Slavery “R” Us: Bachmann’s Gaffe

Why do so many white Republicans love bringing up slavery and then wonder why the GOP has the reputation among liberals as being a party of racists? Maybe they really do want to purge the party of what little black conservatives the GOP has and alienate independents in the process. Just when I thought I had heard almost every kind of slavery gaffe and apology uttered by Republicans, Rep. Michelle Bachmann joins in the fun.

(To refresh your memory, Gov. Haley Barbour said he didn’t think Gov. Bob McDonnell omitting slavery from his Confederate History month didn’t “amount to diddly.” This was said prior to Barbour saying he ” just didn’t remember [the Civil Rights Movement] being that bad.”) No, I don’t make this stuff up.

Back to Rep. Bachmann, GOP presidential candidate and party darling, Bachmann signed the “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family,” a pledge created by an Iowa conservative Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of the Christian group The Family Leader. Obviously, Bachmann signed it to score points with Iowa voters in her quest for the White House in 2012. Plaats declared his group won’t endorse any GOP candidate who doesn’t sign the pledge.

The pledge is what you would expect from a socially conservative group, advocating traditional families and Defense of the Marriage Act. But on the top of the first page, the marriage vow pledge states “the institution of marriage in America is in great crisis” and the first bullet point under this statement is that black children were better off during slavery then they are today under the nation’s first Black president.

“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 first African-American President.”

It’s hard to argue Bachmann didn’t know this was in the pledge when it’s on the first page of the document and if she admits she signed it without reading it that’s even more troubling someone running for president doesn’t read documents before signing them. It’s impossible to fathom how anyone could read a statement like that about black families during slavery and not laugh.

Perhaps Mr. Plaats and Ms. Bachmann along with other signers of his pledge need to be reminded that blacks were treated like animals during slavery and recognized as the property of their slave owners. Slaves were not allowed to marry, wives were routinely raped by their masters and family members were separated through sales on the auction block to whomever the owner could get the highest bid for the slave. I don’t know what kind of American history Bachmann, Plaats or Barbour have been reading but I can tell you slavery certainly wasn’t the glory days for black families.

The one accurate point the pledge makes and what they should have started with is that the welfare program has caused the disintegration of the black family.

“LBJ 1965 War on Poverty was triggered in part by the famous “Moynihan Report” finding that the black out-of-wedlock birthrate had hit 26%; today, the white rate exceeds that, the overall rate is 41%, and over 70% of African-American babies are born to single parents4 – a prime sociological indicator for poverty, pathology and prison regardless of race or ethnicity.”

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned about this alarming trend among Blacks in his “1965 Moynihan Report or The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, where he noted “the breakdown of the negro family has led to a startling increase in welfare dependency.”

Moynihan argues what we all know today that fatherless black homes leads to higher rates of unemployment, poverty, illegitimate births and crime among blacks compared to whites. What the Marriage pledge should have noted was that Democrats’ 40 plus decades of social welfare policies have killed the black family and life for blacks under the nation’s first black president has only grown bleaker.

Under Obama, unemployment for blacks has soared to 16% compared to the national average of 9.2%. In cities like Brooklyn and parts of Washington, DC the rate is 30%-50%. In Milwaukee, 34% of black males are unemployed. A recent study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute found in 2009 the median net worth for white households had fallen 24 percent to $97,860 while the median net worth for black households plummeted 83% to $2,170.

Instead of coming up with offensive, inaccurate references about black families during slavery, Republicans should be reminding over 90% of black voters who voted for Obama what a horrible situation he has created for them. Any marriage pledge should demonstrate how out-of wedlock births harm blacks economically and encourage marriage in the black community.

It’s not okay Mr. Plaats apologized for the racist remark and removed the statement from the pledge. It’s also not okay Bachmann gave no credible response for why she signed the pledge with the slave statement. The statement should have never been written! Then you wouldn’t have had to apologize for it or back peddle from the truth.

Note to Republicans: slavery, segregation and the Civil Rights Movement were not happy times for blacks; so stop telling us those days didn’t amount to diddly. The road to the White House is not campaigning like you’re living in the good ole days of the Jim Crow South.

