I RESPECT GLADYS QUANder Tancil for enlightening the public on the plight of her relative, Nancy Quander, and the rest of the slave population on the Mount Vernon plantation (“Mount Vernon’s Other Legacy,” The District Line, 8/25), but I think it’s necessary to correct Rhonda Henderson on her use of propaganda regarding George Washington, and chastise Washington City Paper for printing such one-sided journalism.
The message by and large seems to be another attack at the white man (namely, Washington) being the cause of all of society’s ills, past and present. Everyone is aware that there have been many atrocities committed and mistakes made in the formation of our country, and certainly slavery was among the most prominent. But Henderson’s claim that Mount Vernon is “idealized history” is not only inaccurate, but it’s a cheap attempt to gain political correctness among the masses.
For all the negative publicity that Henderson and your paper would like to heap upon our first president, there is no denying that Washington was a positive key figure in American history and not, as she put it, a character in “American mythology.” He was a brilliant military general in the American Revolution who fought to make America an independent nation for all races and free us from British invasion and dominance. He also played a leading role in the framing of the Constitution of the United States, an unprecedented document of liberty for our country.
I agree that we should not forget the “other residents of the plantation.” Certainly they deserve as much respect and reverence as any other leaders of our country. But let’s not brush aside the accomplishments of a great figure in American history as just another wealthy Southern tyrant who enjoyed a luxurious life at the expense and hardship of others.
The next time Henderson or your paper would like to print such one-sided journalism, maybe you should thank the founding fathers of our country for allowing you the freedom to do so.
Upper Marlboro, Md.