Restricted Hofstra U. groups want Jefferson gone

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RobertP

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This is not a discussion of Confederate monuments but rather the Thos. Jefferson statue at Hofstra U. Since we have a prominent member who is on the faculty of that university I thought it might be interesting to get his thoughts and those of others as on what’s going on there.

This is from Fox, conservative yes, but the most comprehensive account from the many found in a search.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/03/27/hofstra-activists-want-to-remove-thomas-jefferson-statue.amp.html.

A snippet:

“The protest is co-sponsored by a number of campus organizations: Campus Feminist Collective, Collegiate Women of Color, Democrats of Hofstra University, Hofstra History Club, Hofstra NAACP Chapter, Peace Action Matters, Queer & Trans People of Color Coalition, Student Advocates of Safer Sex, The Gender Identity Federation, The Pride Network of Hofstra University, and Young Democratic Socialists of Hofstra.

When reached for comment, the organizers pointed to the event description.

“Jefferson’s values aided in the construction of institutionalized racism and justified the subjugation of black people in the United States,” the petition reads, alleging,

“Jefferson has been embraced as an icon by white supremacist and neo-nazi organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan and online white supremacist chat rooms…”

Who knew?
 

Northern Light

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I thought it was because he had helped to form the country and had been your president. Next people will want to tear down Yale because Yale was in the slave trade or all the Carnegie libraries because Carnegie was a robber baron. It doesn't change the history just because the statue is taken down.
 
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John Winn

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***edit by Lnwlf: response to deleted material***

I thought it was because he had helped to form the country and had been your president. Next people will want to tear down Yale because Yale was in the slave trade or all the Carnegie libraries because Carnegie was a robber baron. It doesn't change the history just because the statue is taken down.
Be careful or one or more of our members will be over here telling you that you're mentally damaged and are committing fallacies and that it's all fine because changing demographics just lets a new set of people decide how to decorate the landscape. Oh, and that Washington and Jefferson weren't honorable men, anyway, because they owned slaves. So even if they helped found the country they shouldn't be memorialized and the poor students forced to look at them every day.
 
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Northern Light

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I'm not so sure. A good number of those kids will be lucky to get a job and certainly won't have mortgages.



Be careful or one or more of our members will be over here telling you that you're mentally damaged and are committing fallacies and that it's all fine because changing demographics just lets a new set of people decide how to decorate the landscape. Oh, and that Washington and Jefferson weren't honorable men, anyway, because they owned slaves. So even if they helped found the country they shouldn't be memorialized and the poor students forced to look at them every day.
You are probably correct, JW. I am shutting up now. In the words of Union Blue, Sigh.................
 
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19thGeorgia

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“Jefferson has been embraced as an icon by white supremacist and neo-nazi organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan and online white supremacist chat rooms…”
Who knew?
This is what they teach at Hofstra? Never heard of Nazis liking Jefferson.
I have a historian friend who teaches history at Hofstra University.
 

Sbc

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This is not a discussion of Confederate monuments but rather the Thos. Jefferson statue at Hofstra U. Since we have a prominent member who is on the faculty of that university I thought it might be interesting to get his thoughts and those of others as on what’s going on there.

This is from Fox, conservative yes, but the most comprehensive account from the many found in a search.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/03/27/hofstra-activists-want-to-remove-thomas-jefferson-statue.amp.html.

A snippet:

“The protest is co-sponsored by a number of campus organizations: Campus Feminist Collective, Collegiate Women of Color, Democrats of Hofstra University, Hofstra History Club, Hofstra NAACP Chapter, Peace Action Matters, Queer & Trans People of Color Coalition, Student Advocates of Safer Sex, The Gender Identity Federation, The Pride Network of Hofstra University, and Young Democratic Socialists of Hofstra.

When reached for comment, the organizers pointed to the event description.

“Jefferson’s values aided in the construction of institutionalized racism and justified the subjugation of black people in the United States,” the petition reads, alleging,

“Jefferson has been embraced as an icon by white supremacist and neo-nazi organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan and online white supremacist chat rooms…”

Who knew?
And so it goes...
 
