Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Renewed Respect for America

Thomas Jefferson Tried to Abolish Slavery?
The more I learn about our founding fathers the more I respect their efforts to form a ‘more perfect union’. In my recent study of African American history, specifically the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, I ran across the following excerpt from Thomas Jefferson’s early drafting of the Declaration of Independence. It shows that there was a segment of America, even in the beginning, that knew it was unconscionable to own slaves.

He (King George) has waged cruel war against
human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights
of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people
who never offended him, captivating and carrying
them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur
miserable death in their transportation thither. This
piratical war fare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL pow-
ers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great
Britain. Determined to keep open a market where
MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted
his negative for suppressing every legislative at -
tempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable com -
merce. And that this assemblage of horrors might
want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting
those very people to rise in arms among us, and to
purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them,
by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded
them: thus paying off former crimes committed
against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes
which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of
[This version was removed from the Declaration of Independ-
ence after protest from southern colonies, and planted the seed
of the Civil War to come.]

This was reprinted in the prologue of the final report of the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. As a result of the report and the public's desire to know the truth about the past, Tulsa is erecting a monument and building a park to memorialize the events that took place way back then.

As a white man, I have struggled with my feelings about the cruelties and injustice done to African Americans in the past. I thought it was incredible that humans could standby and let such atrocities occur. But this revelation of Thomas Jefferson's early drafting renews my respect for the human race. At least some of the early thinkers were fair and honorable and I would like to think I am from that stock.


Blogger Shininggoober said...

Good post Babe

Thursday, May 20, 2010 3:17:00 PM  

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