As a native Virginian from the Tidewater, I was brought up with a solid grounding in Virginia and American history, born and raised in Newport News, a town no more than thirty miles from Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. aptly called the Historic Triangle. The Commonwealth, a colony in Jefferson's early life, was the home of many of the leaders of the Revolution and the emerging American government. Jefferson and fellow Virginian George Washington were the two major players in my development with a patriotic passion for our land, although many other great Virginians are also of note. While Washington gained his initial fame from military service, Jefferson gained it as a writer and diplomat. Not only was he considered the principal writer of the Declaration of Independence, it was his work along with Benjamin Franklin as diplomats in Europe to gain favor and support from the French for the cause of freedom. That effort, of course, culminated in the Marquis de Lafayette leading a French fleet to the mouth of the Chesapeake which blocked any chance of Lord Cornwallis and his soldiers escaping from Yorktown. It's why the defeat was called the "shot heard round the world" since the entire civilized world learned how the fledgling Continental Army had bested the most powerful military force of its day, the British.
So, the new country was formed, it went through approximately six years of turmoil under the Articles of Confederation before work was done on the Constitution which became the most ambitious and well thought out way for the American experiment in self-government to get it's roots in the ground. Washington was selected as the nation's first President. Twelve years later, Jefferson would become President and during his two terms the nation began to prosper and sow the seeds of major expansion with the acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase. It is also of interest that the two surveyors and explorers who identified the territory to be acquired, Meriwether Lewis and George Rogers, were also born and raised in Virginia as well.
Fast forward to 2019 and what do we find? Well, it's sad to say but so many of our universities, including Virginia's namesake school, finds itself infected with political correctness in its administrative leadership and the professorial ranks. Nowhere is it more prevalent than in the liberal arts, an area where traditional open discourse and honest debate was born and was the rule here and in most institutions of higher education nationwide up until recent generations. The very foundation for searching for the truth and opening minds to individual assessment, is dying. And there have even been some who say that Mr. Jefferson's mark on the university should be ended, that his views on race negate all of his other works. Somehow they think that they can judge the man by today's standards in times hundreds of years ago. Really? And if done, there goes not only the vestiges of the man who cobbled together the Declaration of Independence and inspired the creation of the university, but what really happened in our past and from which we learn to correct past mistakes. Sure, Jefferson made mistakes and I defy anyone who reads this to say with a straight face that they are perfect for I know they can't. Yes, we can do wonderful things while making large mistakes, but that's why we need someone much greater than us or this world to gain guidance from, Almighty Providence. Funny how some of the same people want to end that relationship as well.
So, while we celebrate the great success of Mr. Jefferson's school on the court last night, perhaps we should pay more attention to what is going on in the classroom in this and any other university today. After all, if Virginians had practiced political correctness in those times, not only would we likely still be flying the Union Jack, we'd probably still have slavery as well. Political correctness has nothing to do with truth, it has to do with ideology. Almost anything can be justified through an ideology, but there is only one truth. We can avoid it, but we can't escape it. Think about that as we savor the moment of sports victory.