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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

TRUTH HURTS

"More than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled — doubled — since we were children."
-President Obama, 2008 Father's Day Address

This was the link text from New York Post, on their sidebar: GOP Candidates Back Off from Signing Pledge Praising Slavery. Wow, that's pretty awful, who could possibly sign such a pledge? Those must be terrible people, those Republican Party candidates. I always knew deep down they were h8ful racists.

When you clicked on the link it changed, though. The actual headline is:

Phrase suggesting black families stronger under slavery removed from Bachmann, Santorum pledge

That's still misleading, of course. It wasn't a Bachmann, Santorum pledge. It was a group called First Leader that put out the pledge, and these two signed it along with many others. The phrase in question that got some people upset was this one:
Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President.
As it turns out, that's true. The family was more likely to stay intact in those days than now. And its a powerful statement; noting that even in those horrific days of evil mistreatment of blacks, families were in better shape than they are now, when things have changed so much we have a black president.

So in one sense we have progress, but in another things have gotten much worse. And this contrast serves as a powerful tool to shock people into noticing something they otherwise might not pay much attention to.

And this is the problem: these candidates were pressured into backing off of that pledge. They weren't pushed away from it because the pledge said things they didn't like, or because that statement wasn't true. They were pressured off because some people didn't like how that was worded and twisted it to sound like it praised slavery.

Which is utterly false, the statement clearly condemns slavery; "Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families." So it was a lie that pressured them to retract their support of the pledge, and a truth that upset the people who complained.

And that's the state of politics today, folks. Truth hurts you. We've gone from "Bush Lied" to "You told a truth I don't like."

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