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Frederick Douglass vs Thomas Jefferson from Epic Rap Battles of History season 5

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Frederick Douglass absolutely smokes Thomas Jefferson in this battle. 

This rap battle was fairer to Jefferson than I expected.  Touched on in the video is that he tried to end new slavery in the Virginia legislature.  He actually tried to end and/or make reparations for slavery no less than 14 times in various legislatures.  If memory serves, one of these involved trying to fund freed slaves to get back Africa on a well-stocked colonial type boat.  He also freed many of his own slaves. 

Don't get me wrong I think Jefferson was wrong to own slaves in the first place.  But there is often an unwillingness to view things through the historical lens of the time when looking at this complex issue.  I wonder if future environmentalists will look back to today's environmentalists who chose to participate in "the system" rather than live outside it (and effectively lose any influence) in a similar light, i.e. as ridiculous hyprocrites. 

Incidentally, the DNA tests with Sally Hemmings did not show Jefferson was the father of her baby.  It's 50/50 between Jefferson and his brother. 

I didn't realize about the DNA evidence being inconclusive. 

And that's a fascinating thought that Jefferson believed he had to be part of a bad system in order to reform it.

The comparison to environmentalists working with the current system resonates. I used to think they were hypocrites but now I'm not so sure. 

I didn't know there were 6 kids until I saw the video.  Whether or not T.J. was himself the father, it's my opinion that biracial kids showing up on a plantation is prima facie evidence of rape.  Seems like it would have been hard not to notice, but I guess it was one of those things people "looked the other way" about.  Sad.

Yes, really sad. And sad that it took so much fighting and killing to change the American culture. 

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