Three Republican lawmakers in Arkansas are in hot water following the release of their remarks about slavery, Jesus and Muslims over the weekend. The Arkansas Republican Party immediately distanced itself by denouncing their comments as offensive and pulling their campaign funding.
All three men — state representatives Jon Hubbard and Loy Mauch and candidate Charlie Fuqua — published their comments in books or blogs. Excerpts from their writings were published by online newsmagazine TalkBusiness.net and the Arkansas Times, an alternative weekly in Little Rock.
In a 2009 self-published book, Representative Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro calls slavery a “blessing in disguise” for blacks, who otherwise would have still struggled as “African tribesmen” instead of becoming the citizens of “the greatest nation” on earth.
“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,” Hubbard argues in Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative. “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 this Earth.”
Hubbard goes on to argue that racial integration caused the decline of the American public school system and that as a race, blacks ought to stop clinging onto a victim mentality.
House candidate Charlie Fuqua, of Batesville, Ark., wrote in his 2012 book God’s Law: The Only Political Solution that all Muslims should be expelled from the U.S. to solve “the Muslim problem,” according to the Associated Press.
In a Sept. 27 blog post titled “Christianity in Retreat,” Fuqua said that Muslims and the liberal left have some things in common: They were both “antichrists” who hoped to destroy the world by starting “violent, bloody revolutions.”
Fuqua told the AP that he was surprised by his own party’s denouncement.
“I think my views are fairly well-accepted by most people,” he said.
Hubbard, who is running for reelection, defended himself by releasing an email to KAIT8, a local ABC affiliate, saying he was attacked by “left-wing bloggers” who took his remarks out of context.
“They attacked me because I’m a conservative,” he wrote in the email, “and they’ve taken small portions of my book out of context, and distorted what was said to make it appear that I am racist, which is totally and completely false.”(Click here to read the entire email, along with a chapter of his book.)
State Rep. Loy Mauch of Bismarck, Ark., has long made his feelings about slavery and the history of the South through his frequent letters to the editor to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, The Huffington Post reports. In a 2007 letter, Mauch described Abraham Lincoln as a “war criminal,” according to the AP. He also wrote in a 2009 letter that “Jesus Christ did condone slavery.”
State GOP Chairman Doyle Webb denounced the writings of all three men as “highly offensive” and said the party would no longer financially support their campaigns on Saturday, the AP reports. On Monday Tim Griffin, who represents Arkansas’ 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives, demanded Mauch, Hubbard and Fuqua donate his contributions to charity instead. A fellow Arkansas Republican, Rep. Rick Crawford, called the writings “divisive and racially inflammatory.”
Jay Barth, a political science professor at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., told Reuters that these lawmakers’ comments on race are a setback to the progress Arkansas has made since the 1960s. But the fact that not just Hubbard, but two other lawmakers also made racially charged remarks, makes Republicans look particularly bad.