No one would deny that African-Americans have come incredibly far in the face of horrible adversity, from surviving years of torturous slavery to fighting the immeasurable psychological effects of racial segregation in America. Now we sit in a place where there are endless opportunities open to us that were denied roughly only 60 years ago. However, some believe that African-Americans were better off in the bondage of slavery. This is apparent conclusion of a conservative Christian group in Iowa, according to thier document entitled “The Marriage Vow”, which claims that African-Americas were better off in society during slavery than being free today.
What makes this scenario even more disturbing is that this “Marriage Vow” was signed by the two leading Republican Presidential candidates, Rick Santorum and Michele Backmann.
The vow states, “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 first African-American president.”
Even though both ‘leaders’ have apologized for the “negative feelings this has caused and have removed this [statement] from the vow”, one cannot deny that this raises an extremely disturbing thought. There can only be two possible scenarios in the candidate’s situations: (1) Neither candidate read the document before fully reading it; signing the paper without a second thought and/or concern, or (2) Both candidates read the document in-depth and fully agreed with what it stated, never thinking its contents would be leaked to the public. In the first case, would the country want to have potential presidents in office who do not read the crucial papers they sign on a daily basis? And for the second, does the country want candidates who believe that the African-American race in America would be better off as slaves? What does either scenario say for their character (and common sense)?
In response to criticism, Bachmann stated that she only endorsed the “candidate vow” and not the preamble of the document. Bachmann “believes that slavery was horrible and economic enslavement is also horrible,” according to her representatives. Santorum claims that he only believes in the portion of the document that is against gay marriage, which compares homosexuality to adultery and polygamy.
Everyone has their choice on who they would choose to lead their country but another freedom available is the choice to research the history of African-Americans and compare it to how the race is viewed today by the public compared to how they were treated in the past. Words say much but actions say all.