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Five Historical Heroes Who Are Not as Good as You Think

Updated on November 24, 2018
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Kevin is an aspiring author and commentator on a variety of subjects such as media, politics, social issues, history, and more.

Not everyone is who they say they are. Today we are going to look at five historical heroes who are actually not as good as you think. These people are held in high esteem by society. But do they really deserve all of the publicity they get? You be the judge of it. Let's take a look at six historical heroes who are not as good as you think.


You may know him as the kind pacifist Hindu who led a peaceful movement against British-ruled India. He has been celebrated as an icon for civil rights movements for years and has been the inspiration for many. But is he really a good guy?

-Despite his saintly appearance, he could be a very mean person. "There will be no tears but only joy if tomorrow I get the news that all three of you were killed," he once told some of his workers.

-After taking a vow of celibacy, he became enraged whenever he had "involuntary discharges." His solution? Sleeping naked while being surrounded by young naked women—including his grandniece, Manu, who was 17 at the time.

-In 1896, he was quoted as referring to black South Africans as the "raw kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness." Kaffir is another variation of the n word. He also claimed that they were no better than the"untouchables" of Indian society. It's sadly ironic that he would say these things given the influence he had on civil rights movements.

Mother Teresa

The founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, she devoted her life to helping the poor. She was canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta on September 4th, 2016 for her humanitarian work. You're about to find out that she was not as saintly as you might think.

-Despite adequate funds, the hospices were in terrible condition. According to Kounteya Sinha's study, there was a significant lack of hygiene and medical supplies, as well as actual care.

-Mother Teresa has been quoted as saying that it is good that they suffer. ""I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people." The suffering of someone in poverty doesn't compare to that in the slightest. These people are dying because of poor conditions and poverty. So millions of dollars are sent towards helping these people, they aren't getting the help they need, and the so called saintly mother revels in their suffering, which is the reason the money is sent to begin with.

Abraham Lincoln

The 16th President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which he declared that all slaves in states in rebellion against the Union "shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free." Good guy, right? Wrong.

-While he is quoted as saying all men are created equal, he did not believe in political equality In his fourth debate with Stephen Douglas, Lincoln said, "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races." While he did claim to believe in racial equality in that black people have the right to improve their condition and enjoy their results, he was against the idea of black people having the right to vote, serving on juries, or holding office. And given our next bit, it is clear that he didn't really believe in equality and used the speech for another purpose.

-The primary goal on Abraham Lincoln's mind was preserving the Union, and he would do that at any cost. In his letter to Horace Greeley, he says, "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it."

Thomas Jefferon

As one of the nation’s founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson was the original author of"all men are created equal." But he was a hypocrite at best.

-On his death bed, Jefferson's will only freed five of his 200+ slaves, and the rest were put up for auction. The five freed slaves were his children from his mistress, Hemmings, who remained enslaved.

-Not only was he a slave master, but he was a very cruel one. He is said to have used separating slaves from family members as a form of punishment. On the topic of free black people, he regarded them as "pests in society" and that all blacks were "inferior to the whites in the endowments of body and mind."

Christopher Columbus

The founder of the Americas, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean and civilized the savage Native Americans. Boy were our textbooks wrong.

-He never landed in America. He landed in the area that would become the Bahamas and later Hispaniola, present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Columbus wrecked the Santa Maria and the Arawaks (who were not savage) worked for hours to save the crew and cargo. Impressed by their friendliness, he siezed control in the name of Spain and took some of the natives by force for information.

-Columbus and his men were rapists and murderers. Just read it for yourself. "While I was in the boat I captured a very beautiful Carib woman, whom the said Lord Admiral gave to me, and with whom, having taken her into my cabin, she being naked according to their custom, I conceived desire to take pleasure. I wanted to put my desire into execution but she did not want it and treated me with her finger nails in such a manner that I wished I had never begun. But seeing that (to tell you the end of it all), I took a rope and thrashed her well, for which she raised such unheard of screams that you would not have believed your ears. Finally we came to an agreement in such manner that I can tell you that she seemed to have been brought up in a school of harlots."

-He enslaved the natives and made them work in gold mines. If they refused, they were decapitated or had their ears cut off.

My Point?

These are people that are being paraded as heroes. Have they done some good? Yes, but it does not outweigh the evil they have done, maybe save for Albert's case. And yes there is the saying that nobody is perfect. So when we do have historical heroes who actually do some righteousness, we should also acknowledge where they messed up not because we want to condemn them, but because we get to see how they have grown and overcome the impulsive human nature that just wants whatever it wants no matter what the cost.


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