Saturday, July 9, 2011

Is Michele Bachmann Pro-Slavery?

Updated below.

Yesterday I posted about the pledge being put forth by a group in Iowa calling itself “THE FAMiLY LEADER”. As noted, it really takes on Teh Gayz, but there’s also a section where it basically comes out in favor of slavery as a model how to raise children in a two-parent family:

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.

What?

Baratunde Thurston has some thoughts.

Let me be clear. The opinions and analysis of this all-white, moralistic, American Taliban have no purchase in the land of black folk. It’s not like the Official Committee Of Black Folk (I’m a rotating co-chair for the Northeast Directorate) sits around wondering what THE FAMiLY LEADER thinks about our family situation, but still, to invoke slavery in “defense” of marriage exposes a complete lack of historical understanding and common sense, much less sensitivity.

Who in the world thinks bringing up slavery to defend family is a good idea?

To the extent that the black family was even allowed to exist, it was under constant attack by state-supported and sanctioned terrorism. “A child born into slavery was more likely to be raised by his mother and father…” Really? A child born into slavery was the property of its master. The operative word was slavery. Period. Any relationship to its biological parents was far less respected than its commercial relationship to the American economy.

Why stop at two-parent households? Let’s celebrate the free housing, healthcare and meal plan offered to every black slave! You know what else slavery did for black people? Exercise! Oh it was just great! We even got to work outside. Speaking of work, today, African-American unemployment is over 16 percent. In Milwaukee, Wisc., over one-third of black men are unemployed. But during slavery times, every black man had a job! See? Things were better in the past, and now things are bad. Ah, the good old days…

This is a pledge that vilifies porn and glorifies slavery, written by a group that has something against the letter “i” and the word “children.” At this point, the only pledge I want a presidential candidate to sign is one pledging not to sign offensive, dumb and unenforceable bullshit like this.

I have no doubt that Ms. Bachmann knew exactly what the entire pledge said before she signed it. I also have no doubt that she thinks slavery may have had its disadvantages, but at least it kept the kids home at night and away from porn.

Update: The FAMiLY LEADER has since seen the error of their ways:

“After careful deliberation and wise insight and input from valued colleagues we deeply respect, we agree that the statement referencing children born into slavery can be misconstrued,” said Julie Summa, a spokeswoman for the Family Leader. “We sincerely apologize for any negative feelings this has caused, and have removed the language from the vow.”

Michele Bachmann’s campaign said that the candidate only meant to sign the 14-point “candidate’s vow” and apparently didn’t read the entire four-page document and footnotes.