AR lawmaker: Slavery "may actually have been a blessing in disguise"

AR lawmaker: Slavery "may actually have been a blessing in disguise"

State Rep. Jon Hubbard wrote a book in which he says that slavery: "may actually have been a blessing in disguise."
LITTLE ROCK, AR - State Rep. Jon Hubbard wrote a book in which he says that slavery: "may actually have been a blessing in disguise."

Hubbard's book is available online, and Friday, our media partner Michael Cook at "Talk Business," published an article about it.

The viewpoints are extreme, especially when it comes to slavery:

“… 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)

Hubbard mentions the book in his biography on his campaign website. He first ran for public office in 2010 when he won the seat in District 58 in Jonesboro for the Republicans.

You may also recall that Hubbard lashed out at a committee chair in 2011 during the legislative session.

Hubbard's viewpoint does not sit well with the Democratic Party.

"We still have a lot further to go, and Jon Hubbard simply wants to move us backwards, and I think that that's wrong for our state and wrong as a country," says AR Democratic Party Spokesperson Candice Martin.

On public education Hubbard writes:

"...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." (Page 27)

Martin went to Jonesboro Public Schools.

"My mom still teaches school there. I think it's appalling for him to make such statements about our public education system and about the fact that we cannot work together regardless of race and backgrounds and cultures in improving our education system for the better. Clearly he thinks that that is not in the best interest of us," she says.

FOX16 called and e-mailed Hubbard Friday requesting an interview. He did not respond.

FOX16 also spoke with the AR Republican Party Spokesperson, and e-mailed her, asking for an interview. FOX16 did not hear back.

Hubbard wrote the book in 2009 before he ran for office in 2010. In the book's introduction, Hubbard says he wrote it "straight from the heart." Hubbard is running for re-election right now.

State Republican leaders respond

The Arkansas Republican House Caucus issued the following statement:

“The published statements of Rep. Hubbard and Mr. Fuqua are their individual views protected by the First Amendment, but are in no way reflective of, or endorsed by, the Republican caucus. The constituencies they are seeking to represent will ultimately judge these statements at the ballot box."

Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) Chairman Doyle Webb released the following statement:

“The reported statements made by Hubbard and Fuqua were highly offensive to many Americans and do not reflect the viewpoints of the Republican Party of Arkansas. While we respect their right to freedom of expression and thought, we strongly disagree with those ideas.

“It’s unfortunate the Democratic Party of Arkansas is attempting to hold onto one-party control by engaging in distractions that do nothing to put hardworking Arkansans back to work and rebuild our economy.”
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