“Black people forget trauma easily, anything of malice done to them will be forgotten at some point by their feeble brains.” — Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of the United States of America- in his only book Notes on the State of Virginia (1784).
“I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman.” — Susan B. Anthony, a pivotal activist for women’s suffrage movement- said at a meeting with slavery abolitionist Frederick Douglass in 1866.
“Black people are too stupid to vote for me.” — President Donald Trump, 45th president of The United States of America- in a conversation with his former attorney Michael Cohen in 2016.
“I think one man is as good as another so long as he’s honest and decent and not a nigger or a Chinaman.” — Harry S. Truman, 33rd president of the United States of America, in a letter to his wife dated 1911.
“Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802.” — Bill O’Reilly when talking about Michelle Obama’s comment on how she “lives in a house that was built by slaves.” in 2016.
“This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government for white men.” — Andrew Johnson, 17th president of the United States of America, in 1866.
These are a collection of comments that span hundreds of years that were made from various people that range from esteemed presidents, suffragettes, and TV personalities. The thread that connects them all?
Let’s start with Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson is a complicated, confusing human being. He’s praised for being a founding father- an architect of the America we know today. Still, he was also a brutal slave owner who both advocated for the abolition of slavery yet freed barely any of his slaves after his death. Why? How? Jefferson’s seemingly strong morals went entirely out the window when it came to owning black people, so what was his rationale? Well, Jefferson had A LOT to say about black people, none of it flattering.