Did Presidents Washington and Jefferson practice what they preached? Jim Wallis’ November 2017 editorial, “White ‘Heritage’ vs. the Gospel,” suggests an alternative to tearing down monuments: educational plaques stating the historical truth. I agree. Here are my suggested plaques for the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. The Washington Monument: First president, father of our country, led American Revolution which won freedom from British tyranny. Misused this freedom to continue practicing tyranny over black slaves. The Jefferson Memorial: Third president, authored Declaration of Independence which proclaimed all men are created equal. Proclaimed equality but practiced rich, white, male superiority.
Needing More than a Sermon
While what Jim Wallis says in “White ‘Heritage’ vs. the Gospel” talks to the issue of racism, he has not spoken to the most important issue the church should be addressing: the hundreds of years of preaching and teaching that defined Africans and others as not fully human. These centuries of defending slavery and slave wages cannot be overcome in the few years since the 1950s by just an occasional sermon or resolution.
Schenectady, New York