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Eleanor Rose

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For many of us if Thomas Jefferson was mentioned at all in grade school, he was only presented as a prominent figure in the creation of the United States. He wasn’t really afforded the time and attention that was given to other great leaders like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.

Over the years I have become acquainted with a humanized Thomas Jefferson. He was by no means a perfect man, but I still believe he was one of the great men whose intellect, passion and vision saw our nation through its creation and its critical early years. He was flawed, but he accomplished many things that seem impossible today. I'm all for looking at a person's character in totality. I 'm not one for trying to rewrite our history - even if I don't like everything about it.

Interesting thread @RobertP and as usual @John Winn, you're right on target.
 

John Winn

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For many of us if Thomas Jefferson was mentioned at all in grade school, he was only presented as a prominent figure in the creation of the United States. He wasn’t really afforded the time and attention that was given to other great leaders like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.

Over the years I have become acquainted with a humanized Thomas Jefferson. He was by no means a perfect man, but I still believe he was one of the great men whose intellect, passion and vision saw our nation through its creation and its critical early years. He was flawed, but he accomplished many things that seem impossible today. I'm all for looking at a person's character in totality. I 'm not one for trying to rewrite our history - even if I don't like everything about it.

Interesting thread @RobertP and as usual @John Winn, you're right on target.
Why, thank you for the kind word. All I've really said is that the longer this thread goes on the more likely one of the cadre of members who like to argue about statue removal is to appear. In the past they have more than once made the assertions I noted. So, don't be surprised if they smell the blood in the water and move in.

Everybody is flawed and it is the rare person who can totally escape the limitations of his times. I think we should judge people in the context of their time and admire those who changed the norm for the better. That they didn't meet our current standards is not a reason to reject admiration of them for what they accomplished under the limitations of their day.
I think it a sad commentary that young folk seem so intent on removing any reference to things with which they disagree. Out in the real world it's going to be real hard to escape such.

Anyway, I'm not going to debate it; it's just my opinion and others are entitled to disagree. I've already said more than I ordinarily currently would.
 

Northern Light

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Why, thank you for the kind word. All I've really said is that the longer this thread goes on the more likely one of the cadre of members who like to argue about statue removal is to appear. In the past they have more than once made the assertions I noted. So, don't be surprised if they smell the blood in the water and move in.

Everybody is flawed and it is the rare person who can totally escape the limitations of his times. I think we should judge people in the context of their time and admire those who changed the norm for the better. That they didn't meet our current standards is not a reason to reject admiration of them for what they accomplished under the limitations of their day.
I think it a sad commentary that young folk seem so intent on removing any reference to things with which they disagree. Out in the real world it's going to be real hard to escape such.

Anyway, I'm not going to debate it; it's just my opinion and others are entitled to disagree. I've already said more than I ordinarily currently would.
Well said, JW!
 
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donna

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All I can say is well said JW. I try not to comment in these threads. They become very stressful. People just can't accept history for history. They want to put a current spin on everything.

I have always admired Thomas Jefferson and always will. No one is perfect and we all have our flaws. But he is one of the founders of this great nation.
 

hoosier

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The Hofstra football team, once known as the Flying Dutchmen, changed its name to the Pride in later years. Presumably this was because airplane pilots from the Netherlands found the old name to be objectionable.

Hofstra discontinued its football program after the 2009 season. No word on whether or not this was done because of the football team's association with an old Bill Cosby comedy routine. :rolleyes:
 
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Northern Light

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The Hofstra football team, once known as the Flying Dutchmen, changed its name to the Pride in later years. Presumably this was because airplane pilots from the Netherlands found the old name to be objectionable.

Hofstra discontinued its football program after the 2009 season. No word on whether or not this was done because of the football team's association with an old Bill Cosby comedy routine. :rolleyes:
Pride is better? Okay!
 

MattL

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I'm not so sure. A good number of those kids will be lucky to get a job and certainly won't have mortgages.


