The bar for Social Justice silliness has been raised (or lowered) yet again. And at the University of Virginia, no less.
Last week, after the election results, UVa President Teresa Sullivan wrote an e-mail to the university community. She used a quote from Thomas Jefferson as part of a message calling for unity in the wake of the results.
Some professors from the Psychology Department — and other academic departments — did not like her quoting Jefferson. In their minds eye, Jefferson is an irredeemable racist because he owned slaves. Therefore, any reference to Jefferson “undermines the message of unity, equality and civility that you are attempting to convey.” Seriously.
I simply don’t know where to begin. If they felt this way about Jefferson, perhaps they should not have sought employment at “Mister Jefferson’s University.” Their request is akin to Mormons asking church leaders not to quote Joseph Smith.
Also, eliminating all writings and thoughts of slaveholders would preclude them from reading other trivial things like The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and so on. Come to think of it; I feel pretty sure they have not read any of those things.
Bottom line: If you see using a Thomas Jefferson quote as an indicator of exclusion and racism, then I cannot help you. Indeed, you are quite possibly BEYOND help.