News & Politics

Columbia Students Say Thomas Jefferson Statue 'Validates Rape'

Students at Columbia University have it pretty good. After all, they’re getting an education at a school that costs over $71,000 per year to attend, so it’s unlikely that many of them have grown up in abject poverty.

But perhaps all of that privilege made them completely insane. For example, some students think a statue of Thomas Jefferson at Columbia is going to get them raped:

A  group of Columbia University students might be reading a little too much into a sculpture that has stood on campus for 103 years. The college’s statue of Thomas Jefferson, located in front of Pulitzer Hall, is now seen by some as a “a symbol of violence against black and brown bodies.”

A group calling themselves the Mobilized African Diaspora — or MAD, have made some absurd demands from the school, from hiring more black faculty, to the school forcing undergraduate students to take compulsory diversity classes. Most recently, however, the group covered the Jefferson statue with a Ku Klux Klan hood and posed in front of it with anti-Jefferson signs in a symbolic protest gesture, according to a photo MAD posted on its Facebook page.

“By portraying him as a klansman, a direct representation of the ideals he believed in, we are contextualizing his racist and sexist legacy,” the group’s Facebook post said. “Only when Jefferson’s face is hidden in this manner can the sinister reality of his actions and legacy be realized. Naturally, the University removed the display after half an hour, thus continuing its tradition of silencing Black voices.”

Removing vandalism from private property is the school “silencing Black voices”? Hmm.

Their recent online post about Jefferson claims that “venerating Thomas validates rape, sexual violence, and racism on this campus,” somehow believing it poses the same threat to minorities as the KKK.

A statue of a Founding Father — someone who died in the 19th century, for crying out loud — validates every evil thing you can think of? Really?

MAD is scared of an inanimate object because, as we see across the country with violence against free speech, they somehow equate speech with actual violence against them.

Was Jefferson a slave owner? Yes. That fact is a stain on his legacy, but he also set the country on a path to abolish slavery and helped create a nation founded on liberty. This nation’s greatest shame was allowing slavery to last in this land for as long as it did, especially while espousing rhetoric about how all men are created equal.

Eventually, hundreds of white men, believing in Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, died to free the slaves.

Jefferson’s statue is not encouraging anyone to rape or commit race-fueled crime. That’s pure idiocy designed to intimidate people who wish to engage in productive discussion.

Of course, groups like MAD don’t want discussion. They want capitulation.