Also important to note that just because several prominent peolple and founding fathers of this country opposed slavery doesn't mean that they, in turn, thought free men and women of color should hold all the rights of white people including the right to vote.
Several who opposed slavery also really wanted to see free men and women of color sent "back to Africa" because well... the reasons were many different ones ranging from fears that former slaves would rise up and try to take revenge to history's version of 'because they would become welfare queens' to an honest misconception that they would be "happier" in their anscestral homeland... but it didn't change the fact that they really didn't want them HERE.
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And while Jefferson opposed slavery, he didn't even free his slaves in his will. Neither did Washington technically. He freed his slaves upon his wife's death, but she freed them a couple years later because she was worried that some might grow impatient waiting for freedom. I don't remember when/if she freed her own slaves. (She owned twice as many as George.)
Also, my point is that Washington and Jefferson weren't exactly bucking the status quo of their day. Despite Nerdlinger's quotes, they both owned hundreds of slaves. George Washington even signed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 into law. Neither man freed their slaves upon their death, and even though both men expressed a private dislike of slavery, they also believed black people were incapable of taking care of themselves, that slavery was necessary to their safety, and that if slavery was abolished, all black people should be sent back to Africa to prevent an uprising.
I don't want to derail the thread, but I just think it's interesting that every time you mention the founding fathers and slavery, people will bend over backwards to show how anti-slavery they were. They weren't. They were products of their time, and full participants in a system that benefited them. And there's nothing wrong with saying so.
And that's the whole reason I brought them up. Because our historical figures being okay with things in the past doesn't mean we should be okay with them now.
My favorite history professor in college, Reverend Coffee, once said, "There are many people in history who were great men. This is not the same as being a good man."
I would add to that, "Being a good man is not the same as being a perfect man."
“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”
"I solemnly pledge to do my utmost to uphold the fair name of the Jews -- because bigotry in any form is an affront to us all."
"It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important. "
"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. "
"When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. "
Even if in 1968 MLK Jr didn't outright say he was for Gay Rights, it wasn't really discussed back then, he was very clear about equality for all. He may not have even supported the possibility personally, but he knew the importance of protecting the civil liberties of all.