Be careful or one or more of our members will be over here telling you that you're mentally damaged and are committing fallacies and that it's all fine because changing demographics just lets a new set of people decide how to decorate the landscape. Oh, and that Washington and Jefferson weren't honorable men, anyway, because they owned slaves. So even if they helped found the country they shouldn't be memorialized and the poor students forced to look at them every day.
In the past they have more than once made the assertions I noted. So, don't be surprised if they smell the blood in the water and move in.

Everybody is flawed and it is the rare person who can totally escape the limitations of his times. I think we should judge people in the context of their time and admire those who changed the norm for the better. That they didn't meet our current standards is not a reason to reject admiration of them for what they accomplished under the limitations of their day.
I think it a sad commentary that young folk seem so intent on removing any reference to things with which they disagree. Out in the real world it's going to be real hard to escape such.

Anyway, I'm not going to debate it; it's just my opinion and others are entitled to disagree. I've already said more than I ordinarily currently would.
I might recommend to not preemptively generalize an entire line of disagreement, or declare people will react in an extreme way before they have. Likewise bordering on preemptively insulting such a group of people certainly gives you no high ground.

For example I do indeed think it's just redecoration (possibly due to changing demographics, but that would require some backing), but no I don't think anyone is "mentally damanged and are committing fallacies."

Likewise I can completely understand a viewpoint where "Oh, and that Washington and Jefferson weren't honorable men, anyway, because they owned slaves" while simply respectfully disagree with it.

You were the first to smell the blood and move in and make extreme generalizations.

Personally what I don't get is so many people on either side act the same. One side wants to change something and some of them (not all of them) reduce anyone who defends Jefferson for example as being complicit in slavery or something. Then the other side (not all of them) treat people who want to move/remove a statue all as history deniers.

When did it become so hard to agree to disagree, to not insult the other side's view but just disagree with it. To be open to discussing and understand view points that are different from your own. Understanding doesn't hurt, people often have viewpoints for valid reasons even if you don't come to all the same conclusions. Reducing each other is where any of this goes wrong on either side. We should also not treat each side only by the most extreme form of that side, otherwise it's equally destructive.

I personally wouldn't want Jefferson's statue removed. Though I don't think someone is crazy for having a different view of a historical figure and wanting to influence the public decorations that reflect them. I mean the people who raised such a statue had the exact same agenda in reverse. If that person also wants to remove such representations from public museums or history books, well I'll fight it. That is actually altering education history. A statue at a school or park is something completely different. Though if they want to remove it from say a school I go to or went to or public spaces where I have a say, I'll fight it. I'll equally pursue my rights in my own interests where I can, no different than Jefferson removal people would.

Want I won't do is reduce anyone who wants or doesn't want a statue removed as crazy or intrinsically unreasonable. I have found that when you genuinely are willing to hear other viewpoints, even ones you vehemently disagree with, you find that people are more reasonable than they may seem. That the most extreme expressions you have seen aren't representative of the majority and that each individual person is indeed their own individual person with their own motivations, life experiences, opinions, and thoughts. That all those things that are different from you might make them feel a different way in a way you can completely understand to even if you can't fully relate.

I find you learn far more talking with people you disagree with than people you agree with.

Empathy goes a long way and I think both sides really could use a lot more of it.
 

John Winn

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I might recommend to not preemptively generalize an entire line of disagreement, or declare people will react in an extreme way before they have. Likewise bordering on preemptively insulting such a group of people certainly gives you no high ground.

For example I do indeed think it's just redecoration (possibly due to changing demographics, but that would require some backing), but no I don't think anyone is "mentally damanged and are committing fallacies."

Likewise I can completely understand a viewpoint where "Oh, and that Washington and Jefferson weren't honorable men, anyway, because they owned slaves" while simply respectfully disagree with it.

You were the first to smell the blood and move in and make extreme generalizations.

Personally what I don't get is so many people on either side act the same. One side wants to change something and some of them (not all of them) reduce anyone who defends Jefferson for example as being complicit in slavery or something. Then the other side (not all of them) treat people who want to move/remove a statue all as history deniers.

