E.W. Jackson, a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, recently said that slavery was not as destructive for black families as the Great Society programs of the 1960s.
“I’ll tell you that the programs that began in the sixties, the programs that began to tell women that you don’t need a man in the home, the government will take care of you, that began to tell men, you don’t need to be in the home, the government will take care of this woman and take care of these children. That’s when the black family began to deteriorate,” said West on a recent campaign appearance. “In 1960 most black children were raised in two parent, monogamous families. By now, by this time, we have only twenty percent of black children being raised in two parent, monogamous families with the married man and woman raising those children,” Jackson said. “It wasn’t slavery that did that, it was government that did that. It tried to solve problems that only god can solve and that only we as human beings can solve.”
To see a black man in Virginia, one of the original slave states, suggest to white Southerners that slavery kept families together is absurd, reckless, and dangerous. While Jackson harks back to his own family roots in slavery, and implies that his family stayed together, he is in the minority. For many black Americans, trying to even find their roots is virtually impossible.
As a black man, I understand Jackson’s contempt for the left, I feel his rage.
I am no fan of the civil rights activists that have left many minorities misled, uninformed and broke. I am tired of the mama drama, foul language, and promiscuity that has contributed to the black poverty crisis.
But when someone like Jackson weighs in with words like slavery and Jim Crow, it’s like throwing a juicy carcass to bloodthirsty wolves and reinforcing the dark side of bigotry. It gives the Tea Party great delight to see a black man mock his own kind.
There was a time when black leaders from different ideological perspectives put their differences aside to focus on those who didn’t have much opportunity for self-advancement. Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois didn’t see eye to eye but worked tirelessly so one day someone like E.W. Jackson, who has attained prominence and influence, could pass that ability to the next generation of the downtrodden, demeaned and demoralized people known as the black race.
To disparage and insult the poor and downtrodden isn’t in the spirit of black conservatism, which encourages hard work, self reliance and independence. Instead, it drives away the dying message of self-help and personal responsibility preached by those who have led us this far.
E.W. Jackson, your vision of family is warped. Your rhetoric is disgraceful and reinforces stereotypes that blacks are sex starved baby-makers which appeals to the darkest denominators of reality. It is a reality that black men are in crisis, but your words are not uplifting; rather they are reinforcing what some whites feel about us.