From the August 15 edition of Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight:
TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): Two years ago, on CNN, anchor Ashleigh Banfield suggested the Jefferson Memorial in Washington might have to go. Needless to say there is literally no limit when you start thinking like this. Last year hundreds of activists in New York demanded the statue of Theodore Roosevelt at the American Natural History Museum be dismantled. They argued that Roosevelt was a racist. If that's the standard, nobody is safe. Watch out Abraham Lincoln, you're next. Now, to be clear, as if it's necessary, slavery is evil. If you believe in the rights of the individual, it's actually hard to think of anything worse than slavery. But let's be honest. Up until 150 years ago when a group of brave Americans fought and died to finally put an end to it, slavery was the rule, rather than the exception around the world. And had been for thousands of years, sadly. Plato owned slaves, so did Mohammed peace be upon him. May African tribes held slaves and sold them. The Aztecs did, too. Before he liberated Latin American, Simon Bolivar owned slaves.
Slave-holding was so common among the North American Indians that the Cherokee brought their slaves with them on the Trail of Tears. And it wasn't something they learned from European settlers. Indians were holding and trading slaves when Christopher Columbus arrived. And by the way he owned slaves, too. None of this is a defense of the atrocity of human bondage. It is an atrocity. The point however is that if we are going to judge the past by the standards of the present. If we are going to reduce a person's life to the single worst thing he ever participated in, we had better be prepared for the consequences of that. And here's why. 41 of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence held slaves. James Madison the father of the constitution had a plantation full of slaves. George Mason, the father of the Bill of Rights also owned slaves, unfortunately. But does that make what they wrote illegitimate? If these men were simply racist villains and that's all they were, then the society they created is as evil as they were. There is no reason to respect its traditions or uphold its laws.