Wonder of wonders, a progressive university president in a deep blue pocket of a deep blue state refused to cave in to left-wing student activists.
As we pointed out before, this controversy has been raging for some time. “After consultation with students, faculty, administration, alumni, trustees, and other friends of the University, I have decided that the Thomas Jefferson statue will remain where it is at the entrance of the Sondra and David S. Mack Student Center,” Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz declared in a message posted yesterday. “I have given this matter considerable thought and want to share my views with you.”
“On the one hand, Thomas Jefferson articulated the best of our ideals in the Declaration of Independence and was a defender of freedom in helping to create a new nation: the United States of America. That he was also a man of his time, unable to fully implement the bold vision articulated in the Declaration and the Bill of Rights, is, viewed through a contemporary lens, difficult to understand or forgive. Yet few of our founding fathers were able to live out the dream they had sketched out, which was the unprecedented vision of a free and equal world. Their words were, in many ways, far ahead of their time and certainly ahead of their actions.”
“And still, today, the founding fathers represent the duality of the American character and the difficulty of our history: freedom and oppression, equality and injustice, in issues of race, gender, religion and origin, that we have dealt with since our founding and will deal with for years to come. Yet in the documents most critical to our national character these men of their time laid out a vision of a world in which all people are created equal. It is this vision we celebrate and honor in our Founding Fathers, even as we wrestle with their human and indefensible failings.”
Read the entire message, linked to above. It is well worth pondering, particularly at a time when few elites demonstrate any any sense of history.