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Is E.W. Jackson the gift that keeps on giving?

6/20/2013, 5:47 p.m.
E. W. Jackson, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, marked Juneteenth on June 19 at Newport News event that had ...
E.W. Jackson

E. W. Jackson, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, marked Juneteenth on June 19 at Newport News event that had him saying that slavery did not do as bad a job in eroding the black family as 1960s social safety programs. He is now shielding more criticism from Democrats who have called him too extreme in his views.

“In 1960 most black children were raised in two parent monogamous families,” Jackson said in a widely circulated YouTube video. “By now, by this time, we only have 20 percent of black children being raised in two parent monogamous families with a married man and woman raising those children. 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.”

Americans “should remember” the country's history of slavery, but “not wallow in it,” said Jackson during the Juneteenth commemoration of June 19, 1865, when slaves in Texas first learned of the end of slavery from Union Gen. Gordon Granger. The day is now celebrated as a day marking the end of slavery in the country.

Jackson told attendees that he was the great-grandson of slaves from Orange County, and that slavery was not a uniquely American concept. He said it was the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence that eventually lead to the end of slavery. “We are founded on the principle of truth that our rights, our freedoms do not come from a government, a king, a president, a potentate,” he said. “They came from almighty God; they come from our creator. And even while slavery still existed in this nation those words resonated in the consciences of the American people.”

Below is the excerpted speech from the video:

"My great grandparents, Gabriel and Elijah Jackson were slaves and sharecroppers in Orange County, Virginia. I am a direct decedent of slaves. My grandfather was born there, to a father and a mother who had been slaves. And by the way, their family was more intact than the black family is today and I'm telling you that slavery did not destroy the black family even though it certainly was an attack on the black family, it made it difficult. But I'll tell you that the programs that began in the '60s, the programs that began to tell women that you don't need a man in the home, the government will take care of you, that and began to tell men, you don't need to be in the home, the government will take care of this woman and take care of these children. That's when the black family began to deteriorate.

"In 1960, most black children were raised in two parent, monogamous families. By now, by this time, we have only 20% of black children being raised in a two parent, monogamous families with the married man and woman raising those children. It wasn't slavery that did that, it was government that did that. It tried to solve problems that only god can solve and that only we as human beings can solve."