This is so 2015: According to Inside Higher Ed, “At both the University of Missouri at Columbia and the College of William & Mary, critics have been placing yellow sticky notes on [Thomas] Jefferson statues, labeling him — among other things — ‘rapist’ and ‘racist.'”
Polite, inoffensive, non-vandalizing sticky notes with words on them, and still the internet right wing is in a predictable lather. A William and Mary spokesperson comments, “‘A university setting is the very place where civil conversations about difficult and important issues should occur. Nondestructive sticky notes are a form of expression compatible with our tradition of free expression.'”
Tell me again who’s against liberty of speech and expression, friends? The IHE article offers some interesting perspectives from different historians and Jefferson biographers–check them out.
As for me, permit me to quote William Lloyd Garrison at length about so-called “Founding Father” worship once again when asked by his son for his thoughts on the upcoming 1876 centennial of American Independence:
Nevertheless, as to my “Centennial Reflections,” as this nation has been the guiltiest of all the nations on the earth since its independence of Great Britain, and as there is no end to the “gush” and “glorification” about its centennial career–the disposition to hide or overlook its criminality being well-nigh universal–I think they were specially called for, so as to rebuke all such blatant folly, and to induce sober reflection. Too long have “our Revolutionary Fathers” been held up as the noblest of patriots and the truest friends of liberty. They were too cowardly and too selfish to adhere to the principles they laid down, and, as time-servers and compromisers, they entailed upon their posterity as great a curse as could be inflicted upon any people; and I trust no child of mine will ever fail to recognize their exceeding blameworthiness, or consider a reference to it ill-timed when they are presented for the admiration of the world.
To paraphrase a quotation from old whatsisname: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the Post-Its of patriots & tyrants. They are its natural manure.”