With great power comes great responsibility. And with great responsibility comes failure. It's important to understand that even the noblest historical figures still have made major, sometimes deadly lapses in judgment. Here are 10 reminders of why we should celebrate causes over individuals and why we need to remain critical of even the greatest politicians. 

Ronald Reagan and the AIDS crisis

RONALD REAGAN'S ADMINISTRATION TREATED THE AIDS EPIDEMIC AS A JOKE In 1982, Ronald Reagan's press secretary joked about the gay plague to media outlets. This indifference towards the crisis continued throughout his Presidency. Reagan didn't even mention it publicly until 1985, after over 12,000 Americans had died from the disease. CRACKED.COM

Source: BBC and Vox

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Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings

THOMAS JEFFERSON HAD SEX WITH AN ENSLAVED TEEN Female slaves had no legal right to refuse unwanted sexual advances. Some historians consider sexual acts between enslaver and enslaved as inherently rape because of the power imbalance. Sally Hemings (believed to be the child of Martha Jefferson's father) agreed to return to Jefferson's Monticello under the agreement that her children would have freedom. She had at least six children fathered by Jefferson. She was never officially freed. CRACKED.COM

Source: Monticello

Winston Churchill and the 1943 Famine in Bengal

WINSTON CHURCHILL'S POLICIES LED TO THE DEATH OF 3 MILLION PEOPLE. The 1943 famine in Bengal didn't have natural causes but was completely caused by policy failure. During WWII, Britian took supplies of rice from India for priority classes as many Indian people were starving. CRACKED.COM

Source: The Guardian

Abraham Lincoln and Racial Inequality

ABRAHAM LINCOLN DIDN'T SUPPORT RACIAL EQUALITY The 'Great Emancipator' was still very much a man of his time. Не once said, I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and the black races. There is physical difference between the two, which in my judgment will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality. CRACKED.COM

Source: NPR Illinois

RFK, JFK, and MLK

ROBERT F. KENNEDY AUTHORIZED WIRETAPS ON MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. The FBI under John F. Kennedy's administration wiretapped him because of connection to a supposed communist. The FBI investigation went out of control, exposing his extramarital affairs and even going so far as sendng him tapes and an anonymous letter telling him to kill himself. CRACKED.COM

Source: NPR

George Washington and Slavery

GEORGE WASHINGTON PUT IN EXTRA EFFORT TO ENSURE SLAVERY Starting in 1780, the Washingtons transported their enslaved workers in and out of Pennsylvania every six months to avoid a law that would have allowed for their freedom. Washington was an enslaver since he inherited 10 slaves at the age of 11. By the Revolutionary War, he enslaved 150 people. CRACKED.COM

Source: History

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