Thomas Jefferson

Race long has been an American dilemma.

And the man who defined the American creed more than any other, Thomas Jefferson, was far from silent when it came to speaking out on issues of race and slavery.

Historian David Barton, author of “The Jefferson Lies,” argued Thomas Jefferson would be heartbroken at the racial collectivism and division that dominates American politics.

“When it comes to race, I think the thing that he would regret the most is that we no longer recognize individuals,” Barton told WND. “We recognize groups. And you have to be from a group to have any status legally today, to have any clout. And I think he would object to that.”

Barton, who is frequently consulted to help develop history and social studies standards for textbooks, said the push for artificial “diversity” standards is often self-defeating. He recounted one experience while he was working on textbooks showing the absurdity of this forced multiculturalism.

“The teachers said, ‘Now there’s about 250 heroes that need to be presented across 12 years of school, so, as you present each hero, make sure you identify the group from which they come,'” Barton recalled. “And so we told them, no that’s not it. If somebody has done something significant in America, we’re going to teach them about it. And they said, ‘No no, you have to have the groups, otherwise you won’t have diversity.’

“So in their plan, that they wrote, with this group consciousness, 9 percent of all the 250 heroes were some type of minority. We said we’re throwing that all out the door. In our plan, 25 percent of everyone presented was minorities. You actually had more minorities [in the textbooks] by recognizing individualism than by recognizing groups.”

It’s the book they didn’t want you to read. “The Jefferson Lies” available now from the WND Superstore.

Barton said if Jefferson were alive today, he would champion the same kind of individualist beliefs he worked for his entire life.

“We no longer see individuals as created equal,” Barton said of modern society. “We see them as belonging to groups. That’s what Jefferson fought back then, that’s what he wanted ended. He would want to end it today, too.”

However, in contemporary America, Jefferson is often regarded as a “racist” and even a “rapist,” rather than an advocate of equality and individualism.

Barton argues this is a huge distortion of Jefferson’s real record.

“The true Jefferson is quite different from that,” Barton said. “He was not a racist bigot, but he was a slaveholder. As he explains in his own writings, the laws of Virginia would not allow him to free his own slaves. He despised slavery. He disliked it intensely.”

According to Barton, Thomas Jefferson served as an icon for abolitionists and champions of black civil rights.

“If you doubt [Jefferson’s hatred of slavery], then why is it that Martin Luther King Jr. praised Jefferson as an advocate for equality and for civil rights?” asked Barton. “Why is it that Frederick Douglass, another famous black civil rights leader, praised Jefferson? As a matter of fact, Frederick Douglass said it was from Jefferson he learned that all men are equal, black and white. You can also point to Henry Highland Garnet, another black civil rights leader, and to Francis Grimké.”

Barton also identified Benjamin Banneker, a contemporary of Jefferson and a famous black surveyor who helped lay out Washington, D.C., as someone who praised Jefferson for having more enlightened views than many other whites of the era.

Thomas Jefferson’s legislative record, Barton claims, also shows a long-standing opposition to slavery. He says Jefferson repeatedly tried to block slavery’s expansion.

“When Jefferson went into the legislature as a young man, one of the first bills he does is ‘let’s end slavery in Virginia,'” said Barton. “Well, he got shouted out of the legislature. When he gets to the Continental Congress, he tried to end slavery in all of America.

“And they missed it by one vote. And he wrote about how much one vote would have meant at that point in time, could have ended slavery way back in the 1780s. Then as president he signed laws to limit slavery, he worked with other nations to end slavery – we hear none of that today.”

Barton argues Jefferson’s consistent record as an opponent of slavery and a champion of equality is not being taught. For that reason, he says his book, “The Jefferson Lies,” is more important than ever.

“Jefferson was a huge advocate for equality, racial equality, for the end of all slavery,” Barton said. “The first book he ever did in 1781 has a full chapter on how tyrannical and despotic slavery is and how it has to be ended. He talks about how God is not going to put up with it and He will end slavery in America one way or the other. It’s almost like a prophecy about the Civil War that came from Thomas Jefferson.”

It’s the book they didn’t want you to read. “The Jefferson Lies” available now from the WND Superstore.

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