When did it become so hard to agree to disagree, to not insult the other side's view but just disagree with it. To be open to discussing and understand view points that are different from your own. Understanding doesn't hurt, people often have viewpoints for valid reasons even if you don't come to all the same conclusions. Reducing each other is where any of this goes wrong on either side. We should also not treat each side only by the most extreme form of that side, otherwise it's equally destructive.

I personally wouldn't want Jefferson's statue removed. Though I don't think someone is crazy for having a different view of a historical figure and wanting to influence the public decorations that reflect them. I mean the people who raised such a statue had the exact same agenda in reverse. If that person also wants to remove such representations from public museums or history books, well I'll fight it. That is actually altering education history. A statue at a school or park is something completely different. Though if they want to remove it from say a school I go to or went to or public spaces where I have a say, I'll fight it. I'll equally pursue my rights in my own interests where I can, no different than Jefferson removal people would.

Want I won't do is reduce anyone who wants or doesn't want a statue removed as crazy or intrinsically unreasonable. I have found that when you genuinely are willing to hear other viewpoints, even ones you vehemently disagree with, you find that people are more reasonable than they may seem. That the most extreme expressions you have seen aren't representative of the majority and that each individual person is indeed their own individual person with their own motivations, life experiences, opinions, and thoughts. That all those things that are different from you might make them feel a different way in a way you can completely understand to even if you can't fully relate.

I find you learn far more talking with people you disagree with than people you agree with.

Empathy goes a long way and I think both sides really could use a lot more of it.
Sorry to have put you off. It's just that the subject is a bit of a sore point for me as I have, in fact, been accused of being mentally damaged for suggesting - back when all this started - that the founders were going to be next and those wanting to remove all references to persons who professed things with which they don't agree were on a slippery slope (which led to the accusation of having expressed a fallacy with a comparison that was absurd). At the time those attacking me said I was being ridiculous to think that removing confederate statues would lead to wanting to remove ones of the founders.

At about the same time there were also threads about the slave-holding founders where I was again attacked by several who had serious issues with me saying that they were honorable and admirable men (and were adamant that they were not). It got to be what I considered to be personal attacks. Several of those members are still active and often make a practice of making such attacks and have been called on it more than once. Thus, my prediction that they might attack again (so I was wrong - so far). Given all that history I don't consider what I said to be extreme generalizations as it's all happened more than once.

That sort of thing is why I now don't generally engage in such threads; just don't need argument and conflict. It has been my policy to always be polite and respectful and I've never engaged in name-calling or the like and think I have been most civil and polite in all my posts.

My participation here was a weak moment (perhaps one too many red wines). My best to you.
 
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MattL

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Sorry to have put you off. It's just that the subject is a bit of a sore point for me as I have, in fact, been accused of being mentally damaged for suggesting - back when all this started - that the founders were going to be next and those wanting to remove all references to persons who professed things with which they don't agree were on a slippery slope (which led to the accusation of having expressed a fallacy with a comparison that was absurd). At the time those attacking me said I was being ridiculous to think that removing confederate statues would lead to wanting to remove ones of the founders.
For the record, I don't disagree with you. Being someone who shares some views with some of the people in some of these demonstrations (and defenses of it) it can drive me crazy when they go extreme since I see about 10% of a genuine argument I really can understand and then it changes the nature of the discussion by going extreme. I have no desire to defend those people, yet I want to sometimes defend some of the issues brought forward with those people.

To summarize that rant, even if I disagree with you on the issues I can indeed agree with you on the frustration towards how certain people treat arguing those issues. I should have expressed that in my response, I thought it but didn't share it, that I did also agree with you.

I will suggest that some people speaking out against Jefferson etc isn't necessarily confirmation of the slippery slope confirmed. Basically the first site of a small representation of it isn't confirmation of anything, even if it may still lead to more. Again I don't disagree with you completely, but I'm also not sure I agree with you.

