Make plans to see the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. — it might not be around for much longer.
That’s the direction we’re heading in thanks to the Left’s iconoclasm, which resulted in the removal of an 884-pound statue of Thomas Jefferson from New York City Hall last month after a mayoral commission decided it was too controversial. The statue had resided in City Hall for nearly two centuries, but it was boxed up and sent to the New York Historical Society, where it will be kept out of public sight in the organization’s reading room.
The city’s Public Design Commission voted unanimously this summer to remove Jefferson’s statue because of his “complicated legacy,” it said in a statement. Sure, he contributed to the American founding and even wrote the Declaration of Independence, but the contradiction between his "vision of human equality and his ownership of enslaved people” makes him someone worth forgetting, the commission said.
Certainly, Jefferson’s history is a complicated one. He owned hundreds of slaves, and he even treated some of them brutally. But he also articulated the principles that would someday be used to eradicate slavery and restore equal rights to all men and women, regardless of their color. He championed liberty and even included a passage attacking the institution of slavery in the original draft of the declaration.
That he failed to live up to the standards he believed in doesn’t make him less worthy of respect or remembrance; it makes him human.
Unfortunately, no amount of moral reasoning will persuade the Left to abandon its crusade against American history. So, what we should really be asking ourselves is: Who’s next?