In one of the Unpopular Opinion sections of Losing My Religions, I note that we should probably not think too highly of (just about) anyone, especially historical figures. Rachel Carson is my go-to example in the book.
Which racist white supremacist was happy to say this in a major public speech:
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 … I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races from living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be a position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.
History has been defined by very prejudiced, unenlightened people, like this one.
Don't tell me what people in the past wanted or meant. We can and should do better.
Song: Lyle Lovett Train Ride.