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Tea Party Candidate Thinks Founding Fathers Ended Slavery

January 26, 2011 5 comments

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

 

You would presume that with all of their citations of the Constitution and remembrance of the founding fathers, Tea Party candidates would understand history at least a little bit. But that’s apparently not the case with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) who said that the founding fathers ended slavery in the United States.
In a recent speech in Iowa, Bachmann said that it was "the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States….Men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country."

The problem for Bachmann is that John Quincy Adams died in 1848, 15 years before slavery was abolished with the Emancipation Proclamation. Also, most of the founding fathers did own slaves, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. In fact, one of the signers, James Monroe, executed 30 of his slaves after they tried to revolt for their freedom. George Washington also had teeth implanted into his mouth that were taken out of the mouths of his slaves.

 

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Republicans Cut References to Slavery Out of the Constitution: How Quaint

January 9, 2011 Leave a comment

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

With the new Republican-led Congress comes the excited arrival of Birthers, Tea Partiers and other strange characters who are seeking to undermine the political stability of our great nation. The week ended with the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, with the sheriff of the town implying that racial animosity and divisive rhetoric of the Right Wing played a role in creating the atmosphere where a political leader was shot in the face and a little girl was killed.
The language of the Tea Party has consisted mostly of thinly-veiled animosity thrust toward the black man in the Oval Office who doesn’t seem to know his place. The idea of "taking back America" and "returning America to its roots," can be translated to saying that America isn’t a country that’s supposed to be run by that " hoity-toity, high fallutin, black guy with the Muslim name."
So, what better way to celebrate new-found Republican power than to read the United States Constitution out loud in the chambers of Congress? Sure, we might bore the heck out of a few lawmakers and waste a day that could be spent doing something productive, but why aim for substance when symbolism is a far better marketing tool?

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