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UVA President Criticized for Quoting Jefferson

November 15, 2016
 

Some students and faculty members are asking President Teresa Sullivan to stop quoting Thomas Jefferson, CBS 19 News reported. An open letter to Sullivan said in part, "Thomas Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves. Other memorable Jefferson quotes include that blacks are 'inferior to the whites in the endowments of body and mind,' and 'as incapable as children of taking care of themselves.' … Though we realize that some members of our university community may be inspired by quotes from Jefferson, we also realize that many of us are deeply offended by attempts on behalf of our administration to guide our moral behavior through their use."

Sullivan responded by writing, "Quoting Jefferson [or any historical figure] does not imply an endorsement of all the social structures and beliefs of his time, such as slavery and the exclusion of women and people of color from the university."

 
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