Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy President's Day! - This Presidents Day, let's remember that not all of them were douchebags

"...not all of the presidents were douchebags?" The more I read, the less sure I am about that statement. Here's three fun facts that you probably haven't considered today -- facts that have changed the way I think of many of our presidents. Something to mull over while you run to catch that white sale at the mall.
  1. Twelve of our presidents -- George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant -- owned slaves. Eight of them owned slaves while serving as president.
  2. Of all the dead presidents in your wallet -- Washington, Lincoln, Hamilton, Grant and Franklin -- Lincoln is the only one that did not own any slaves. Is it any wonder that ex-slaves wanted to honor Lincoln when you hear quotes like this from him? I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” (1865)
  3. According to some sources, Obama is not our first African-American president. There are six presidents that preceded him who are said to have both European and African ancestry. According to the US government (and of course the one drop rule), that's enough to make them legally black. (Trust me -- there were plenty of folk who got harassed, beat down and lynched over that one drop. It matters, then and now.) Who are they? Thomas Jefferson (really?), Andrew Jackson (he was probably bipolar, too -- what a violent nutjob), Abraham Lincoln (no wonder he was so anti-slavery), Warren Harding (everyone knows this one, don't they?), Dwight Eisenhower (surprise! his momma looks like she could be one of my cousins!) and Calvin Coolidge (i didn't know about this one).

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