The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday February 28th

Letter: ​Humanitarianism is not an elite ideology


I was more than a little amazed when I read John Jacobi’s letter to the Daily Tar Heel on Thursday where he referred to “social justice and humanitarianism” as ELITE IDEOLOGIES.

And so I am now just a little curious as to try and imagine what he may have thought about the (so-called) “Founding Fathers” of this country had Mr. Jacobi been living in America under the leadership of those such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or James Madison (slave-owners all).

As I understand even the most rudimentary facts of life in the colonies at the time of the Revolution of 1776, only land-owning, white men were allowed to vote in elections in this country.

In addition, no Catholics, Jews or Quakers were allowed to vote.

As we also know, no women, not even the wives or daughters of those “wealthy, white land-owners”, were allowed full voting rights, in every state, until 1920.

But most egregiously, perhaps, is the fact that African Americans in many states, particularly in the South, were not granted full voting rights until as recently as the mid-sixties, with the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

What else, then, could Mr. Jacobi possibly wish to call all those who have continued to make quite concentrated efforts, in this example, to deny full legal rights to all Americans over the long history of this country, anything else but “conservative elites”?

Marshall S. Wade

Class of ’70

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