Home 2013 races African-American Community Leaders Speak Out Against Cuccinelli Slavery Comparisons

African-American Community Leaders Speak Out Against Cuccinelli Slavery Comparisons

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From Progress Virginia:

Attorney General has repeatedly compared his crusade against affordable, comprehensive health care to slavery

African-American community leaders this morning called Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's repeated remarks comparing his right-wing crusade against women's health and implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the abolition of slavery ignorant and offensive. In addition to his history of remarks conflating his efforts to block women's access to reproductive health care to slavery, Cuccinelli has also suggested his fight against the implementation fo Obamacare carries on the legacy of states resisting fugitive slave laws. Earlier this year, Cuccinelli also compared his campaign against affordable contraception to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's lifetime of advocacy for civil rights. 

Dr. Kim Allen, President of the Richmond NAACP, condemned the Attorney General's remarks as, “offensive to our nation's history and experience. His statements are an affront not only to the hundreds of thousands of Virginians who benefit from access to comprehensive care but also an affront to the men and women who fought for freedom from the unholy institution of slavery.”

Julia Newton, a health care provider and community activist from the Tidewater area, echoed Dr. Allen's remarks. “Slavery violated our beliefs that all men and women are created equal and possess the basic inalienable right to life, liberty, and happiness. Right-wing political crusades to block Virginia families' access to affordable, quality, comprehensive health care deny Virginians basic rights and are absolutely contrary to the values that drove the abolition of slavery. The legacy of slavery is the idea that some people are less equal than others. Extreme efforts to block women's access to reproductive health care treats women like second class citizens who don't have the right to make the medical decisions about their bodies.”

The NAACP officially supports expanded access to health care and the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, particularly in light of the attention the legislation pays to health problems prevalent in minority communities. Dr. Allen also noted the NAACP's support for health care access while again condemning in comparison to slavery, saying, “Health care should not be reserved for the wealthy or the few.”