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GOP Keeps Pushing Meme That Black Families Were Better off Under Slavery
By: Hrafnkell HaraldssonJul. 28th, 2011more from Hrafnkell Haraldsson
America is more than familiar by now with the infamous “Marriage Vow” – “The Marriage Vow – “A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family,” sponsored by the Family Leader, an Iowa-based conservative organization. We’re all aware of the reference to slavery in that pledge that both Rick Santorum and Michele Bachman signed:
“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household* than was an African American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President, according to the document”
The slavery preamble has been removed but it remains a fact that both Bachmann and Santorum signed it while the preamble was in the pledge. Even Family Leader seems to have recognized they overstepped. But not every one agrees.
Conservative activist Star Parker went there on American Family Radio’s Today’s Issues with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Tom Wildmon of the American Family Association (Wildmon, you might remember is famous for – in George Carlin’s words – not being good with knobs):
“Well Reverend,” Carlin began, “didn’t anyone ever tell you there are two KNOBS on the radio? Imagine that, KNOBS on the radio!
“Course, I’m sure the Reverend isn’t too comfortable with anything that’s got two KNOBS on it.
“But there are two knobs on the radio, Reverend! One of ‘em turns the radio off and the other one *click* CHANGES THE STATION! That’s right, Reverend, you can actually change the station. It’s called freedom of choice, and it’s one of the principles on which this country was founded, look it up in the library Reverend – if you have any of them left, after you’ve finished BURNING ALL THE BOOKS.”
Yes, she went there. Parker, who said recently that “too many Blacks do not want to be free” (what, they yearn for slavery?) endorses the claim that black families, while not being allowed to have families because they weren’t allowed to marry, were somehow better off under slavery.
Speaking of the infamous pledge and its sinister preamble, she had this to say:
Parker: Now we don’t have clear data getting to your question about what black family life looked like during slavery as what the attacks are now even against people like Michele Bachmann who signed on to a document that said the black family was more intact than it is today. But we do know the reason we don’t have clear data of course is because only some data made it through the civil war.
Wildmon: What about prior to civil rights?
Parker: Well I’m going back to this point in history that they went back to, which was slavery, during slavery. Because black family life, in the vulnerable state that it was, some could say was more healthy than it is today.
We don’t have data on what a black family looked like during slavery? Really? Here’s the answer for you Star: We don’t have data because slaves were not allowed to have families. Is that good enough for you? How can something that can’t exist be more intact than something that can?
The simple fact is that today, free of slavery, blacks are free to marry and have families. The simple fact is that during the slave era, this was not true. It’s really very simple.
It’s amazing logic: we’re being told by conservatives that liberalism has enslaved blacks, that Democrats are racists. But if blacks were better off under slavery, wouldn’t this logic lead to the obvious conclusion that Democrats have actually helped blacks by re-enslaving them?
It’s remarkable that someone could push this narrative and not fear being accused of catastrophic levels of ignorance; more remarkable still is thinking you are going to garner black votes for your causes. It’s not going to matter that the speaker herself is black. It’s rather like a Jew arguing that Jews were better off under Hitler or a Native American arguing that Native Americans were better off on the reservations than living free on the prairies and in the forests, or that like a Heathen saying “Boy, we’re sure glad the Christians took away our religion and our culture from us!”
Not a convincing campaign slogan, nossir.
But I suppose this is the same sort of logic that can argue that pluralism derives from non-pluralism and that only a Christian country is truly tolerant and therefore truly pluralistic, or that you can advocate outlawing blasphemy but claim you’re not imposing your values. Yes, and black is white and up is down. The United States – and by virtue of us being the only remaining super power – the world, are in serious trouble if this sort of political theology reaches the White House and control of the Senate and the House.