Why should Jefferson need to be defended at the university he founded?

The Daily Caller reports:

UVA Prof Thinks Anti-Jefferson Scholars Are Trying To Suck Up To Department Chairs

A professor at the university founded by Thomas Jefferson thinks anti-Jefferson scholars are trying to suck up to their department chairs.

University of Virginia law school professor Bob Turner made the remark while disputing Thomas Jefferson’s alleged rape of his slave, Sally Hemings, in a conversation with The Daily Caller News Foundation. Anti-Jefferson scholars and activists have pushed the Jefferson-rapist narrative heavily in the 21st century, with the vandalism of a Jefferson statue with the phrase “racist & rapist” constituting the most recent allegation.

“I think there were a lot of people well to the left of center who stayed in graduate school to avoid Vietnam and wound up chairing departments over the year,” Turner told TheDCNF. “If you want to get promoted [as a professor], you’ve got to keep your department chair happy and right now, a lot of the department chairs aren’t very happy with Jefferson.”

The law professor traced the origins of the “Jefferson is a rapist” narrative all the way back to 18th century political journalist and pamphlet writer James Thompson Callendar, whom he argued tried to smear Jefferson when the Founding Father refused to appoint Callendar as postmaster of Richmond. Turner asserts that Callendar first branded Jefferson a French agent and then an atheist, neither of which stuck, before claiming the former president had an affair with Hemings. Callendar claimed Jefferson and Hemings produced a son named “Tom,” though six DNA tests refuted the allegation and Jefferson’s political adversaries Alexander Hamilton and John Adams also dismissed them.

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