By Bill Mattox, JMI Resident Fellow
The annual Jefferson-Jackson Fundraising Dinner has been a staple in Democratic Party circles for many years. Recently, however, a number of county organizations have been dropping references to these two 19th Century presidents since both men owned slaves.For example, the Broward Democratic Party called this year’s event, The Democratic Unity Dinner, while the Palm Beach Democratic Party dubbed their gathering last November, The Truman-Kennedy-Johnson Dinner.While these organizations are (obviously) right to object to slavery, it is worth noting that their disparagement of our nation’s early leaders is at odds with the practice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.To his great credit, Dr. King did not treat our nation’s founding fathers as “dead white men” whose words should be dismissed since they sometimes failed to live up to them. Instead, Dr. King rooted his cause in the founders’ own words, saying that it was high time for America to finally embrace Jefferson’s claim that “all men are created equal.”As King noted, “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”Thankfully, Americans heeded King’s call. Let’s hope more people and organizations will follow King’s example.