It is pretty easy for us in the 21st century to be critical of people in the 19th century. It is always easy to find fault with the past: but to what benefit.
Those who are so eager to purge everyone who was not visibly against slavery might look critically at more recent heroes. For example, of those in my lifetime I have a high regard for MLK. But he was a known womanizer, so we probably don’t want any streets or schools named after him. He wouldn’t be the perfect example for our youth. Or we could look at current leaders. Since the murdering of the unborn is every bit as evil as slavery, no memorials for anyone not visibly against abortion. There goes Obama, Clinton, all democrats and most of our entertainment heroes.
Maybe we should take a deep breath and consider that all of us have failings. My faults, of course, aren’t nearly as bad as yours. All leaders, past and present, have faults. Let us honor our past leaders for what they did great, while recognizing their failings for what they are, and move on. After all, what we do with our lives is up to each of us, not some monument, and what we fail to do is our fault and cannot be blamed on some dead historic figure.
In a free society, if one group gains supremacy it says more about the lack of talent and initiative of the other groups than it says about the motives of the one group.
Thomas Jefferson did more for the freedom blacks enjoy today than anyone.
Albany (Oct. 11)