Monster. Evil. Horrible man. These are the words Shaun King uses to describe one of our Founders.
Which one? Thomas Jefferson.
Why? Because Sally Hemming’s living quarters — which is attached to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson — was discovered this past week.
By finding a room attached to Jefferson’s house, King concludes Thomas Jefferson is the eighteenth-century version of Christian Grey — without a helicopter of course.
50 shades of gray colonial style.
King then spins out of control.
Hemmings never consented. Vicious sexual behavior. Jerry Sandusky.
Yes, he discussed Jerry Sandusky.
According to his own article, Jefferson:
…[W]as a monster. Owning, buying, selling, trading, and raping human beings, no matter what year or era you did such things, is monstrous…
…Thomas Jefferson was not some victim of time because he just happened to be born in an era in which people were confused as to whether slavery was evil.
He knew good and well it was as evil then as it would be today, but he deliberately and purposefully maintained the system of slavery not only in his own life, but also for the nation.
So a new room for Hemmings has King worked up.
And has spun him into his slavery-is-bad tirade.
Hemmings has her own room = I’m going to lose my mind over four walls, a floor… and, wait for it, a ceiling!
Because, you know, there has never been domestic help in the history of the United States — enslaved or otherwise.
And they certainly never lived on the same quarters they worked.
Wait. They did.
And, King wants to suggest Jefferson never did anything to end the institution of slavery.
I’d like to turn his attention to the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence that calls for the abolition of the institution and blames King George III for the institution.
Or the fact that the United States’s participation in the International Slave Trade ended when Thomas Jefferson was president.
Or his discussions for gradual emancipation.
Or his proposal in 1784 to emancipate all slaves in Virginia.
Or Jefferson’s letter in 1809 to Henri Gregoire which said all people, even those enslaved, are entitled to their natural liberty.
But King doesn’t want an accurate portrayal of history. A complicated history.
Instead, he’d rather play neanderthal historian and point at the “good” and “bad” people in history from his high, white, self-righteous horse.
Don’t fall for the simplistic brainwashing.