We have seen our fair share of stupidity, racism, misogyny and homophobia the last three years. It seems the election of a young black man in the White House unleashed a series of right-wing radical group therapies. From Sarah Palin’s hand notes being “a poor man’s teleprompter“, to Sen. Al Franken having the hardest time making the Senate understand that raping women is actually not okay, everything peaked when Utah criminalized miscarriage – and criminalized women, by extension, no longer being victims of abuse or medical recklessness, but just of their own existence and the fact it is conditioned by creating and caring for fetuses. That was bad. That was really bad.

Trent Franks: a little confused.

It is so bad, in fact, that some Senators are starting to miss the good ol’ days, fondly remembering a productive, efficient, proficient past, when everyone lived happily as separate but equal, when women were tending to their duties without whining like overeducated feminists, when those who were not white and rich would simply know their place and tip their stray hats to whomever would come strollin’ on by. Trent Franks is one of them; and it is with the confidence of the man who knows he’s digging himself a watery grave that he stated that “black people were better off under slavery”. If you think I am paraphrasing, or adding my own personal bias, I hereby swear that I am only directly quoting from this interview (starting around 6’20”).

Here is the full quote, for the YouTubophobiacs:

In this country, we had slavery for God knows how long. [sic] And now we look back on it and we say “How brave were they? What was the matter with them? You know, I can’t believe, you know, four million slaves. This is incredible.” And we’re right, we’re right. We should look back on that with criticism. [re-sic] It is a crushing mark on America’s soul. And yet today, half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African-American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by policies of slavery. And I think, What does it take to get us to wake up?

This is not how one celebrates the achievements of Martin Luther King, Senator. Not knowing the duration of slavery? That was the first thing that tipped me off. I grew extremely uncomfortable as he then recalled the “bravery” of slaves and the “criticism” (sic) that must be thrown at the advocates of slavery. You know, in case there are elected members of Congress besides Senator Franks that still think slavery was the best thing that happened to the United States. It is indeed a very sad day when one realises an elected official is incapable of making the difference between institutional racism and the psychological, social and economic ramifications behind abortion in a given fringe of the population. After Rick Warren comparing abortion to the Holocaust, we now have Franks comparing it to another human disaster. The need to improve the American educational system is increasing every time one Republican senator speaks publicly. Do something.

Franks is not done, though. He emphasizes his point by stating it was not a temporary lapse of judgement. It is always better to highlight your stupidity by claiming it is actually intelligent and that your interlocutor can simply not decipher your thought process. Franks tells the bemused reporter,

“[S]ometimes we get angry and say things that we shouldn’t say, and I apologize…[for saying things] that are intemperate. But I don’t want to hide from the truth.”

Let’s not. ThinkProgress mentions that Franks’ comments are similar to that new (and slightly frightening) ad campaign targeting “urban black areas” and reading “black children are an endangered species”.  If this is the way Senator Franks is trying to emulate his spokesperson, Michael Steele, and win over the black vote, I call a fail.

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