What happens when you cross a politician with an activist? Instead of focusing on making decisions for all people, they create problems that didn't exist before. Because of this, real problems get put to side and everybody is at each others throats focusing on unimportant things rather than what affects them directly.
Case in point is the Charlottesville, Va. Mayor Nikuyah Walker. The Daily Signal published a story on Monday titled, "How Jefferson Lost Some Luster in His Own Hometown." The "Jefferson" referred to in the headline is none other than former president and Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson.
Walker, who according to the city of Charlottesville website "worked" as an activist "for racial and social justice." The website referred to Walker as an "advocate," but you don't get into that line of work without being an activist as well.
The article, which examines the argument of whether Jefferson's birthday should still be recognized because he owned many slaves, points out a July Facebook post by Walker in which she determined that Jefferson's "still able to celebrate his birthday in hell," even if the city doesn't recognize Jefferson's birthday any longer.
For the record, the city did vote to officially remove Jefferson's birthday as a Charlottesville holiday on July 1.
Here's Walker's post:
You can think a lot of things about Jefferson for various reasons, including his ownership of "600 slaves," as the Daily Signal article noted. You could also think a lot of various unflattering things about pretty much any president, but does that mean we wipe them from history?
People like Walker can say all they want that's it's not about "sanitizing history," and she's right. For activist like Walker, it's about re-writing history. But before you can get people to accept your revisions, you have to disparage everything about the previous history in order to justify the rewrite.
Did Jefferson do things that we don't at all accept in today's society? Absolutely. Should history remember him for doing such things? Of course. It wouldn't be an accurate accounting without it. But, when activists discount every single thing about a historic figure, because of some of the bad they did, then that's not an accurate accounting of history either. History is the entire story, not just the part of the story you want to tell. Accomplishments don't necessarily need to be praised, but maybe at the very least they should be observed so we know the whole story.
The bottom line is, whether Walker and other activists want to admit it or not, Jefferson was from Charlottesville. He did bad things during his time there, but he also did other things that were the main reason we know his name in the first place.
I'm not defending or degrading Jefferson. I'm just recognizing that he was an important figure in this country's history.