JaLoni Owens, the student that led the effort to have the statue of Thomas Jefferson removed from Hofstra University, is throwing an epic—and mind-bogglingly preposterous—hissy fit because the school’s president didn’t reflexively cave in to her demands.
In a recent op-ed she penned for The Hofstra Chronicle (on newsstands now!), Owens appeared gob-smacked that President Stuart Rabinowitz had the unmitigated gall to possess an opinion differing from her own.
According to The College Fix, she wondered what might bring him to his senses. Will it be “[Jefferson’s] repeated rape of multiracial slave Sally Hemmings?” she asked. Or perhaps his “documented calls for the genocide and mass murder of enslaved populations?” His role in “sustaining slavery in America and having owned over 600 slaves over the course of his lifetime?”
Ms. Owens was utterly unsatisfied when President Rabinowitz stated, at an April 25th town hall meeting, that “every single student on this campus” mattered to him in response to Owens asking him what students of color have to do to feel as “valued” as their white peers. This remark was so offensive to Owens and her friends, in fact, that they stood up, turned their backs (and butts) to the university’s president, and held up signs reading “Black Lives Matter! Does Hofstra agree?”
To which Rabinowitz replied: “I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say Black Lives Matter applies to the Jefferson statue. Secondly, of course black lives matter, and thirdly, this doesn’t add to the conversation. I am certainly dumbfounded as to what you really want to accomplish. If you really want to accomplish something, why don’t you talk to us and not turn your back on us and hold up a sign and remain mute? Free speech is free speech, but on a pragmatic matter … It’s not gonna get the statue removed.”
At this, Owens came unhinged. She called the president’s remarks “condescending” and “invalidating.” She said Rabinowitz “has absolutely no idea what it is like to be black, a woman and unapologetic about those identities.” She averred that his comments filled her with such anger she “was unable to process to an extent that permitted [her] to write about it until this week.”
She continued, foaming at the mouth/pen/keyboard: “President Rabinowitz has no idea how traumatizing it has been for me to force myself to abide by respectability politics because as my pain and its validity is labeled divisive and misdirected, is the lede of journalism course assignments, is the subject of academic papers and is the motivation behind social media posts labeling me a terrorist.”
And she continued continuing: “President Rabinowitz has no idea how exhausting it is to lose sleep and to struggle to eat because even though you know that you are on the right side of this issue, you have been so conditioned by American society to feel guilty about being black, about the discomfort your skin color arouses in white people, about vocalizing distress when racism is too much to handle that day and about telling your peers or your professors ‘that is not funny’ when your oppression becomes the joke.”
Tragically, she still wasn’t done: “President Rabinowitz has no idea what it is like to be chased out of your chosen field of study because of the pervasiveness of racism and misogyny within that department, to then report these experiences to a dean of that college and be told that one of the professors who made you feel so vulnerable and inadequate is going to be promoted rather than disciplined and to now anxiously await a meeting with Community Standards because my social media post accusing a professor of racism garnered more attention than my social media posts about experiencing racism.”
Ms. Owens eventually concluded her excruciatingly emotive rant, stating that Rabinowitz needs to “do his job” and rid the campus of Jefferson’s statue.
Thomas Jefferson did not call for the genocide and mass murder of enslaved populations. He is on record countless times disparaging slavery and attempting to find ways to end it. He treated his own slaves comparatively well, considering them more like extended family members. He did not “rape” Sally Hemmings, at least not in the context in which the term was used at the time. If he did father children by her it was from a misplaced form of affection. She was his “favorite.”
It is, unquestionably, traditional conservatives who are discriminated against on college campuses today. They are routinely mocked, shunned and even assaulted. They are prevented from speaking and blamed for the violence committed by those who mock, shun and assault them. Conservative groups are banned or shut down. Their signs or banners are summarily removed or destroyed. Christianity is openly ridiculed, while “Anal Sex Workshops” are promoted. White males and masculinity in general are continuously denigrated, yet “transgenders” are permitted to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice and the LGBTQIA community is embraced (and feared). There are more women than men on college campuses today. In matters of potential harassment, women are believed no matter what, total lack of evidence be damned. Innocent men’s lives are ruined and they are forced off campus. Women and—especially-- people of color are given preferential treatment, via Affirmative Action, quotas, adjusted standards and omnipresent politically correct pressure.
Thomas Jefferson did more to free (the vast majority of) people around the world from slavery than anyone who has ever lived. Period. He wrote the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming to all: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Natural Law asserts that no person or group of people, i.e. government, has the right to arbitrarily enslave any other person or group of people…because the Creator has imbued them with intrinsic worth and freedom, a Law which supersedes any man can enact. This is the one and only idea that simultaneously protects every human being from coerced servitude while also attributing to them divine worth. Slavery was anything but unique to America. Jefferson wanted to end it in a way that did not rip his country apart or leave the emancipated in chaos and despair. The United States did end slavery. Nearly 600,000 souls died in the effort. Billions are still enslaved around the world today, in various ways.
Jefferson once said, “I have sworn on the Altar of God, eternal hostility to all forms of tyranny over the minds of man.”
By contrast, JaLoni Owens revels in the self-imposed tyranny with which she has victimized herself. She refuses to be anything but a victim. She marinates in her own bitterness, wallows in every perceived slight, and steadfastly, pathetically, refuses to acknowledge the obvious (self-evident?). By so openly seeking to have the Jefferson statue removed from her sight, she surreptitiously tries to erect a figurative statue to herself, a helpless, virtue-signaling, oppressed heroine of the aggrieved. She is the anti-Frederick Douglas. It is easier to attack Clarence Thomas than to equal his achievements. It is easier, even, to chastise Kanye West than to admit he may have a point. The contrast between JaLoni Owens and Candice Owens couldn’t be clearer.
JaLoni Owens has tyrannized her own mind. She is a prisoner of her own device. She has systematically enslaved herself.
Jefferson also said, “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free.”
Jefferson, Lincoln and many others have done what they could to abolish slavery, both of the mind and the body.
It is now up to JaLoni Owens, and those like her, to set themselves free.