Political Correctness At The University Of Virginia


Anyone even casually familiar with Thomas Jefferson knows well the contradictions he lived and the numerous ways he fell short not only of 21st-century ideals but of his own — just like every other human being who has ever lived. Jefferson was a slaveholder and a bigot and a genius and one of the greatest figures in American history.

In response to the letter, Sullivan sensibly explained that quoting Jefferson “does not imply an endorsement of all the social structures and beliefs of his time, such as slavery and the exclusion of women and people of color from the university.” The point is blindingly obvious, and the necessity of its repetition does not speak well of the capacity for nuance of the letter’s signatories — some of whom, we suspect, at some point have approvingly cited other historical figures who also have feet of clay.