Jim … Jim … poor Jim Hofmann (“Happy Birthday, Thomas Jefferson,” Moab Sun News, April 18).
Thomas Jefferson, we are indoctrinated to believe, was a pillar amongst the founding fathers. Nothing
paternalistic there, mind you.
“All men are created equal?” If you were a white, male, landowner, sure, but not anyone else, not to mention the other 50% of the population, i.e. the founding mothers.
Our forefathers immigrated from Europe (you understand that, right?), to escape how thoroughly that
continent had been ruined by religious white guys. But they came with an attitude. “Hey, nice new
continent! Let’s just take it” (Cue up Bruce Cockburn, “Stolen Land”). Oh, and now that we have stolen it, let’s use slaves as human chattel to enrich ourselves. Tom Jefferson had 600 slaves. Slaves built most of the White House. Almost all of the economy in the 18th and 19th centuries, which made America the envy of the world, was built on the backs of slaves and immigrants. The guys on plantations and in mansions like Tom’s Monticello just collected the loot. Nice system. Let’s call it capitalism.
Oh, and the actual Native Americans who were doing just fine despite not being rich white guys, the thought was let’s just kill them, or at least get them the heck out of our way. Look out for manifest destiny, Native Americans. You can’t stop it, and if you try, we will have no choice other than to inflict additional punishment.
Let me ask a simple question: How is it the “we the people” have god-given rights and freedoms, while
most of the rest of the world does not? The sky fairy, one is compelled to conclude, must be a racist and
How has the history of religious white guys played out? An unending stream of war, conquest and destruction. It’s an entitlement thing, right? If we want it, we’ll just take it. Many of you probably know
the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers.” If you don’t, Google it. It’s horrifying. Take out “the cross of Jesus going on before,” and you essentially have the ISIS playbook.
Our task is not to venerate ancient autocrats who penned pretty documents they quite obviously did not
believe, much less follow. It is to recognize that America, this whole continent, still, despite its history,
retains the potential for the realization that humans can be a driving force for a sane, and just, and
humane planet — not just for us, but for the miracle of all life that has evolved over billions of years,
despite the ambivalence, if not disdain of Jim’s sky fairy.
America is still a young country. An infant country, relatively speaking. Sooner or later though, all the
great and mighty empires fall due to greed and deprivation which the “little people” ultimately, can no
longer tolerate. Despite America’s youth and power, little cracks and fissures in the national fabric are
already beginning to show. Think about the orange abomination currently occupying the White House.
By the way, if you are interested in real American history rather than manufactured tripe, check out Howard Zinn or Derrick Jensen or Noam Chomsky or legions of others who are not afraid of truth and
Be kind and wise and generous, and always do unto others…