Thursday, February 27, 2014
Abolitionist or Terrorist?
Historian Kenneth Gray once stated that there existed a thin line between what one can call a patriot and terrorists. He basic argument was that those the advocate a change for what they honestly believe to be fundamentally "right" can indeed be considered a true patriot. Did not Thomas Jefferson state:
"And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Yet, one could, if one so desired, interpret the call to "...let them take arms" and "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots" to be a form of terrorism. The Oxford dictionary definition of the word terrorism is, "the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims." Therefore, one can clearly see Gray's point by stating that their exist that "thin line" between the two.
On February 14th of this year, a group of activists in Charleston, SC unveiled what has become a very controversial statue of the black abolitionists, Denmark Vesey. The "New York Times" recently wrote an opinion piece on the controversy. Click here to read the article and then fire away on the blog question for this week... should be an interesting one!!!
First, do you agree with historian Kenneth Gray that there really does exist a thin line between what one may call a terrorists or a patriot? After reading the article, what is your opinion on the statue of Denmark Vesey - should it be celebrated or does it glorify the wrong message?