GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has signed a conservative pledge called "The Marriage Vow -- A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family." It's not surprising that it's anti-abortion, anti-same sex marriage and anti-divorce. But one particular piece has everyone up in arms over the idea that she and other signatories think that black people were better off during slavery:
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.
Do Bachmann and others who signed the pledge actually think we were better off without freedom and with all of the other emotional and physical horrors that accompanied being enslaved? We don't know, quite honestly doubt they care, and don't believe that's actually the point (and the very accuracy of the statement -- including whether living arrangements during slavery are what we'd consider "two-parent households" -- is a whole different conversation).
What's actually disturbing here is the total willingness to invoke slavery -- as well as the current state of the black family -- to serve as a cheap emotional hook to promote a conservative agenda that has nothing more to do with African Americans than it does with anyone else (not unlike the infamous "The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb" billboards).
So while Bachmann and others who sign this pledge will score points with racists who like the dig at black people as well as conservatives who like the underlying political ideology of "The Marriage Vow," the rest of us should focus not so much on what they believe about the state of the African-American family but on what they're willing to say about it to serve their own political ambitions.
Read more at Jack and Jill Politics.