Sunday, February 2, 2014

Hypocrisy or Why I Hate Thomas Jefferson

Children's programming can be an odd thing at times, as can stream of consciousness thinking. Below is a rather charming song from an old cartoon called "Histeria!" Aside from being the first Epic Rap Battles of History in... history, it is pretty informative in terms of the inventions of the two founding fathers.
But as I listened to this in may car (Yes, this song was good enough for me to convert it to digital music for my car stereo), an old hatred began to surface. You see, of all the historical figures I know of, Thomas Jefferson is the one I hate more than any other. As I drove and thought, the obvious thought came to mind. "Sean, you mean you hate Thomas Jefferson more than Hitler?" Yes, I do. In fact, I have more good things to say about Hitler than I do about Thomas Jefferson. Yes, I'm serious. Though I do have more negative things to say about Hitler, the balance is still down for T.J.

You see, this all has to do with my greatest transgressions: Hypocrisy. And Thomas Jefferson is one of the most celebrated hypocrites in history. Before I list the crimes of our third president, I want you to understand how much I hate hypocrites. While watching a documentary on the Jones Town Massacre, they got to the part of documentary where the kool-aid was being served. Now, not many people know that a majority of the victims did not drink the poison willingly, so this was not murder in a metaphysical sense but outright murder. And at this revelation, I was disturbed, but was still relatively calm and seated. Then, almost in passing, they mention that Jim Jones, the de facto murderer in this case, did not drink his own poison; He had his guard shoot him in the head.

And at this point, I bolted upright and nearly screamed at my television set. That bastard! You can murder hundreds of people and I'll hate you with a standard level of aggression. But if you can't practice what you preach, you will have my undying scorn.

And this is where Thomas Jefferson comes in. Now, the obvious conclusion is that Thomas Jefferson wrote "All men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence and owned slaves. That is bad, but it very clearly outlines in the constitution that equality own applied to white men. So he gets a pass on that from a technical standard. But Thomas Jefferson, who is quoted as saying "I cannot live without books", wrote only one book in his life, Notes on the State of Virginia. This book was written as a rebuttal to claims made in Europe that the American soil was somehow stunting the growth of it's people. Jefferson refuted this by saying that White American were unaffected by this effect, but it was devastating to the African brought over as slaves.

The big highlight of his writing was that African Slaves should be ashamed of themselves for procreating because all they do by it is bring more slaves into existence. Not even the Egyptians were that cruel. Not to mention that it gets even better when, after writing these words, he went to France with Sally Hemings (who was 14 at the time) and began to father 6 children with her. So should Thomas Jefferson be ashamed that he brought 6 slaves into existence with an underage girl? Yes, but he probably wasn't.

Hypocrisy is the most deadly of sins a person can commit in my mind. It's something I try hard to avoid in my personal life. Being a liar like Andrew Jackson is bad. But where Jackson told the Native Americans they would get consideration for fighting for the Union and subsequently drove them out in the Trail of Tears. But Jackson never liked the Indians, and he was lying from the get go, which is still detestable, but less so than hypocrisy. And while their are probably bigger hypocrites in history, Jefferson is probably the one most overlooked. And that's why, for all his limited accomplishments, he earns my anger more than any other.

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty sure he was able to "justify" his illegitimate children because they were mixed. Still a slave, but you know, the better kind, right? Justification doesn't override hypocrisy, of course.
    What gets to me is that people today see these "founders" as infallible men, idolized for writing a piece of paper that was extremely ambiguous in many places and by no means were these men perfect.