When Barack Obama was elected President there was a lot of talk about a post racial America. The theory was, if an African-American man could be elected President it meant that the system is fair and balanced. I suspect a great number of Caucasian American's were collectively relieved because they thought that they would never have to hear Black people "whine" and complain about racism again. After years of wondering why African-American's couldn't just get over it, there was finally a grand catalyst that would work magic in the heart's and mind's of African-American's causing them to never complain again. After all what could be better consolation prize than having a Black president. It would be nice if it was that easy. But the fact is, those who hoped that the Obama Presidency would mean that America was suddenly healed of its racism, and prejudice, now face a disappointing reality. There is still a racial divide in America driven by radical fringe groups like The Tea Party who insist that they must take their country back, as they reminisce about the "good old days". There has also been a steady stream of radical GOP politician's spouting absurdities, who make you wonder how they were ever elected or appointed to represent anyone or anything. The latest totally offensive assertion was made by State Representative John Hubbard (Republican, Jonesboro Arkansas) who said that he continues to stand by what he wrote in his 2010 book, in which he stated that he believes that slavery was a "blessing" for Blacks because being slaves in America gave them a much better life than they would have had in Africa, and African-Americans would not be in the U.S. if it were not for slavery. Hubbard went on to say that he didn't know any other way that African- American's would have gotten here.
These comments have set off a firestorm in Arkansas with Republicans scrambling to distance themselves from Hubbard. So much so, that the state Republican Party announced that it would not give him any more assistance.
These comments, although surprising are not at all shocking to me. Hubbard's attitude most likely reflects the feelings of many of his constituents, and some within his own party.
What does concern me is the fact that he not only felt comfortable saying what he said but, that he felt comfortable enough to stand by his ludacris statements 2 years later. In my opinion, he didn't expect any controversy. Especially given the fact that what he said had been published in his book two years earlier. There was no outrage in the Black community or the public at large that I am aware of and no widespread media coverage.
Slavery is as much a part of the fabric of America, as apple pie. But its bloody legacy is rarely acknowledged. A great number of American's, including some African-American's have been culturally conditioned to believe that Black is inferior, and white is superior. As a result, African-American's have been underestimated, and relegated to being an ineffective race of people who want something for nothing in the minds of many. This is one of the reasons why, politicians like Hubbard think that they can get away with making such idiotic statements. He wouldn't dare make any disparaging remarks about the holocaust because he knows that there would be hell to pay. But he feels absolutely justified and free to say whatever he wants about slavery because he probably thinks that African-Americans will call Rev. Al Sharpton, march for a week, and then move on to the next issue, and to some extent, he is right. No one wants to boycott, or apply economic sanctions against those who insult us as a people. If we stopped patronizing every brand, institution, or municipality that seeks to violate our rights, and disregard us as relevant human beings, I am willing to bet that the majority of this overt racism would stop. Not due to a change of heart but due to a lack of finance. Currency is a universal language.