South Bend, Indiana Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg told radio host Hugh Hewitt he thinks we should remove President Thomas Jefferson's name from all buildings, honors and events.
He specifically used the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, a Democrat fundraiser, as an example of something that needs to be rebranded without the former President's name. In Indiana they renamed the event the "Hoosier Hospitality Dinner".
Mayor Pete said, "Yeah, we're doing that in Indiana. I think it's the right thing to do."
He continued, "Over time, you develop and evolve on the things you choose to honor, Jefferson is more problematic. There's a lot, of course, to admire in his thinking and his philosophy, but then again if you plunge into his writings, especially the notes on the state of Virginia, you know that he knew slavery was wrong. We are all morally conflicted human beings."
Mayor Pete continued by suggesting we should remove Jefferson's name from every building, honor or event across the nation.
The Democrat candidate explained, "The real reason I think there is a lot of pressure on this is the relationship between the past and present that we're finding in a million different ways that racism isn't some curiosity out of the past that we're embarrassed about but moved on from."
Jefferson owned 175 slaves during his life. He also authored a law prohibiting the importation of new slaves into the state of Virginia in 1778.
Jefferson officially abolished the slave trade in the United States in 1807 but in many cases the practice continued.
It's easy to judge historic figures by modern day standards, but it doesn't mean we should. Jefferson's contributions to the founding of the United States of America are too important to be ignored.