Opinion | Cancel the Jefferson Memorial?

To the Editor:Re “Take Down the Jefferson Memorial,” by Lucian Okay. Truscott IV (Op-Ed, July 7):Like Mr. Truscott, I’m a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson. Whereas I agree that our ancestor was an imperfect and hypocritical mortal who owned slaves at the same time as he penned the immortal phrases “all males are created equal,” I feel that Mr. Truscott performs down Jefferson’s monumental contributions to this nation.As our third president, he practically doubled the scale of the brand new nation with the Louisiana Buy. He was a person of nice mental curiosity and, not like many political figures right now, was a champion of scientific studying and information. His huge assortment of books turned the premise of the Library of Congress. He based the College of Virginia.By all means, allow us to erect a long-overdue memorial to Harriet Tubman and in addition put a distinguished plaque in Jefferson’s memorial noting the chasm between his phrases and actions relating to equality. However allow us to suppose lengthy and exhausting earlier than eradicating the memorial from the capital of the nation he helped discovered.Susan Taylor MartinSt. Petersburg, Fla.The author is a member of the Monticello Affiliation.To the Editor:As a descendant of Thomas Jefferson, Lucian Okay. Truscott IV makes a strong case for revision of the founding narrative on which our nation has subsisted for thus lengthy, a story handy in its omissions and efficient in its simplicity. By ignoring necessary truths and instilling false concepts in generations of Individuals, it has helped embed racism and hypocrisy in our society.With malice towards none, we should acknowledge the imperfections of our founding fathers and stop to show to them as exemplars. This nation should look ahead now, with new devotion to true justice and fairness, and create a purposeful new imaginative and prescient — with new sorts of monuments and new figures of reverence — handy all the way down to future multiracial and multigender generations of Individuals.Inserting a determine of fierce braveness and dedication like Harriet Tubman within the former Jefferson Memorial within the nation’s capital can be a superb begin.William RoseMonroe, Wash.To the Editor:In Lucian Okay. Truscott IV’s eyes, the Jefferson Memorial is “a shrine to a person who famously wrote that ‘all males are created equal’ within the Declaration of Independence that based this nation — and but by no means did a lot to make these phrases come true.” Not so.The very act of writing the Declaration — articulating and expounding, in phrases of energy and precision, the “self-evident truths” not simply that every one males are created equal, however that every one possess the “unalienable rights . . . of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” — was of incalculable second within the historical past of human freedom and within the demise of slavery and different types of human oppression.It has given braveness and inspiration to untold 1000’s of freedom fighters over time, from Abraham Lincoln and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Nelson Mandela, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Simón Bolívar and numerous others.That he may have, and will have, finished extra to eradicate what he himself referred to as the “unremitting despotism” of slavery is one thing on which all can agree. However the Jefferson Memorial is just not a shrine to a flawed and imperfect man; it’s a shrine to the concepts and beliefs he captured in phrases of energy, concepts and beliefs that we ought to be celebrating all of the extra passionately right now as we aspire to create a extra simply and equitable society.David G. PostMarlboro, Vt.The author taught regulation at Temple College and is the writer of “In Search of Jefferson’s Moose: Notes on the State of Our on-line world,” a Jeffersonian meditation on the rise of the web and networked communication.

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