On Tuesday night, protesters carrying ‘Black Lives Matter’ signs swarmed a statue of Thomas Jefferson at the school he started, the Unversity of Virginia.
They threw a shroud over the statue and plastered the base with a pro-Black Lives Matter sign. They labeled Jefferson a ‘racist’ and a ‘rapist.’
Protestors surround shrouded statue of Thomas Jefferson pic.twitter.com/oEkoM5jGCO
— The Cavalier Daily (@cavalierdaily) September 13, 2017
The protest has cleared, but the shroud on the Thomas Jefferson statue at the Rotunda remains. pic.twitter.com/BqYtCEtH5q
— Alexis Gravely (@_AlexisWasHere) September 13, 2017
They claimed that Jefferson was “fetishized” by people who condemned the neo-Nazi protests in Charlottesville last month.
From Free Beacon:
“The same moderates who condemn the hate that came to Charlottesville one month ago fetishize the legacy of Jefferson, and imagine him as our collective moral compass,” said a speaker at the protest, according to the local Daily Progress.
“We can and must condemn the violence of one month ago and simultaneously recognize Jefferson as a rapist, racist, and slave owner,” she said. “The visibility of physical violence from white supremacists should not take our attention away from condemning and disrupting more ‘respectable’ racists that continue to control the structures that perpetuate institutional racism.”
So what do they want? Because the protest isn’t really about the statue. It’s about what concessions they think they can get from the University if they make a big enough disturbance and the school wants to quiet it.
The protesters demanded the university adhere to a list of demands from the Black Student Alliance, which calls for the Jefferson statue to be labeled as “an emblem of white supremacy” and for a place to be added that explains why.
The group also demands the university increase African-American enrollment and make it required that all students be educated on “white supremacy, colonization and slavery as they directly relate to Thomas Jefferson, the university and the city of Charlottesville.”
In every protest like this, this is always the ultimate demand, more teachers or courses that will re-enforce their world view.
The University president, Theresa Sullivan, disagreed with the students, saying they were “desecrating ground that many of us consider sacred.”
The school ultimately removed the tarp and one person was arrested for public intoxication.
President Donald Trump had predicted that they next would be going after Jefferson after Confederate statues and his prediction was indeed borne out.
Jefferson did many amazing things, including being the 3rd President and writing the Declaration of Independence. He was an advocate for free speech and religious liberty.
But one of the three accomplishments of which he was most proud, what he wanted on his tombstone, was that he was the founder of the University of Virginia.
One wonders what he would think now of all this…