Founding father James Madison sidelined by woke history in his own home

NorthernHawkeye

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Dec 23, 2007
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By Mary Kay Linge and Jon Levine

The globalist billionaire who funded the woke transformation of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello paid for a similar overhaul of James Madison’s house — where the author of the US Constitution has been shoved into a supporting role, while slavery and racism take center stage.

No American flags fly at Montpelier, Madison’s plantation home in rural Virginia, and not a single display focuses on the life and accomplishments of America’s foremost political philosopher, who created our three-branch federal system of government, wrote the Bill of Rights and the Federalist Papers, and served two terms as president.

Instead, blindsided tourists are hammered by high-tech exhibits about Madison’s slaves and current racial conflicts, thanks to a $10 million grant from left-leaning philanthropist David M. Rubenstein.

“I was kind of thinking we’d be hearing more about the Constitution,” one baffled dad said when The Post visited the president’s home this week. “But everything here is really about slavery.”

“It’s been inspirational … I guess,” shrugged John from Wisconsin after taking the $35 guided tour.

Reviewers on social media have been more harsh.

“They really miss the mark,” Greg Hancock of Mesa, Ariz. posted last week. “We left disappointed not having learned more about … the creation of the Constitution.”

“The worst part were the gross historical inaccuracies and constant bias exhibited by the tour guide,” complained AlexZ, who visited July 8.

Visitors to Montpelier get to see just three rooms in the sprawling mansion. The estate “made Madison the philosopher, farmer, statesman, and enslaver that he was,” the guide said as The Post’s group entered the home — a line she repeated at the end of her spiel.

Outdoors and in the house’s huge basement, dozens of interactive stations seek to draw a direct line between slavery, the Constitution, and the problems of African Americans today.

“A one hour Critical Race Theory experience disguised as a tour,” groused Mike Lapolla of Tulsa, Okla., after visiting last August.

Hurricane Katrina flooding, the Ferguson riots, incarceration, and more all trace back to slavery, according to a 10-minute multi-screen video.

Another exhibit damns every one of the nation’s first 18 presidents — even those, like John Adams and Abraham Lincoln, who never owned slaves — for having benefited from slavery in some way.

The only in-depth material about the Constitution itself appears in a display that pushes the claim, championed by the controversial 1619 Project, that racism was the driving force behind the entire American political system.

Even the children’s section of the gift shop leans far left, with titles like “Antiracist Baby” by Ibram X. Kendi and “She Persisted” by Chelsea Clinton.

Virginia Rep. Bob Good called the historical rewrite “a deliberate attack on those founding institutions.”

“The left is trying to revise our history and is perpetuating a dishonest narrative,” the Republican said.

But the progressive programming will likely accelerate in the wake of a board battle at the Montpelier Foundation, the nonprofit that runs the estate.

In May, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which owns the home, forced the board to accept a slate of left-wing activist members in the name of racial equity.

The new members aim to transform Montpelier into “a black history and black rights organization that could care less about James Madison and his legacy,” board member Mary Alexander, a documented descendant of Madison’s slave Paul Jennings, told the Orange County Review.

“There were hundreds of thousands of slave owners,” Alexander said. “But not hundreds of thousands who wrote the Constitution.”

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who rose to power on parent outcry over critical race theory in public schools, refused to comment on Rubensteins donation — although the two were close allies at the Carlyle Group investment firm, where both made their fortunes.

“The governor believes we should teach all history, including the good and the bad, but firmly believes that we shouldn’t distort it,” said Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter.

“This is part of a larger movement to distort the legacy of the Founders and undermine the principles they put forth,” said Brenda Hafera of the Heritage Foundation’s Simon Center for American Studies.

“If you can undermine the Founders, you create the opportunity for those principles to be replaced by something else,” she said — “something like Critical Race Theory or identity politics.”

 

THE_DEVIL

HR King
Aug 16, 2005
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Hell, Michigan
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First off the tour is expensive.

But the worst part were the gross historical inaccuracies and constant bias exhibited by the tour guide. This is a historic house owned by James Madison, who probably did more to bring the US Constitution to life than any other person. And given the times and his economic status he owned slaves. Both are worthy of discussion, but not at all the balance we got on this tour. Constant discussion of slaves, including a genetically disproven story that one of them had a child by him.

This being a historic location, even handed and fact based discussion is needed, or the experience is a poor one.

Cannot recommend and even wonder why even preserve the main structure at all.

