News and Commentary

Jefferson Statue At William & Mary Vandalized With Fake Blood, Targeted As Slave Owner

A William & Mary student photographed a Thomas Jefferson statue’s hands vandalized with fake blood, posted it on Facebook, and captioned his photo, “Overseen: TJ caught with the blood of all the people he owned on his hands.”

According to Bizpacreview, “The red paint below the statue seems to scrawl out “slave owner.” The photos, posted on Facebook, elicited numerous comments condemning the vandalism, including:

What does this accomplish? I know this likely isn’t the case with many other places, but at least in this community of intelligent, well-read people, I would imagine that most people here are aware that Jefferson did indeed own slaves. Owning slaves is shitty and inexcusable, full stop. But I’m confused about what this accomplishes.

Oh just stop it. If you didn’t want to go to a school that one of our Founding Fathers went to- then protest by matriculating elsewhere.

Vandalizing a statue isn’t acknowledging racism, you are literally attending school at a place that was built during the prime of Virginia Slavery… perhaps you should have considered that and attended some place in CA if it bothers you that much . . . you can’t change history by vandalizing statues at W&M and you aren’t some sort of whistle blower, the world knows what Jefferson did and it has decided it is okay with his contributions both good and bad. Rarely does anyone live a saintly life without some flaws… except Jesus but half the people on this campus don’t want to hear about Jesus or Jefferson… so….

Congrats about whining about the life of a guy who died almost 200 years ago. Your virtue has been signaled.

But he didn’t kill any of the slaves that he owned (to my knowledge), so why would he have their blood on his hands? This protest makes no sense.

I’m always annoyed at people who can’t understand that people are shaped by the society that they were raised in. All these people who are ranting against Jefferson probably would have owned slaves themselves if they had been born as a rich white man in the 18th century. They are such hypocrites.

Jefferson indeed owned slaves all his life, but he also submitted to the Continental Congress the Report of a Plan of Government for the Western Territory in 1784; the plan would have prohibited slavery in all new states carved out of the western territories ceded to the national government established under the Articles of Confederation, and would have prohibited slavery completely by 1800 in all territories. He also denounced the international slave trade and called for a law to make it a crime as president in 1806.