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Thomas Jefferson: Racist or not?
#1
There was a video in regards to Frederick Douglass v Thomas Jefferson video.



Thomas Jefferson is an interesting guy. Although he preach the thought of freedom, it seems that in his writings he's a paradox of what he actually feels -- which I thought in his second verse, captured his "smug attack" perfectly. So, what do you guys think?
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#2
Jefferson was an odd man for sure. He inherited 52 slaves and that started his huge plantation, and yet he took some of the first government actions against slavery. Seems a wee bit hypocritical no doubt. He may have personally been against slavery, but he came from a time and place where it was kind of unheard of for a wealthy white man not to own slaves and it was socially unusual to not have them if you were a white man of any class, so his first ones were just kind of handed to him. The fact that he bought more though it sketchy.

Another aspect to this was that when you look at certain sides of this whole debacle there was always a question of how to go about freeing slaves. Some of the concerns people had may have been valid, several weren't, but there were concerns of "how are slaves going to get by when they're free". They had no education or skills and as history had shown there was a VERY long time stretch between slaves being freed and actually being equal citizens. People had a lot of other concerns that we can now say were bullshit like "how can we educate them" or "how can we integrate them into white society" and a host of other things.

Sometimes when you're in the middle of that it's hard to really tell what's BS and what isn't. We may never know what Jefferson in his heart of hearts thought, maybe in his own screwed up and warped way he even thought he was helping them. 

It's pretty scary stuff, trying to put yourself in those shoes there.
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#3
Last I checked apparently his personal opinion on it was "it's wrong but I'm not at a point in history where we can ya know, solve this, so I'll leave it for future generations."
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#4
Odd man was a good way to described Thomas Jefferson and his views. As I said, he was like a walking-contradictions in his issues when it came to slavery and expressed different opinions on that. While he did took some actions against slavery, he proposes laws against Free Blacks because he'd view them as a threat. At one moment, he claimed that blacks were inferior to whites, even claiming that unlike blacks, slaves under roman were far more educated - and slated that slavery was essentially necessary for them. Then the other, he expressed that slavery had impacted on their education. Then later, he got pretty pissey when a free black [Benjamin Banneker] that was educated in mathematics personally wrote a letter to him and gave Thomas Jefferson his first draft of his book --- Jefferson outright called him a liar and accused him that his "white" assistant helped him out. Another black writer, in attempt to prove that slavery wasn't a joke, Jefferson flat out ignored her. 

What makes the matters interesting that Jefferson has reject laws that would have freed slaves in his state, considered free blacks as "pest of society" and thought that they were would encourage the slaves to instigate an revolt (where he freak out over the Hatian Revolution). 

If anything, George Mason, the guy who was one of the biggest slave plantation owner was more supportive of ending slavery then Jefferson did, and he was more consistent in his talking. So, it's sort of a mixture of both, but I think that Jefferson was practically a brutal hypocrite who inconsistent of his statements (and not just on slavery, but women issues, politics -- where he practically went fanboy on George Washington because the latter refused to help out the French Revolution).
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#5
Well, opponents of African American rights had used the excuse that they were a threat not to want to give them full voting rights in the 1950s too because they were under the impression that they'd vote their way into taking over parts of the country. Interesting how there tends to be a pattern there with those oppressive types. That may have been his reasoning there? Sounds like he either couldn't decide how he felt about it or changed his mind a lot on the matter. 

I'd say personally that he was GENERALLY (very much as a general thing)  on the progressive side relative to his time but that ain't saying a whole lot quite frankly.
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#6
Hmmm, this will require me into delving into the American history more, simply because I'm from The Netherlands and I've been primarily taught things in regards of the history of Europe. Sure, there were the Colonization era and everything, but I'm more talking about the mainland Europe.
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