Arkansas GOP rep Jon Hubbard stands by pro-slavery comments

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Jonesboro-based Arkansas lawmaker and statehouse candidate Jon Hubbard earned some unwanted national attention this week when it was revealed that he had defended the institution of slavery as recently as 2010.

Hubbard wrote in his self-published book Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative: “…the institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.”

Now, after a huge backlash, Hubbard is refusing to back down from his controversial statements.

“Slavery was cruel, but as a result of slavery, we have African-Americans living in this country today who are living here in situations that are probably much better to endure than if they were living in Sub-Saharan Africa. If you had the choice knowing the lifestyle of people living in Africa and knowing the lifestyle of people living in the United States, which would you choose? Pure and simple,” told the Jonesboro Sun.

“But I think the end result — that they [African-Americans]  did get to live in America, although the means for getting here were terrible —I think the end result was better than it would have been if they had to live in Africa themselves,” added Hubbard

“To be frank, I’m appalled by it,” said Hubbard’s Democratic opponent, Harold Copenhaver. “The statements that he wrote in his book were appalling, and they don’t have a place in either party. … This isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. This is a simple fact of the difference of right and wrong. This is wrong.”

According to the New York Daily News, state GOP chairman Doyle Webb called Hubbard’s book “highly offensive.”  Republican Rep. Rick Crawford has also called it “divisive and racially inflammatory.”

Still, Hubbard remains on the ballot as the standard bearer for the Republican party in his district.