I believe I did post in some of those threads, but mostly in sharing my own perspective, that things come in and out all the time throughout history. Basically slippery slopes leading to movings sliding into other movements do indeed happen and this might happen in this case. Though it's really less of a slipper slope in my opinion than a slippery flat surface (I know far less catchy lol) in that it can easily slip back in the other direction or in a completely new direction as well.

For example the temperance and prohibition movement could be described as a slippery slope. Some valid base concerns based on the context of their time that lead to more and more. Even to an amendment. In the end it wasn't a slope though, since it slipped right back.

At about the same time there were also threads about the slave-holding founders where I was again attacked by several who had serious issues with me saying that they were honorable and admirable men (and were adamant that they were not). It got to be what I considered to be personal attacks. Several of those members are still active and often make a practice of making such attacks. Thus, my prediction that they might attack again. Given all that history I don't consider what I said to be extreme generalizations as it's all happened more than once.

That sort of thing is why I now don't generally engage in such threads; just don't need argument and conflict. My participation here was a weak moment. My best to you.
I can completely understand that. I don't know if I was one, but if I was please message me and let me know since I certainly never intended such a thing. I myself have been personally attacked on completely different grounds here as well.

With that said, I would argue your weakness wasn't participating, it was by participating with your initial post with a generalization and some pretty strong statements yourself not responding to anyone, basically making an extreme argument for people so you can comment against it. I enjoy your posts when you do participate, even ones I disagree with, I genuinely wished you discussed more often (though I completely understand why not). Though I'm not use to you setting up a one sided attack like that, possibly similar to those that attacked you. To be clear without a doubt I'm guilty of the same thing, so I make no argument on superiority or anything, I only share it with you since I think you would be receptive to such a perspective.
 

John Winn

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For the record, I don't disagree with you. Being someone who shares some views with some of the people in some of these demonstrations (and defenses of it) it can drive me crazy when they go extreme since I see about 10% of a genuine argument I really can understand and then it changes the nature of the discussion by going extreme. I have no desire to defend those people, yet I want to sometimes defend some of the issues brought forward with those people.

To summarize that rant, even if I disagree with you on the issues I can indeed agree with you on the frustration towards how certain people treat arguing those issues. I should have expressed that in my response, I thought it but didn't share it, that I did also agree with you.

I will suggest that some people speaking out against Jefferson etc isn't necessarily confirmation of the slippery slope confirmed. Basically the first site of a small representation of it isn't confirmation of anything, even if it may still lead to more. Again I don't disagree with you completely, but I'm also not sure I agree with you.

I believe I did post in some of those threads, but mostly in sharing my own perspective, that things come in and out all the time throughout history. Basically slippery slopes leading to movings sliding into other movements do indeed happen and this might happen in this case. Though it's really less of a slipper slope in my opinion than a slippery flat surface (I know far less catchy lol) in that it can easily slip back in the other direction or in a completely new direction as well.

For example the temperance and prohibition movement could be described as a slippery slope. Some valid base concerns based on the context of their time that lead to more and more. Even to an amendment. In the end it wasn't a slope though, since it slipped right back.



I can completely understand that. I don't know if I was one, but if I was please message me and let me know since I certainly never intended such a thing. I myself have been personally attacked on completely different grounds here as well.

With that said, I would argue your weakness wasn't participating, it was by participating with your initial post with a generalization and some pretty strong statements yourself not responding to anyone, basically making an extreme argument for people so you can comment against it. I enjoy your posts when you do participate, even ones I disagree with, I genuinely wished you discussed more often (though I completely understand why not). Though I'm not use to you setting up a one sided attack like that, possibly similar to those that attacked you. To be clear without a doubt I'm guilty of the same thing, so I make no argument on superiority or anything, I only share it with you since I think you would be receptive to such a perspective.
You were not one of the members to which I referred. I respect you as a thoughtful and helpful member and rarely find myself disagreeing with you (well, maybe in a few small ways from time to time). So, there's no hard feelings.

I admit that my weakness was not only in posting to such a thread (which I should have known better to avoid) but in making the type of statement that I made. I'll try to learn from my mistake.
 
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