I’ve been watching all of the different ways people are pushing back on Senator Tom Cotton’s absurd remarks that slavery was a necessary evil, but none have resonated as deeply as Stacey Abrams’ response on The Reid Report.
To refresh our memories, Tom Cotton came up with a lot of argle-bargle when confronted with the reaction to his claim that slavery was a “necessary evil.”
What I said is that many founders believed that only with the union and the constitution could we put slavery on the path to its ultimate extinction.
Which is not at all what he said. Here is what he said:
As the founding fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction.
I should note that he is adamant about trying to ban the 1619 Project from being taught in schools, which flies in the face of what he is saying. As the descendant of slaveholders, Cotton is simply justifying that which he believes.
Joy Reid asked Stacey Abrams to respond to this word hackery, and she did not hold back. Read or watch every word.
First of all, there is no such thing as a necessary evil. Evil is evil, and slavery is one of the ultimate evils. And I think having this conversation on the day when John Lewis lays in state is a critical moment of reckoning. If Tom Cotton is sincere in his desire to understand history, then he should be celebrating the 1619 Project. He should be celebrating the Voting Rights Act renewal. He should be celebrating Black Lives Matter. Because the continuity of evil in our country has led us to this moment.
We can only extinguish evil by acknowledging that it exists and doing everything in our power to defeat it, not to celebrate it, not to excuse it, and certainly not to use it as a polemic to justify the racism that runs through the party that is lifting up Tom Cotton and his language as something that’s legitimate as part of the argument about what our children should learn about this country.
Point, set, match.