I was pleased to have an opportunity this morning to discuss the swelling anti-Thomas Jefferson sentiment in contemporary culture on The John Reid show on WRVA. In particular, I criticized the University of Virginia Alumni Association for turning down an ad from The Jefferson Council (on whose board I serve) that defended Jefferson’s reputation for opposing slavery and questioned the widespread assertion that he raped his slave Sally Hemings. Listen to the interview here. Thanks for giving us a voice, John!
While I’m at it, let me put in a plug for John’s morning broadcast. John is a critical player in Virginia’s small but vocal conservative media ecosystem. Click here to view the list of news makers he has interviewed in the past few days.
Update: Charlottesville talk radio host Joe Thomas interviewed Jefferson Council board member Buddy Weber on the controversy. Lissten to the podcast here.
Update: Shaun Kenney at The Republican Standard uses the ad controversy as a jumping-off point to broader discussion of how Thomas Jefferson and other historical figures are treated today. Kenney leans to the view that Jefferson was the father of Hemings’ children, but he does not treat the interpretation as settled dogma.
Writes Kenney: “Much as there is no such thing as unquestionable science, there should be no such thing as unquestionable history. Reproducibility and replication based on record and evidence remains the gold standard.”