A Republican senator claimed that the United States “liberated slaves” during a speech that touched on systemic racism in Orlando on Friday.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) made the shocking claim as he addressed his fellow conservative colleagues at the American Conservative Union’s annual CPAC convention, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported.
The asinine analysis came after Hawley propped himself as the leader of a new nationalistic movement. He criticized the nation’s recent “acknowledgment” of white supremacy and systemic racism in the wake of death cases by police, including George Floyd in Minnesota.
“We heard that we are systemically racist. You heard that once or twice? We heard that the real founding of the country wasn’t in 1776. It was in 1619 or whatever. We heard that America is founded in lies and evil. That’s what we’ve been told. All of that is false. All of that is a lie,” Hawley told an enthusiastic crowd who cheered on his foolish rhetoric.
Hawley’s incorrect reference was to The New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project, which examined the legacy of slavery and takes its name from the year the first slave arrived on American soil.
“Part of standing up to the oligarchs in tech and in the media and in the liberals is reclaiming our history and saying it is good and we are proud to be Americans. We’re proud to have lived in a country that started with nothing and became the greatest country in the face of the earth. We’re proud to be in a country that liberated slaves.”
Hawley’s revisionist history speech went on to repeatedly refer to the left as the “oligarchy,” when in reality, conservative white men– like him – have been at the center of problems within the United States. He omitted that enslaved Black people’s “liberation” came after the Civil War took place and the 13th amendment was passed. The Constitution before the 13th amendment was enacted did not outright prohibit slavery. According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, the “Three-fifths Compromise” counted enslaved Africans for tax purposes. Still, because the American Revolution was founded on the principles of freedom– slavery in itself was unethical. With that said, America’s founding fathers never drew a hard line on profiting from Black bodies.
Hawley also credited the United States with rebuilding the world, and not being colonizing colonizers who were essentially– “good people.”
“We’re proud of living in a country that liberated slaves, that liberated a continent that was under the thumb of Nazi dictatorship, that rebuilt the entire world after a world war. We did all of that. This nation did all of that. And are we perfect? Of course, we’re not perfect,” he rattled on.
“It’s like your pastor says at church. Have you heard this?”
Hawley elaborated his point to the CPAC crowd, “Have you ever been to a perfect church?” I mean, I haven’t ever been. Maybe you have. The answer is no, of course not. Why? Because it’s full of people.”
The 41-year-old’s blatant disregard for the law and logic did not solely happen at the CPAC conference. According to The Kansas City Star, Hawley, who is also an attorney, was the first senator to object to President Joe Biden’s Electoral College win after the 2020 presidential election.