Comments by E. W. Jackson regarding African American families cause concern.June 24, 2013 at 1:53 am | Posted in African American, blacks, equality, Republican Party, Slavery, the Republican Party, U. S. Census | Leave a comment
Tags: African American History, African Americans, American History, black, E. W. Jackson. theGrio, European Americans, lieutenant governor, Macbeth, newport news va, politics, Republicans, Shakespeare, slavery, U.S.Census, Virginia
The Republican candidate for Virginia’s lieutenant governor’s position, E. W. Jackson, has made quite a spectacle of himself with his eye-raising comments relative to African Americans as well as gay Americans. He spouts history as if he was conversant with it and his extreme views on other topics helps to create a picture of a man whose life is seemingly reflected in Shakespeare’s Macbeth’s statement that “it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” In fairness to Jackson, let us look at some of his statements to underscore our assessment of him.
In a speech delivered by Jackson recently in Newport News, VA., he said that “In 1960, most black children were raised in two-parent, monogamous families.”Taken at face value, the statement has little meaning because we do not know what “most” represents as a percentage. He did not refer to the 1960 U.S. Census as a source for his information nor did he reference any other source. In addition, he made reference to “black children,” not “African American children.”Was he using “black children” as a synonym for “African American children,” or did he not realize the difference between the two? Black children live all over the world, but African American children live predominantly in America.
Jackson continued by stating that “By now, by this time, we have only 20 percent of black children being raised in two-parent, monogamous families with a married man and woman raising those children.”So we have moved from the 1960 to now, the present, and the percentage of black children being raised in a family of monogamous, married husband and wife is at “20 percent.” We do not know if this percentage is accurate or even if it is higher or lower than the 1960s because no figure was given. What we do not know is where Jackson gets his figures, the source. He stipulates that the children live with married men and women in monogamous relationships. One wonders where he acquired that information. Jackson by-passes all the changes that occurred in America that influences the traditional family from the 1960s to the present then arrive at his 20 percent. We have no idea of his point or objective. Also, his bias towards same-sex couples stand out in his statement because he emphasizes the point of men and women in the family.
So far, Jackson’s statement shows a lack of consistency in time and purpose. In his next sentence he exclaimed, “It wasn’t slavery that did that. It was government that did that, trying to solve problems that only God can solve and that only we as human beings can solve.” We readers and listeners would really like to know what it is that slavery didn’t do. If he is attempting to attribute strong African American family traditions and ties to slavery, then he missed that boat. Evidently, he missed that part of American history that told of families being torn apart by slave masters selling various members at his pleasure. These slave families were families in blood and behavior only because slaves did not have rights.
Again, if Jackson is making a reference to African American families being adversely affected by government, he again missed the boat. We still do not know what slavery did not do, but the government did do relative to the 20 percent figure today relative to African American families. We might assume that Jackson places the blame on the government for the deteriorating traditional African American family today; however, to suggest that the government programs of the 1960s have caused more harm to the African American family than slavery is preposterous. His sentence makes little sense by suggesting that government was trying to solve problems the only God can solve. What problems is he talking about. We are still totally in the dark as to what is his objective.
At this point Jackson has lost most of us in his ranting about something that is not clearly stated or referenced. His addition of (problems) “only we as human beings can solve” misses the point of what problems and who is government. His statement seems to suggest that he believes that government and we, the people, are two totally different entities. We must question why anyone would vote for someone who talks loud, fast, and continuously, but says little of value. Some of his comments that are understandable are also polarizing. For example, in making known his anti-gay position, Jackson has referred to homosexuality as poison and that “it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies.” When Jackson was asked about some of his extreme comments he replied that he was speaking as a pastor, not as a candidate.
The reference to Shakespeare’s Macbeth at the beginning of this blog was meant to focus on the content of Jackson’s comments, the logic, if any, that they displayed. As we examined some of his comments, we recognized that logic, for all intent and purpose, was missing. If we were to follow Jackson’s logical intent with his reference to the African American family, we might assume as a preacher, he would have questioned God’s reason for freeing the Children of Israel from Egyptian slavery since the families were intact and they could secretly practice their religion. For some unknown reason he seems to take extreme views of things that challenges logic, but thinks that people who disagree with him are at fault. We can only hope that the voters of Virginia take the time to listen carefully to what their candidates are saying before making their selection, especially for lieutenant governor.