You might think that racial controversy could finally be dying down after President Trump’s statements last night that “love for America requires love for all of its people” and that “there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry, and no tolerance for hate.” If so, you would be wrong. This time the blame doesn’t lie with the president, however, but with a Trump surrogate who seems to think that slavery was a good thing.
The Trump supporter in question is Katrina Pierson who was the national spokesperson for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Pierson appeared on a Fox & Friends segment with Ainsley Earhardt and Wendy Osefo, a “social justice” activist. Two minutes into the discussion on the removal of Confederate monuments, Pierson went off the rails.
— Ainsley Earhardt (@ainsleyearhardt) August 21, 2017
Osefo: This is not a symbol of patriotism. This is a symbol of hatred and division and, while it is a piece of American history, it is not necessarily the good part of American history. It is nefarious. So it doesn’t deserve a place on state grounds. It deserves a place in museums and that’s where they need to be.
Pierson: It absolutely deserves a place because bad history is still good history for this country.
Osefo: Slavery is good history?
Pierson: Where we are today, where we are today, absolutely!
Osefo (still more incredulously): Slavery is good history? Absolutely?
Pierson: During those times, during those times, think about this for a second: Where would we be today if not for that Civil War?
Osefo (still more incredulously): Where would we be without slavery? Are you even serious?
Pierson: Would our children even know how special and wonderful this country even is?
At that point, the exchange became unintelligible with both women talking at the same time.
Since the Trump Administration seems to be having problems in the area of race relations, I will offer them some advice to help prevent further missteps:
- When someone asks about Nazis, your answer should be, “They are bad. We don’t support them and we don’t want their support.” That is guaranteed to be a slam dunk with no potential for blowback.
- If someone asks you about the Ku Klux Klan, the same answer will work equally well.
- If someone asks about slavery, the answer should be, “It was morally wrong, bad for the country and we are glad it was ended.”
- Don’t try to justify it.
- Don’t try to sugarcoat it.
- Repeat as necessary.
What of Katrina Pierson’s question about where America would be without slavery and the Civil War? For starters, 620,000 American soldiers, more than all other wars combined until Vietnam, would not have been killed. Without slavery, almost 13 million Africans would not have been ripped from their families and shipped to the New World with about two million dying enroute. Without slavery and the Civil War, the US would not have the enduring racial divide and the animosity between North and South that has lasted 150 years. The South would not have been razed by Federal armies and that destruction would not have impoverished the region for the next 100 years.
If slavery and the Civil War had never happened, America would be even more special and wonderful than it already is. Our children, black and white, would have even more reason to love her and be proud of her.
Slavery and the Civil War represent one of the darkest aspects of American history and Katrina Pierson’s comments are likely to be one of the dumbest things you will hear this week. It’s only Tuesday though. Who knows what the rest of the week will bring?