By Jillian Rayfield
"How unique in all of the world, that one nation that was the resting point from people groups all across the world," she said. "It didn't matter the color of their skin, it didn't matter their language, it didn't matter their economic status."
"Once you got here, we were all the same. Isn't that remarkable?" she asked.
Speaking at an Iowans For Tax Relief event, Bachmann (R-MN) also noted how slavery was a "scourge" on American history, but added that "we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States."
"And," she continued, "I think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forbearers who worked tirelessly--men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country."
It's true--Adams became a vocal opponent of slavery, especially during his time in the House of Representatives. But Adams was not one of the founders, nor did he live to see the Emancipation Proclamation signed in 1863 (he died in 1848).
Actually, "the very founders that wrote those documents" were dead long before slavery ended. For instance, Charles Carroll was the last signer of the Declaration of Independence to die. He died in 1832, 31 years before the Emancipation Proclamation.
I'm not sure how prejudiced the Founders were against people who spoke languages such as German or Dutch. They were clearly prejudiced against the poor. "When the Constitution was written, only white male property owners (about 10 to 16 percent of the nation's population) had the vote," Infoplease.com reminds us. And they were clearly prejudiced against different races, including the blacks they enslaved and the Indians they killed.
They also were prejudiced against people on the basis of religion, gender, and immigration status. Really, the only people they weren't prejudiced against were white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. You know, people exactly like themselves.
Conservatives whitewash history
It's hard to say who's the most ignorant leader of the Republican Tea Party--Glenn Beck? Sarah Palin?--but Bachmann is certainly a contender. In any case, this is yet another example of the conservatives' attempt to rewrite history. The goal, of course, to confirm that America belongs to its white male Christian minority. That the people who rule now deserve their white power and privilege. It's a milder form of the claim Palin made: that Americans are equal and accusations of racism are a ploy.
We see these tactics constantly. In particular incidents such as these:
Sanitizing Martin Luther King Jr.
Obama's UN "coup" is "chilling"
Conservatives think they're "natives"
Obama smeared as Luo tribesman
And in trying to shut down talk about race in general:
Mentioning racism = dwelling on past?
Conservatives hope minorities will forget
Talking about racism perpetuates racism?!
Americans refuse to acknowledge prejudice
The goal in every case: to maintain the power of the people in charge.