Arkansas Republican Jon Hubbard: Slavery was 'a blessing in disguise' for African-Americans

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Arkansas Republican Rep. Jon Hubbard is currently running for a state House seat, and his 2010 self-published book, entitled Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative, has resurfaced and is attracting a lot of attention. In the book he states that slavery may “have been a blessing in disguise” for blacks. Hubbard writes:

… 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.” (pages 183-89)

And Hubbard doesn’t stop there. The Arkansas Times reported Friday morning on Hubbard’s extremism. The right-wing conservative has argued that black students lack discipline and ambition, even claiming that “white students dropped to the level of black students,” through the integration of schools.

… one of the stated purposes of school integration was to bring black students up to a level close to that of white students. But, to the great disappointment of everyone, the results of this theory worked exactly in reverse of its intended purpose, and instead of black students rising to the educational levels previously attained by white students, the white students dropped to the level of black students. To make matters worse the lack of discipline and ambition of black students soon became shared by their white classmates, and our educational system has been in a steady decline ever since. (Page 27)

Hubbard questions, “wouldn’t life for blacks in America today be more enjoyable and successful if they would only learn to appreciate the value of a good education?”

The Arkansas lawmaker follows up the previous comments with another question:

…will it ever become possible for black people in the United States of America to firmly establish themselves as inclusive and contributing members of society within this country?  (page 187)

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.”

Hubbard, a vocal advocate for more strict immigration policies, states on the front page of his website that “perhaps the most important pledge I can make to the people of District 58, the citizens of Arkansas, and to myself, is to do whatever I can to defend, protect, and preserve our Christian heritage.”

With such controversial views, it remains to be seen whether or not Hubbard will be elected to an Arkansas state House seat this fall.

Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.