According to a new profile in The New Yorker, in 2002 Republican Presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann released a “must read” list of books. On the list was a book titled Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of Robert E. Lee.
In the biography of Lee (a slave owner himself) a passage reads (via Think Progress):
Northerners were often shocked and offended by the familiarity that existed as a matter of course between the whites and blacks of the old South. This was one of the surprising and unintended consequences of slavery. Slavery, as it operated in the pervasively Christian society which was the old South, was not an adversarial relationship founded on racial animosity. In fact, it bred on the whole, not contempt, but, over time, mutual respect. This produced a mutual esteem of the sort that always results when men give themselves to a common cause.
The credit for this startling reality must go to the Christian faith.
You know what?! Slavery wasn’t awesome. My ancestors and their slave masters weren’t BFFs.
Slavery was absolutely based on racial animosity as my ancestors were bought and sold as chattel. There was no mutual respect. There was no understanding between slaves and their masters.
Do I really need to say this?! I thought it should be obvious to people that slavery was hell on earth for black people who were raped and beaten.
If Congresswoman Michele Bachmann really wants to be President of the United States, which includes ancestors of slaves, she needs to acknowledge these missteps in her past and apologize. And for goodness sakes please stop with the slavery analogies and pledges!
There is no excuse whatsoever for anyone to believe this, much less endorse these ideas publicly without being shamed.