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UVA Students, Faculty ‘Deeply Offended’ by Thomas Jefferson Quoted at School He Founded

It was the state’s first true public university.

Known as the “Father of the University of Virginia,” Jefferson was laid to rest at his home in Monticello, less than 10 miles from his school.

Jefferson embodied the contradictions of his time. He was a slave owner, who wrote “all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence. But Martin Luther King Jr., for example, regularly evoked Jefferson’s words in his speeches. On Sept. 12, 1962, King spoke at the New York Civil War Centennial Commission’s Emancipation Proclamation Observance in New York City. There he said, “Jefferson with keen perception saw that the festering sore of slavery debilitated white masters as well as the Negro. He feared for the future of white children who were taught a false supremacy. His concern can be summed up in one quotation, ‘I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.’”

Now, a group of students and faculty members at the very school Jefferson founded have chastised the university president for quoting him in a statement she made after the election of Donald Trump.