Bachmann and the Tea Baggers Rewrite American History

Michele Bachmann, genius in chief and Congresswomen representing a largely white and rural area outside Minneapolis had the following to say about the founding fathers and their attitudes toward slavery:

“the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States….Men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.”

Now, let’s move aware from our preconcieved notions that anyone involved in the Tea Party holds a batshit mish-mash of handpicked historical ideas and interpretations that rival even the most moronic of Biblical “scholars.”

It is well known that John Quincy Adams was vehemently against slavery and supported the abolitionist movement. Bachmann is correct on this. But Adams was also quite aware of the political realities of abolishing slavery and hoped that the Constitution itself would result it’s demise. Rather than “fight tirelessly to end slavery,” he just waited… and died. It would be nearly a full 20 years after his death that slavery was abolished, and another century before African-Americans would obtain legal equality. We’ll just ignore that he was a mere 9 years old when the Declaration of Independence was signed.

George Washington owned more than 300 slaves at any one time in his lifetime. He inherited his first piece of human property at age 11. However, despite years of guiltlessly holding humans in bondage and working them morning til night, feeding them like pigs and beating them when they attempted to run away, Mr. Washington experienced a mid-life crisis and had a change of heart. He later refused to sell slaves, not wanting to break up slave families and emancipated all his slaves upon his wife’s death. His wife owned half the slaves on Washington’s plantation. We can credit him with his belated good will, but Washington was no soldier in the fight against slavery. Not to belittle a man’s moral transformation, but does it really take that long to realize the horrors of human exploitation? Apparently so. Rather than fight against slavery as a moral and social issue, he just simply felt bad for his own slaves and sheepishly tried to assuage his own personal guilt. Too little, too late, George.

The worst though, has to be Thomas Jefferson . Mr. Jefferson owned as many as 200 slaves at any one time in his lifetime. Although involved in the abolitionist movement, his trademark contradictory rhetoric can’t really be used to pin him as a true abolitionist. Jefferson may have personally been opposed to slavery, but he certainly didn’t put his money where his mouth was, later selling his human property to pay for his vast debt load and using humans as down payments on new pieces of property. To add insult to injury, Jefferson’s debts largely were the result of entertaining white guests and drinking fine wine, while his African property lived in squalid conditions and ate gruel.

Jefferson is credited with treating his slaves well, but upon further inspection, one realizes that his benevolence was motivated by profit. His efforts to reduce infant mortality stemmed from his through that “a woman who brings a child every two years is more profitable than the best man on the farm.” Jefferson was hardy a “tireless fighter against slavery and oppression” but rather an irresponsible and mealy mouthed enabler of human exploitation!

I have great respect for Jefferson mostly due to his relentless pursuits of intellectual understanding on a variety of topics, but his vast flip-flopping and battery of contradictory statements and views make him it difficult for me to say that he represents any aspect of my politics. In fact, I don’t think many people can claim him. Jefferson is like the Bible: if you search his writings long enough, you can find just about anything to support whatever you’re trying to say.

Bachmann’s statements represent a long tradition of rightists attempting to rewrite and whitewash the horrors of slavery. It was telling during a Tea Bagger inspired reading of the Constitution at the beginning of the present Congress, that all references to our countries complicity in human exploitation and the horrors of treating humans as products to be bought and sold, were conveniently avoided. Unless we can have an open and honest discussion of our history and the role that slavery played in making the United States the wealthiest country on earth, we will never move on morally from this stain on humanity’s history. We are all complicit. Let’s never forget that and make sure that the commodification of humans never occurs on this planet again.

About Pete Larson

Researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Lecturer in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I do epidemiology, public health, GIS, health disparities and environmental justice. I also do music and weird stuff.

5 responses to “Bachmann and the Tea Baggers Rewrite American History”

  1. Jon says :

    Hey, Pete. Just to correct an inaccuracy: the area Bachmann represents isn’t a wealthy suburb. It is largely white, but it’s a semi-rural area that also contains a large town, St. Cloud, home to a few colleges and universities, that has had its share of racist incidents over the past several years, as its semi-rural white population gets slowly used to the sight of Southeast Asian refugees and East Africans. But St. Cloud is separated from the metro area by about an hour’s drive, first through not-wealthy suburbs around the Minneapolis border, then through farmland.

