While Christine O’Donnell may not be a witch, Michele Bachmann may be a racist, judging by her most recent statements about African Americans. Her recent comments about African Americans begs the question of whether she is a racist.
Last week, she mentioned that African American children and black families were better off during slavery presumably because according to her logic they had both parents living with them. She brings her comments up to date this week and discusses the black farmers’ settlement.
She spoke out against the multi-billion dollar settlement to black farmers for decades of discrimination by the federal government against them. According to Bachmann, the monies to settle the discrimination suit by black farmers is just wasteful spending and should be diverted elsewhere to benefit people living along the Mississippi river and Missouri river. While the flood victims need redress too, I don’t think anyone should be advocating taking away money from black people who were discriminated against to help others.
If anyone still thinks we are living in a post racial society, they only need listen to Michele Bachmann to come to a different conclusion. First, for anyone to think that African Americans were better off during slavery is preposterous. Black families were separated and sold to the highest bidder with no regard for families or children. Children were separated from mothers and fathers. Slave owners, including former presidents raped and had sex at will with slaves, fathering children. Slaves were whipped, beaten and treated as 3/5 of a person and had no rights. And if that wasn’t enough fun, runaway slaves were severely beaten or killed. That doesn’t sound like fun to me or the good ole days. Perhaps, Bachmann should spend some time in the history books to understand the facts before speaking. John Boyd, President of the Black Farmers Association said, “I think it’s bad for the American people. I think if Ms. Bachmann wants to be president of the United States, she should treat all people fairly.” He further states that Bachmann has continued to look at the black farmers in a negative way.
Bachmann’s comments remind me of the Republican California legislator who e-mailed a picture of President Obama with an ape face. She also didn’t think her comments and E-mail were racist either and saw nothing wrong with it. But comparing African Americans to apes is a throw back to the good ‘ole slavery days where blacks were considered less than a man.
It’s interesting how in the reverse, white conservatives are eager to scream racist when any perceived racial comments are hurled their way. The comments by Rev. Jeremiah Wright during the 2008 election about whites practically went viral everywhere with almost every white conservative crying racist. But where is the same outcry against Michele Bachmann for her comments about African Americans?
Whether or not Bachmann is a racist, her comments are truly racist. Incendiary and racist comments should have no place in US politics. Outspoken racist comments from a candidate who is seeking her party’s nomination for president of the US should be attacked and not defended. But where is the outcry now against Michele Bachmann?
Debbie Hines is a lawyer, legal and political commentator. She is frequently seen in the media addressing issues on race, gender and law. She also writes for the Huffington Post.