As the nation watches hate groups assemble in Charlottesville this weekend, it is important for those of us who live and work here to uphold our shared values and beliefs. Hate has no place at Monticello, or in our community. The Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello stands against racism and bigotry in all its forms. We continue to be disturbed by the demonstrations that have been planned in our city by outside groups. Civil discourse cannot occur without an underlying platform of equality for all participants. Today’s debates around race are testimony to the persistent shadow of slavery, and the scars of inequality and marginalization that still hinder the guarantee of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for all.
Monticello is an essential place to understand our history with slavery and the consequences we experience today. We strive to offer an honest, complicated, and inclusive view of the past. Much can be gained from bringing history forward into dialogue.
We will continue to foster these conversations. At the same time, we oppose any display of hatred in our city, and stand with those who have been marginalized. We look forward to continuing to work with our community to engage the past, and create a more tolerant, informed, and democratic future.