When Civil Rights Activism Runs Afoul

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(Abbeville Institute) In recent years, Thomas Jefferson, father of University of Virginia and first citizen of Charlottesville, has been the target of vitriolic assaults from countless persons, scholars among them, and groups in America. What is most surprising is that many of the assaults today come from persons or groups in or around his hometown, Charlottesville, where, one might expect, the citizens would be especially loath to vilipend Jefferson.

Yet the city of Charlottesville itself, where UVa is situated, has also come to contemn Jefferson. Contemning Jefferson is today in vogue, because racism is in vogue. And so, Charlottesville has announced that it will not be celebrating the birthday of Thomas Jefferson (April 13)—City Council voted four to one in June 2019—for the first time since World War II. It has chosen Jefferson’s birthday to celebrate a new holiday—“Liberation and Freedom Day,” in honor of the liberation of 14,000 slaves that occurred on March 3, 1865, when the city’s officials then formally surrendered to Union troops. Though Liberation and Freedom Day has been celebrated for several years, City Council of Charlottesville has decided to change the day of its celebration to Jefferson’s birthday in an effort to make a louder statement. It is not difficult to ascertain that political statement.

Professor Jalane “Smash the Fash” Schmidt of UVa says in a recent CNN interview: “We’re not going to forget Mr. Jefferson. His name …

When Civil Rights Activism Runs Afoul – Abbeville Institute