=================================================================================

his hotel likely has not recovered from Covid disruption. Location is wonderful. The staff provided little service and needs lots of training. Facility is worn down and tired. Paid a high price and got little in return. Someone needs to get a grip and turn this place around. Will not dwell on the myriad of reasons why this rating. But will be happy to communicate them directly with management.
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You pay to get on the grounds. If you want to tour the house only 3 rooms are open for an additional fee. Horses seems to be a popular thing with a horse track at the entrance and the graves of three horses beyond the pagoda. They include two short films but they really miss the mark on talking about the constitution and the role of Madison in authoring it. It is touched on, but more energy and the apparent focus they want to on slavery which was the way of life then. That was educational but we left disappointed not having learned more about the history of the creation of the constitution.
 

LuteHawk

HR Legend
Nov 30, 2011
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Our family visited James Madison's mansion at Montpelier
in 2001. We paid $5 a person and our tour was self-guided.
We saw more than 3 rooms in the mansion and had an
extensive outside walk on the estate grounds itself. One
hostess was on duty and she answered some questions
we had about the various rooms. Glad we went there
before the hostile takeover.
 
May 17, 2021
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Madison owned more than 100 enslaved people, inherited from his father, and he enlarged the plantation, buying more enslaved people. His wealth and power was built on the whipped and bent backs of black enslaved people. As was Jefferson's and Washington's. And Washington, to top that off, was a leading land surveyer, calling in "well regulated militias" to commit genocide, as he was called by indigenous peoples as "the village destroyer". Get your heads around that.

I was taught in gradeschool to worship these people. I barely learned anything real about them other than cherry trees and wooden teeth and battles and marble statues. That's propaganda, nothing else.

I want the WHOLE story, not some whitewashed white supremacist christian fascist manifest destiny genocidal bullshit.

The museum has a Center for the Constitution too, a document that was itself a compromise to accommodate, enable, and expand slavery. The US Senate exists as it does - a ridiculous legislative body that gives tiny population states preposterous overrepresention versus huge states. That Wyoming has as many senators as California (FIFTY TIMES the population as wyoming), and that red states can enforce minority rule is killing democracy itself, and all that was an accommodation to smaller population "slave states".

The Constitution isn't a divine document. It's a terrible compromise and concession to slavery.

Newsflash: the bible isn't literally true. The constitution isn't the word of god. Grow the f*** up and stop the childish blind worship of dead old men.

If I entered an operating theater and a doctor told me that she'd use a medical textbook from the 18th century to perform heart surgery, I'd promptly ask her for a cyanide pill. Why we think that something written almost 250 years ago serves us well today is pure lunacy.
 
May 17, 2021
1,216
2,611
113
Our family visited James Madison's mansion at Montpelier
in 2001. We paid $5 a person and our tour was self-guided.
We saw more than 3 rooms in the mansion and had an
extensive outside walk on the estate grounds itself. One
hostess was on duty and she answered some questions
we had about the various rooms. Glad we went there
before the hostile takeover.
Aww. I'm so sorry your experience was so much easier. Maybe you need to go to the Noah's Ark museum in Kentucky to see how the dinosaurs frolicked with lilly white cave people in the years just after the earth was created 6,000 years ago? Because the bible tells me so...

Who's hostile? People like Washington and Jefferson and Madison who owned slaves and organized genocides.

Maybe you like your Aunt Jemima syrupy sick whitewashed "history" better? Easier that way. White people are so eager to forget and wash their hands of actual history, actual facts.
 

mnole03

HR Legend
Mar 20, 2005
22,595
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Here are Madison’s notes from the constitutional debate. No need to distort anything about the Framers. This is how the sausage was made.


August 22nd is essentially the Wannsee Conference. A debate where a few people forced 20 years of slave importation that resulted in the deaths of 250k-500k people in transport.
 
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Colonoscopy

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Feb 20, 2022
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If I entered an operating theater and a doctor told me that she'd use a medical textbook from the 18th century to perform heart surgery, I'd promptly ask her for a cyanide pill. Why we think that something written almost 250 years ago serves us well today is pure lunacy.
It couldn't have been half-bad, Dave, considering we're the oldest continuous democracy in the world.

 

Colonoscopy

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Feb 20, 2022
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They talked about slavery on a plantation tour.

You snowflakes have outdone yourselves.
I think everybody is missing on this one.

The implication, from the article, is that the "James Madison experience" has been modified in such a way that it's largely become about slavery and his role-therein. Not James Madison's unique contributions to US history.... which is what you might expect when you show up for the James Madison experience.

(unfortunately, his contributions to the maintenance of slavery and oppression in America probably weren't a very unique contribution)

@NorthernHawkeye, nor anybody else in this thread is saying we shouldn't have plantation tours or exhibits and information about slavery. Or, even, that we ought to ignore important US historical figures participation in oppression.

Where the argument on this one goes back to: what stories are most important to tell about historic US figure X? What should the balance of information look like? You can screw it up any number of ways.

Now all that said... maybe the article is misleading, maybe certain important context is being left out. I don't have time to research. So maybe the picture they're painting isn't too accurate. That could be, it could be a shit take.
 
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