Should George Washington Be Canceled?
George Washington holds such a high status in the American cultural imagination that we often say he couldn’t tell a lie. That said, he was a slave owner. How will we reconcile these conflicting images of our country’s first president? More at Fox News.
On the issue of American slavery, I am an absolutist: enslavers were amoral monsters… No person’s honorifics can erase the horror he or she has inflicted on others.
Washington and Jefferson, who did not die fighting explicitly for a white supremacist state but had a hand in creating one, are more complicated. Their monuments shouldn’t be destroyed, but their myths must be.
George Washington owned slaves, but he also founded a nation dedicated to the idea whose incompatibility with slavery made its eradication inevitable. Defacing or toppling his monuments dishonors the country.