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6 Responses to “Slavery “R” Us: Bachmann’s Gaffe”

  1. Billy says:

    EVERY person will say they are not prejuduce (meaning they don’t view the world through the eyes of a rascist) UNTIL someone they know and LOVE of another color is deeply hurt by racism (e.g., name calling and being pushed aside from waht you believed to be YOUR home because YOUR own father does not want a nigg…er in HIS house)

  2. Wanda says:

    Crystal, as you point out this flaws in the Republican party which during slavery used to be the Democratic party during slavery, yet you still choose to be a part of this party, and then you have the nerve to critize 90% of Black Americans who vote democratic as being blind. I’m sorry that as s Democrat I don’t have the intelligence to realize that the Democratic party is not the perfect, but neither is the Republican party by NO stretch of the word. My problem with is whites saying that we are using the “race card” is that they use the same card to keep people. no matter what the color from calling them out. I say use the “race card” until we as Black Americans become blue, green, red, yellow in the face. Everything there is racial inequality done to a Black person in the workplace, in a store, by a bank, in school we should be standing up. We tend to back down when the white man scream “race card” when it comes to standing up for own people. Do you know where this will stop is when people having children without benefit of a husband is talked about as a national problem instead of a black or white problem. It affects all of us, not just blacks. When there is racial equality in the schools, when the issue is placed firmly on the table will there be some resolution, and let’s us not lay this blame at the door of President Obama….there have been white presidents that have contribitued to this problem, and now you a Black person are trying to lay it scarely at the Obama’s door, it leave me a little flabergasted. I didn’t see you or anyone else who is in a position of largeness calling President Bush to task, or President Clinton to task, or previous President to task (all having been white) for this situation. No this situation was/is created to keeps Blacks in a position of poverty, and we continue to allow it. Instead of working together as a people who are Americans like other ethnic groups that come here, we get our education, make our money and forget where we came from, and then we talk like we are above the fray. Like our BLACK congressman Mr. West with his ugly rhetoric and then there are Blacks like you. If you want to educate Blacks on the power they hold, start talking to us and not in the front of the white man, because you can be sure he is not talking to us about his plan for us. For those whites that believe that they are superior to blacks and others there plan has not changed. They don’t want us to get ahead, they don’t want us to be in positions of leadership, yet they don’t have a problem stealing our talents and gifts and making it their own. No sometimes we just give it to them for the money. You talk about the death of the family whose fault is that? Blacks during slavery were all about family because that is all they had, whether it was their own or the community. Even after slavery Blacks were like minded, until this country start talking “I’ve got to get mine and later for others” and unfortunately, Blacks bought into the hype even though it didn’t benefit them. If you are going to talk about racial divides don’t lay the blame at the President’s door, because as Black American the race issue is our issue and we need to be speaking out, not just the President. We need to keep speaking out until we are heard, because heaven knows every other ethnic group here in this country speaks out and gets what want and need, why should we be any different. Oh wait, that is because some of us can be bought off by the few dollars that the man throws our way when he sees that we are going to rise above any bull/obstacle that he can/might put in our way. If you know that the Republican party is racist then start another party, maybe that is what we need in this country otherwise we are going to be looking like Egypt, Syria, Libya, but it won’t just be Blacks, but others that are disenfranchised including Whites that have finally realized that they are tools of the super wealthy. Have a wonderful and blessed day in the Lord.

  3. Danny says:

    Thanks for being a black conservative and not an uncle tom, only you and stephen A Smith come to mind in that respect. You’re right the republicans are often overtly racist and this is one reason that blacks largely don’t vote for them. The numbers you cite are bad; but those bad numbers were caused by conservative policies (1st Clinton deregulated financial markets, 2nd Bush came in and took this country soooooooo far right and completely destroyed the economy. 3rd. Barack came in and continued essentially everything that Bush did) Those conservative policies hurt black people disproportionately and are without doubt the reason that inequality is increasing. Welfare, social security, free lunch programs, cross county bussing, medicare, etc. These kind of programs elevated black people. I would really like to correspond with you to try to understand why you are a conservative; when the conservatives have disdain for black people, and any measure that tries to help them.

  4. Ernie says:

    Would love to read your thoughts on the West-Wasserman feud!

  5. Adam says:

    It’s stories like this that really make me feel like we’re doomed. I can recite logic and reason on how Obama’ policies are running this country into a brick wall but no left of center folks will ever vote against him because of the “greedy racist Republicans”. I support conservative fiscal values and will continue to do so, but dammit if our officials didn’t make it so damn hard!

  6. Quinn says:

    I’ve noticed that Bachmann has a hard time keeping her story straight. She lied during an interview with Chris Wallace about how much Medicaid money her and her husband took in for their clinic. You can argue the in’s and out’s of that clinic all day long but what I took away from it was that she lied about it on television.

    Therefore, I don’t know if she read this pledge or not, but you’re right when you stated that it’s troubling either way.

    I gave her some time but I have been completely let down by Bachmann. I would never support her in a primary race. She is not my candidate.

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