Things like freedom of the press and freedom of speech, which seemed like a good idea in 1789, now seem really dangerous to us and we’ve started to agree with King George III about the undesirability of those liberties. Our forebears minded the torture and cruel and unusual punishments imposed by the king. But we have gone back to torturing people.
At the end of his life, Thomas Jefferson regretted much about what the country he helped build had become. Today, midway through Black History Month, we turn an eye to his repudiation of slavery in a passage that failed to make it into the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.