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Thomas Jefferson and the Divinity of the Founding Fathers

posted on December 11, 2012

Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic questions the virtue of Thomas Jefferson, who advocated for the emancipation of slaves but, given the opportunity, failed to free slaves and maintained a household of slaves on his plantation. Coates writes, “It seems clear to me that one can salute the ideas of a founding father, and at the same time condemn his cowardice when it came to putting them in practice. In other words, Jefferson can be both the intellectual father of this country and a notorious violator of the very ideas he put forth.” But, he adds, “It’s not enough for Jefferson to have laid the ideological foundation for equality. He had to have practiced it, too.”

Read at The Atlantic