Update: The language of the Family Leader Pledge referencing slavery was dropped on Saturday explaining that “the statement… can be misconstrued… detract[ing] from the core message of the Marriage Vow.”
I’m afraid there’ll be no baby-making Barry White music played while reading the “The Marriage Vow: a Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family.”
Why? White conservatives are too afraid of all the black, brown, and red babies crowding out the white babies. Michele Bachmann’s signing of The Family Leader pledge to be pro-marriage and to destroy pornography is racially coded, and is another high-pitched alarm to ahistorical white conservatives, white supremacists, and Quiverfull advocates. Bob Vander Platts, the author of the vow, knows how to hit all the right notes for dog whistles, having worked for Mike Huckabee in Iowa in 2008. If you can’t hear the whistle, let me point you to the first two bullet points of the Family Leaders’ Marriage explanation for the vow, which read as follows:
Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.
LBJ’s 1965 War on Poverty was triggered in part by the famous “Moynihan Report” finding that the black out-of-wedlock birthrate had hit 26%; today, the white rate exceeds that, the overall rate is 41%, and over 70% of African-American babies are born to single parent.
Um, Hell-to-the-yeah slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families. White slave owners broke apart families to sell, raped black women, and often confiscated the babies from these forced unions. Somehow, conservatives like Bob Vander Plaats forget to mention that. They are too busy buying into the fake history of the forefathers from WallBuilders.
The statement that a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household is a boldfaced, ignorant lie, designed to tug at conservative white heartstrings and sucker in some African-American Christian conservatives. To wit, let me quote Frederick Douglass from his autobiography: “The practice of separating mothers from their children and hiring them out at long distances too great to admit of the meeting, save at long intervals, was a market feature of the cruelty and barbarity of the slave system… It had no interest in recognizing or preserving any of the ties that bind families together or to their homes”
I am really getting sick and tired of the conservative meme about saving marriage, and placing the shaky foundation of their argument on African-American single parent birth and wedlock rates. Conservatives idolize the founding fathers, yet they conveniently forget the legacy of slavery and its atrocities many of the founders acquiesced to. While conservatives tick off statistics about African-American babies born out of wedlock, Teen Mom is the MTV show where teenage white girls can get their cash on by being pregnant and beating up their boyfriends on TV. Bristol Palin is proof that being a pregnant, unwed white girl is enough for a memoir at 20 called Not Afraid of Life. Put this together with all the reproductive rights rollbacks on abortion and the like, and the schizophrenic hysteria of the right doesn’t hold up.
When it comes to vows, pledges, and the like, the last thing I want to hear it from is a white male conservative authoring some sappy pledge for candidates to sign. After reading the report on John Ensign and Mark Sandford hitting the Appalachian Trail, and the RNC using funds at a sex-themed voyeur nightclub, moralizing, asinine pledges aren’t going to stop anyone, including the candidates, from having sex and watching lots of porn. Add in the ahistoricism of the right, and it’s laughable that any pledge from this hypocritical bunch could hold water.
So I have a suggestion for a better song for Bob Vander Plaats, Michele Bachmann and others to listen to while reading this pledge. It is Public Enemy’s “Can’t Truss It.” Matter of fact, watching the song’s video isn’t a bad idea either. If Public Enemy can get it right, then Bob Vander Plaats and his minions have their homework cut out for them.