  2. Pete Larson says :


    Thank you for pointing that out. My assumption that it was wealthy comes from misreading of the median income of Bachmann’s district, which is actually only $56K. Corrected. Thank you. The whiteness, however, can’t be denied.

  3. BT says :

    JQ Adams died in 1848. was it really a century between then and 1863? and didn’t he defend the Amistad crew against the US? just waited and died…

  4. Pete Larson says :

    Fair enough. I meant a century after independence. I’m certainly not disputing Adams actions nor intentions, but that Bachmann vastly overstated his role in solving America’s race problems.

    You know as well as I do that Bachmann herself would have been defending the legal enslavement of human beings for profit.

  5. Guy Asmart says :

    The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 prohibited slavery in the territories, in accordance with a power conferred upon Congress to prohibit Slavery in non-state territories. The language of the NorthWest Ordinance served as the model for the language of the 13th Amendment, and is express provision for perpetuation of the ancient rule establishing the the enslavement of persons “duly convicted” of “crime”:
    “Art. 6. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted”

    The U.S. Constitution empowered Congress to prohibit the “importation” of slaves into the US, (for the purpose of preventing the importation of HIV/AIDs, Ebola, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus and other diseases after slaves brought Malaria to the Americas) but it did not confer upon Congress any power to abolish slavery in any state. The power to prohibit importation of slaves was exercised in

    John Quincy Adams became a leading opponent of the Slave Power. He predicted that if a civil war were to break out, the president could abolish slavery by using his powers. Adams also predicted the Union’s dissolution over the slavery issue, but said that if the South became independent there would be a series of bloody slave revolts.

    And see where John Quincy Adams fought “tirelessly to end slavery” at (“During the censure debate, Adams said that he took delight in the fact that southerners would forever remember him as ‘the acutest, the astutest, the archest enemy of southern slavery that ever existed’ “) In 1841, at the request of Lewis Tappan and Ellis Gray, Adams joined the case of United States v. The Amistad. Adams went before the Supreme Court on behalf of African slaves who had revolted and seized the Spanish ship Amistad. Adams appeared on 24 February 1841, and spoke for four hours. His argument succeeded; the Court ruled in favor of the Africans, who were declared free and returned to their homes.[64]

    Thomas Jefferson, a scientist who penned the Declaration of Independence, searched endlessly for an intelligent black, and studied hundreds of black specimen. In modern times, scientists have found that American blacks on average have an IQ of 80, which is 20 points higher than the African blacks of today, and 20 points lower than the average white person. It is also known that American blacks today have, on average have about 20% of European DNA. In fact, Jefferson himself contributed European DNA to the American black genome. According to modern Africans, the black kings of Africa disposed of their worst black criminals and their most worthless (stupid) subjects, by selling them into slavery to the Muslims and Europeans. It follows logically that the blacks in America in Jefferson’s time had a lower average IQ, closer to or even lower than 60 (the modern African average) Thus, it was empirically reasonable for Thomas Jefferson to conclude that, on average, blacks of his time were intellectually inferior to white people. After examining hundreds of contemporaneous blacks, Jefferson concluded this about Black intelligence:

    “in memory they are equal to the whites;”

    “in reason much inferior, as I think one could scarcely be found capable of tracing and comprehending the investigations of Euclid;”

    “and that in imagination they are dull, tasteless, and anomalous.”

    The consistent failure of American blacks, on average, to achieve educational success statistically equal to that of asians, jews or whites, confirms Jefferson’s assessment.

