When I last wrote about the Republican nominees for President, I pointed out the fact that Michelle Bachmann, the Republican Congresswoman who never seems to be at a loss for words, had managed to get through the first of the Republican candidate debates without making any major faux pas.
I also pointed out that we shouldn’t expect Bachmann to stay off of the Crazy Train for long. When you have a reserved sleeping bunk for interstate travel on said train, getting on and off is no problem for you. Hell, Bachmann might have a long-standing reservation on the Acela car with her level of crazy.
Well, she’s back in her bunk and, as she often does, Bachmann, a favorite of people who couldn’t define socialism if their lives were on the line (or as they’re sometimes called, The Tea Party), has brought her stunning lack of knowledge of American, African American, or any other kind of history with her.
Apparently, Madame Bachmann has signed one of those things that always seem to bite Conservatives in the ass: a family values pledge. Bob Vander Plaats, a social conservative from Iowa, has put together this pledge entitled: “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMILY” (emphasis theirs).
Now for the most part, the pledge has the usual boilerplate “family values” language. You can’t get divorced. Gay folks can’t get married unless they marry folks of the opposite sex and live like normal folks. (Believe it or not, I just had that discussion with someone yesterday.) Rejection of all of those parts of the First Amendment that say that we have freedom from religion as well as freedom of religion. No Sharia Law. No abortions. Pretty standard stuff.
(Not to change the subject too much, but where did the idea that Sharia Law was coming to America come from? Did it come from the same folks who said President Obama is a Secret Muslim from Kenya?)
But the part of the pledge that seems to stand out for a lot of folks, particularly a lot of black folks, is this one:
Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.
Okay. Let’s talk about this.
First of all, if you sat through even five minutes of Roots, you know that this statement is inherently wrong because let’s face it, the job of the slave master in those days was to make black women single parents, if they were allowed to truly be parents at all.
You see, the only reason why black men and women were allowed to get together in a sexual way during slavery was to produce more “young, black bucks”. These weren’t love connections for the most part. They were the master’s way of ensuring he’d have a steady supply of slaves to work the fields, cotton gins, and to serve as nannies for his kids.
For those slaves who did find love, marriage was out of the question. Marriages between slaves weren’t recognized and even if the slave masters did recognize that these two “darkies” had jumped the broom, it didn’t prevent him from selling either half of this couple whenever the need arose. The kids were fair game for the auction block as well and were often taken away from their parents at a very young age to be sold to another plantation.
Heck, at least the kids of single parents in the Age of Obama get to stay with at least one parent…and there’s no FOR SALE sign on ’em either!
So a basic knowledge of history renders Mr. Vander Plaats inaccurate…and a little silly.
Now why is Madame Bachmann the only one who has come up in connection to this historically inaccurate pledge?
Well, there’s two reasons:
First, is the fact that we’ve been regaled by Bachmann’s lack of knowledge of African American History before. A few weeks ago, she tried to tell us that the Founding Fathers were trying their hardest to end slavery. Granted, it took them about 100 years, a Constitutional Amendment, and a Civil War, but they were busting their asses to change things….at least according to Bachmann.
And secondly, Bachmann has been the only GOP candidate to sign this pledge so far. That’s no real surprise because she’s the only one just thrown off enough to take it as seriously as Vander Plaats wants the GOP candidates to, but it’s kind of telling that the other candidates haven’t touched it with a 10-foot-pole.
(Heck, Newt Gingrich would probably touch it and turn into a pillar of salt right there.)
Now you’re allowed to adhere to whatever beliefs you want to adhere to. It’s your world. I’m just trying to live in it.
But some information from a study done regarding President Obama’s Twitter Town Hall this week should tell these candidates that instead of returning the phone calls of Vander Plaats and his social conservative ilk, they should be talking to people who can answer a question that would be far more beneficial to black families than what they’re discussing right now.
That question: Where can I find a job? That’s what most of the folks Tweeting the White House wanted to talk about. They weren’t interested in a lack-of-history-lesson.
Now this being a free country and all, you can run on whatever platform you want when you’re running for elected office.
But I can’t help but laugh derisively when I see conservatives sign family values pledges like this at the same time they’re making sure that families don’t have the minimum they need to keep themselves together: things like health care, education, and heck, a job.
Maybe you all should pledge to do something about that…