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Mostly lost in the general hysteria surrounding President Trump’s post-Charlottesville press conference a month ago was an excellent question he posed. Regarding the growing demand nationwide to tear down monuments to the Confederate States of America, he asked: “I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
His remarks were characterized by historians as “absurd” and “unacceptable” and “ignorant” and dismissed as a “red herring.” At The Daily Beast, John Avlon called Trump’s comparison “immoral” and “dangerous.” At Slate, Jamelle Bouie claimed Trump’s question was “dumb,” arguing that statues of Washington and Jefferson were safe because “the reason we memorialize them is not because of their slaveholding.”
Week - Students - Faculty - Community - Members
Well. Earlier this week around 100 “students, faculty and community members” gathered at of the University of Virginia and “[covered] a statue of Thomas Jefferson in a black shroud…adorning it with signs that dubbed the former president a ‘racist’ and ‘rapist.’” The protesters derided the statue as “an emblem of white supremacy,” and demanded that it be “re-contextualized,” lambasting the people who “fetishize the legacy of Jefferson,” calling on the community to “recognize Jefferson as a rapist, racist, and slave owner.”
Where does it stop? It is perhaps asking a bit much of our progressive friends to reflect on their slapdash dismissal of President Trump’s reasonable question. It was a month ago, after all, and there have been plenty of fresh outrages to geek out over since then. Just the same: where does it stop? That is not an unfair question; in fact it is a presciently vital one.
Weeks - Everyone - Trump - Simple - Question
Four weeks ago everyone knew that Trump’s simple and logical question was “dumb.” This week a bunch of protesters, among them faculty on the payroll of the institution...
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