    Seven black males armed with clubs attacked young Abraham Lincoln and his companion along the bank of the Mississippi river, and Lincoln was saved from this robbery and death only by the invention of “guns” It was not until a white man sired Frederick Douglas and thus a black-skinned man inherited a white man’s brain, that President Lincoln met a black-skinned man who seemed equal in intelligence and worthy of citizenship. The Anti-slavery movement was greatly advanced in the 1860s by the scandal of white-skinned slave women who were being deliberately bred into existence by white men for the purpose of being sold as sex-slaves. Therefore, it is likely that the incidence of DNA donation by whites into the American black genome was increased between the age of Jefferson and the age of Lincoln.
    Upon meeting Frederick Douglas, Lincoln agreed to give SOME freed blacks citizenship. (This decision precipitated John Booth to assassinate Lincoln) Again, it took interbreeding by a white a white man to produce this intelligent black-skinned specimen known as Frederick Douglas. And, when blacks and liberals voted for Barack Obama, they voted for a black-skinned Muslim-educated man who was descended mostly from Muslim (Arabs) slavers and white Europeans, and not from sub-Saharan Africans. So, all the scientific and political evidence indicates that the American blacks of Thomas Jefferson’s time were not as richly endowed with the brains of white men as are the later generations of blacks, and that blacks of Thomas Jefferson’s time were justifiably judged to be incapable of citizenship.
    Current crime statistics, (Google: Color of Crime) e.g., American blacks commit disproportionate numbers of rapes, murders, robberies), confirm that the American black genome is full of genes that cause impulse control problems, and that spawn the sociopath “superpredators” who are entirely undesirable, and are manifestly suited only for the enslavement authorized by the “duly convicted” exception of the Thirteenth Amendment. There are over One Million black criminals in prison at any one time in America. One Million Juries cannot be wrong. In the estimation of Over One Million Juries, Over One Million black males s (out of 6 million modern black males) are suited to be Slaves today. It may well have been true in Jefferson’s time that most blacks were suited only to be slaves. The modern disproportionate crime rate (e.g., violent crime) of blacks entirely vindicates and confirms the assessments by Thomas Jefferson, and others, that on average, blacks of that early time period were unfit for citizenship, and were best suited to be slaves.
    Jefferson’s views of blacks were similar to the modern view of Great Apes today. Modern humans today argue over whether Great Apes should be aforded equal rights and protections as humans are afforded. Meanwhile, black men in Africa hunt and eat Great Apes. In fact, Blacks in Congo were eating pygmies (small negro humans) a few years ago until the pygmies complained to the United Nations.
    It is inappropriate to speak negatively of scientists like Jefferson who made an honest effort to determine whether contemporary blacks were equal to white humans, and who reasonably concluded negatively. See also the universally-negative opinions about blacks that are cataloged in the Dred Scott decision. The disproportionate black crime rate in America, and in London (where slavery never existed) and in Canadian cities, substantially confirms the scientific views of Jefferson concerning the propriety of enslaving the blacks of his time. Jefferson and his contemporaries did not have the benefit of knowledge of DNA and the Human Genome, and therefore made the reasonable error in assuming that all blacks were the same while many blacks were suited to be slaves. Today we know that blacks are genetically NOT all the same as each other, and that most American blacks have a substantial amount of White European DNA, and that the portion of black males who are suited to be enslaved today is more than One Million, but probably less than half of the black male population. In our time, the most-advanced legal system and millions of juries convened in criminal trials have determined that more than One Million black males (and about one third of all black males) are criminally deviant and are suited to being enslaved. One in three black males will go to prison in their lifetime. Thus, even today, fully one third of black males (Two Million out of 6 Million modern black males) is suited for enslavement according to the standard prescribed in the Thirteenth Amendment. This “one third” criminality rate among black males determined in modern times by modern fact-finding methods, is itself a substantial confirmation of a factual basis for the earlier conclusions by Thomas Jefferson and of his peers, even if they were somewhat wrong to over-generalize as to ALL blacks on the basis of their study of some large number of specimen.

    Moreover, the fact that IRISH were first enslaved in the Americas in the 1600s and were persistently discriminated against for hundreds of years (“Irish need not apply”) but today do Not have a disproportionate crime rate, and they have fully assimilated into the White European culture of America (and assumed leadership roles in most places), substantially proves that many American blacks are uniquely unable to progress above the legal standard prescribed for enslavement in the Thirteenth Amendment. Two Million Juries can’t be wrong.

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