According to EW Jackson, “slavery did not destroy the black family,” but “the programs that began in the 60s…that’s when the black family began to deteriorate…it was government that did that, trying to solve problems that only god can solve and that only we as human beings can solve.”
Other than being completely nonsensical (e.g., only god can solve AND only human beings can solve? pick one!), Jackson’s comments have been widely ridiculed for being both wildly insensitive and…well, completely nuts. Just a few minutes ago on a conference call, Senator Donald McEachin and DPVA Chair Charniele Herring yet again denounced Jackson for his lunacy. According to Sen. McEachin, “comparing welfare to slavery is…an irrational comparison,” and to “exploit” the struggle against slavery “in the name of an extreme ideological agenda” has “no place in Virginia politics.”
Unfortunately, as Del. Herring pointed out, it’s not just EW Jackson: “earlier this year, Ken Cuccinelli drew widespread condemnation for comparing a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion to slavery, a comparison that Jackson publicly defended after he joined the ticket…” More broadly, in Herring’s view, what Jackson and Cuccinelli are doing is “smack[ing] everybody in the face who’s had a difficult time in life…to suggest that anybody who takes welfare to put food on their child’s table…to compare that to slavery…I’m sorry, I’m beyond words…those government programs have actually helped children, they saved lives, they made sure that children had a fighting chance…it’s a government program that allowed me to get to college.”
Finally, Del. Herring made an important point, that this isn’t just about African Americans: “it’s not a matter of race, it’s a matter of economic circumstance…we are giving [people of all races] a hand up so they can live free, be able to prosper, have jobs and get their children educated.” Well said by Charniele Herring; are you listening, Bishop Jackson?!?
Meanwhile, I’m curious which of the Great Society programs EW Jackson thinks are comparable to slavery. The Civil Rights Act of 1964? The Voting Rights Act of 1965? Head Start (1965)? Medicare and Medicaid (1965)? The Higher Education Act of 1965? The Child Nutrition Act of 1966? The National School Lunch Act of 1968? Which of these programs, specifically, were worse than slavery, and why?
Another question for EW Jackson: given that the Atlantic slave trade resulted in the deaths of millions of Africans, as well as the tearing apart of innumerable African families (and entire villages, for that matter), how specifically was the National School Lunch Act of 1968 worse than that? And given that African slaves could be (and were!) bought and sold at the whim of their “masters,” tearing families apart on a daily basis, how specifically was Head Start worse than that?!? We’re all ears…can’t wait to hear EW Jackson’s response (yeah, right)!