all they think they are.

Mainstream media, and particularly pop culture has destroyed self esteem and sense of self, encouraging submissive behavior and non centralized collective thought, first by replacing real culture with a plastic culture, and later plastic culture with plastic ideologies, fabricating a twisted neo-morality for particular purpose. This is the perfect population to manipulate and control. They have no sense of self.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 01:30 AM
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a reply to: Kalixi

Did that Great wall of China actually work? Aren't 'great' walls in general known for failing?

History is selective to conservatives when it comes to judgements. I agree Liberals just purge it though when it's bad lol.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 03:32 AM
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This is stooopid, they have better things to do these Professors , however I am not against some name changes, for example , If I live in a majority AA community named after a murderous Klan's man I wouldn't mind, or if a geographical area is named Nword something or another , yeah I might wanna change that even if it's old.
But rewriting the N word out of Mark Twain and that kind of censorship I hate, I agree with TrueBrit above they leave room to make A More Perfect Union. knowing each generation will face it's own challenges, they also made it possible to amended the constitution as the need arise.
edit on 15-11-2016 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 03:34 AM
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originally posted by: seasonal
Thomas Jefferson Quotes Offensive Say Professors @ University OF Virginia

There are a lot of delicate doilies out there.
I will not relinquish honest intellect and communication for them.
They need to grow a pair and move on.
To accommodate them all is madness, and the cessation of all 'forward' motion!
Speak with Compassion and Empathy and Sympathy, but to abandon Honest Truth for some doilie's feelings is madness!



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 05:58 AM
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But but this stuff is offensive and topics like this should never be brought up. This can cause major societal implications upon our delicate young people.




posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 06:04 AM
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If you are unable to view the past from a contemporaneous viewpoint and instead opt to view it with a prism of the present, where you then find yourself offended, you are far too stupid to label yourself an 'educator' and should most likely find a warm, pillow-filled space and curl your weepy ass into a fetal shape since nuance escapes your conception.







edit on 15-11-2016 by AugustusMasonicus because: Zazz 2020!



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 07:07 AM
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a reply to: Lucid Lunacy



Are they extending this to the use of other Founding Father quotes? Like George Washington and James Madison? Seems odd to isolate Jefferson when so many of them were slave owners.


Seems like an objective person would approach this understanding that it was legal to own other people in the 1700's and until the civil war in the 1860's, long after Jefferson's death. I view this like any other horrible item from the past, learn from it, don't repeat it.
Maybe because of the children he had with his deceased wife's slave? This may be the main reason that the left gets so riled up.
anusha.com...



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 07:19 AM
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originally posted by: Lucid Lunacy
a reply to: seasonal

Are they extending this to the use of other Founding Father quotes? Like George Washington and James Madison? Seems odd to isolate Jefferson when so many of them were slave owners.


but the point is that the move that says, he owned slaves, but he was a great man, is deeply problematic

I can sympathize with it being problematic, but it's a problem we can attribute to many of the men involved in the founding of our nation.


UVa was founded by Thomas Jefferson. That's why there's a focus on him specifically.



posted on Nov, 15 2016 @ 08:29 AM
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This was probably started by people who don't want the Declaration of Independence read. The rest probably know nothing about him.



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