Not So Proud to Be Ignorant

Bachmann claims, rather amazingly, to have not seen the first bullet point for "The Marriage Vow," and the conservative group that put it forward is now trying to retreat, without retreating:


"After careful deliberation and wise insight and input from valued colleagues we deeply respect, we agree that the statement referencing children born into slavery can be misconstrued," said Julie Summa, a spokeswoman for the Family Leader. "We sincerely apologize for any negative feelings this has caused, and have removed the language from the vow."


"It was not meant to be racist or anything. it was just a fact that back in the days of slavery there was usually a husband and a wife...we were not saying at all that things are better for African-American children in slavery days than today." 

No. Slave marriages had zero legal standing. It's the reason why slaves, after emancipation, often had to be married by union officers. Indeed, marriage was often the first thing liberated slaves did. Here is the author of the study which the group cited in their pledge taking on the original quote:

The pledge provides a footnote to support their claim, citing a 2005 study, The Consequences of Marriage for African Americans. I decided to ask one of the study's authors, Dr. Lorraine Blackman, what she thought of The Family Leader's "pro-family" interpretation of slavery. 

 "That's just wrong," she said. "It is a serious error."

Blackman doesn't even have data until 1880. Which is fine because she wasn't actually making a point about slavery.

As Osha Gray Davidson notes, this is apology as weak-tea. The group never acknowledges that they offered no factual basis for their claim. They just are sorry that it "can be misconstrued," and may have caused "negative feelings."

No one's actually wrong anymore. They're just sorry that you can't handle the "truth,"

In other news, some props for Gary Johnson.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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