(Thomas Jefferson’s racist views about African Americans)
from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by email@example.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
Minutes after expressing my doubts about the reasons for publishing of Jefferson’s writings in Arabic by Saqi books, Yaman sent me this regarding the collection of writings by Thomas Jefferson in Arabic. The question I have is this: will Saqi Books also publish Jefferson’s Notes on Virginia? Will they translate into Arabic what Jefferson said about blacks: “advance it therefore as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind. It is not against experience to suppose, that different species of the same genus, or varieties of the same species, may possess different qualifications. Will not a lover of natural history then, one who views the gradations in all the races of animals with the eye of philosophy, excuse an effort to keep those in the department of man as distinct as nature has formed them? This unfortunate difference of colour, and perhaps of faculty, is a powerful obstacle to the emancipation of these people. Many of their advocates, while they wish to vindicate the liberty of human nature, are anxious also to preserve its dignity and beauty. Some of these, embarrassed by the question `What further is to be done with them?’ join themselves in opposition with those who are actuated by sordid avarice only. Among the Romans emancipation required but one effort. The slave, when made free, might mix with, without staining the blood of his master. But with us a second is necessary, unknown to history. When freed, he is to be removed beyond the reach of mixture.” Or would that be offensive to the purpose of promoting Jefferson?