The famous statue of Thomas Jefferson on the campus of William and Mary (Jefferson’s alma mater) has been covered in sticky notes by student protestors.
“RAPIST RAPIST RAPIST”
“Racism is a choice”
“How dare you glorify him”
These are just a few of the hateful messages that covered the statue from top to bottom.
One William & Mary student wrote about his experience in the Flat Hat News:
Walking down old campus this past week, I saw the statue of Thomas Jefferson covered in sticky notes insulting him and his legacy. Jefferson was a great inventor, a true polymath, one of the better founding fathers, former president of this country and subjectively one of the greatest figures of the 18th century. People today might not even be able to post such messages on Jefferson’s statue as they did without the right to freedom of speech that anti-Federalists like Jefferson pushed for.
Thomas Jefferson wrote our Declaration of Independence which allowed us to create our Constitution which assured us our right to express our opinion. Being a life-long champion of Jefferson, I believe that Jefferson would find no offense in people expressing their opinion. What he would find offensive is that reasonable people did not challenge them in fear of public scrutiny. Jefferson once said that, “if there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.”
Let people express their opinion as they chose to do so. However, we must have people of reason combat it.