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View Diary: Empathy and Race (39 comments)

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    ladybug53, native, glorificus, SoCalSal

    Not an easy thing to do. I'll just share a few of mine. Garrido, as far as I know, did nothing good for humanity to counteract his crimes. Jefferson, on the other hand, did exactly the awful things you described, and also did tremendous good as well, and both must be a part of the record people learn about. In authoring the Declaration of Independence, he created the document that helped, over time, bring freedom and equality even to those denied those things by its author, even to those who the author's bigotry refused to recognize as worthy of it. His positive contributions are well known, and with good reason. It is also a good thing that we now have more knowledge about the awful things he did as well, as that must be a part of our understanding of the man.

    It sounds like your date had an unsophisticated, worshipful view of a man who, like our country, was capable of doing both great things and committing horrible crimes. Jefferson cannot "make right" the wrongs he did, no one can, at least not after they are gone. Our country can and must always strive to improve how we treat our own people. To sum up, your date may not have been able to understand your perspective because his own was quite limited, and that's his loss.

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