Well that didn’t take long. A conservative group that put out a marriage pledge saying slave kids had it better than black kids today, because at least they had a mother and father … gulp … has withdrawn the language. Too bad Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum already signed on to the old language.
A social conservative Iowa group has retracted language regarding slavery from the opening of a presidential candidates’ pledge, amid a growing controversy over the document that Michele Bachmann had signed and Rick Santorum committed to.
The original “marriage vow” from the Family Leader, unveiled last week, included a line at the opening of its preamble, which suggested that black children born into slavery were better off in terms of family life than African-American kids born today.
“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,” read the preamble.
But this evening, amid growing questions aimed at Bachmann, Family Leader officials said they’d removed the slavery language from the preamble.
“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, and such misconstruction can detract from the core message of the Marriage Vow: that ALL of us must work to strengthen and support families and marriages between one woman and one man,” the group’s officials said in a statement. “We sincerely apologize for any negative feelings this has caused, and have removed the language from the vow.”
Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann both committed to the pledge, and Bachmann was the first candidate to return the signed document, according to Family Leader officials.
So how does Team Bachmann clean this up, after standing by the pledge despite the controversy this past week? Well… about that …
A Bachmann spokeswoman said earlier Saturday that reports the congresswoman had signed a vow that contained the slavery language was wrong, noting it was not in the “vow” portion.
“She signed the ‘candidate vow,’ ” campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart said, and distanced Bachmann from the preamble language, saying, “In no uncertain terms, Congresswoman Bachmann believes that slavery was horrible and economic enslavement is also horrible.”
Um… Michele? You just compared, what I’m assuming is Obama and Democrats’ economic policies to slavery. You really just did that. Jesus, take the wheel.
According to a Family Leader spokeswoman told Politico:
“We came up with the pledge and so we had no idea that people would misconstrue that,” she said. “It was not meant to be racist or anything. it was just a fact that back in the days of slavery there was usually a husband and a wife…we were not saying at all that things are better for African-American children in slavery days than today.”
She said she was “not at liberty to say” whether they’d heard from any of the campaigns to complain about the language. But she said that among the people the group had heard from was an African-American pastor, who opposed it.
So, it took a black pastor to tell these people that saying slave kids were better off than, well, anybody, ever in history, when they lived under a system where they and their parents were sold off like cattle, at will, the bonds of mother and father, husband and wife weren’t just not standard, they were in a fundamental sense illegal, and the idea that these kids were raised by the mother and father is absurd on its face — somebody had to TELL these people that would be offensive??? Really??? Wow.
Meanwhile, the spokeswoman said another candidate had directly contacted them about supporting the pledge, but she “was not at liberty” to say who. My money’s all the way on Rick Perry, because if it’s Newt Gingrich, well that would just be too ironic.
So what is it about right wingers and slavery? Why do they bring it up so often, to oppose abortion, as Rick Santorum and other anti-abortion zealots do on the regular, often with references to the Dred Scott Supreme Court case; or to rail against healthcare reform, or taxes, as tea partiers got into the habit of doing in 2009:
And why, despite this fixation with comparing things they don’t like to slavery, do right wingers simultaneously all-but deny slavery’s existence when talking about this country’s founding (or twist that history as Bachmann did earlier this year) and especially about the civil war?
What is that about?
On an up-note, for David Vitter, Clarence Thomas and Newt, among others, the Family Leader did not withdraw the porn language. Ahem.
Related (h/t to @AngryBlackLady): a former fundamentalist decodes the marriage vow.