A Republican member of Arkansas’ House of Representatives has written a book calling African Americans’ slavery a ‘blessing in disguise’ prompting outrage as a fellow state candidate writes advocating deporting all Muslims.
In Jon Hubbard’s outspoken 2009 book ‘Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative’ the first-term Republican from Jonesboro asked ‘would an existence spent in slavery have been any crueller than a life spent in sub-Saharan Africa?’
Claimed written during his 2008 political season, Hubbard states that his book’s motivation is to inspire others to ‘express’ themselves like him if mutually concerned about America’s future.
His writing created outrage among his own political party, however, with members finding the publication similarly disgraceful to a second book by Arkansas House candidate Charlie Fuqua of Batesville who advocates deporting all Muslims.
State GOP Chairman Doyle Webb called the books ‘highly offensive’ on Saturday and U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, a Republican who represents northeast Arkansas, called the writings ‘divisive and racially inflammatory.’
Fuqua, who served in the Arkansas House from 1996 to 1998, wrote there is ‘no solution to the Muslim problem short of expelling all followers of the religion from the United States,’ in his 2012 book, titled ‘God’s Law.’
In Hubbard’s, he writes that African Americans must ‘understand that even while in the throes of slavery, their lives as Americans are likely much better than they ever would have enjoyed living in sub-Saharan Africa.’
‘Knowing what we know today about life on the African continent, would an existence spent in slavery have been any crueler than a life spent in sub-Saharan Africa?’
He goes on in another chapter on education saying blacks in America don’t appreciate a good education and at fault to their integration, ‘to the great disappointment of everyone … instead of black students rising to the educational levels previously attained by white students, the white students dropped to the level of black students.’
He concludes, ‘…our educational system has been in a steady decline ever since.’
A marketing representative for Hubbard didn’t return voicemail messages seeking comment on Saturday.
Fuqua said on Saturday that he hadn’t realized he’d become a target within his own party, which he said surprised him.
‘I think my views are fairly well-accepted by most people,’ Fuqua said before hanging up, saying he was busy knocking on voters’ doors. The attorney is running against incumbent Democratic Rep. James McLean in House District 63. Hubbard is running against Democrat Harold Copenhaver in House District 58.
On Amazon.com, the public shared in Webb and Crawford’s criticism.
‘This book is full of blatantly racists quotes and assumptions, and is boggles my mind that this obscenity like this is still being read and that people like him can actually be elected to office,’ a user commented for Hubbard’s book.
‘It should be satire, but the author doesn’t know what that is,’ another titled their review while giving it one out of five starts.
A reviewer who gave Hubbard’s book five stars reasoned it being: ‘A must read book: If you are ignorant, racist, stupid, bigotted, and ill-informed. I give this book 5 stars because the author is not afraid to show his true color, and he is proud to be an ignorant racist bigot.’
In stark contrast, Fuqua’s book as of Saturday has received five star ratings from five Amazon reviewers.
‘Regardless of personal opinions, there is no arguing that Fuqua backs up his thoughts with research, facts, and evidence found in history. I found myself reevaluating my perspectives on issues,’ a reviewer wrote.
‘Gods Law, The Only Political Solution lays out a consise [sic] plan for a nation to live in blessing and prosperity, by Divine providence. The problems facing Western Societies today are vast and complex, but the solution can be simple,’ another one added.
The November elections could be a crucial turning point in Arkansas politics.
Democrats hold narrow majorities in both chambers, but the GOP has been working hard to swing the Legislature its way for the first time since the end of the Civil War, buoyed by picking up three congressional seats in 2010. Their efforts have also been backed by an influx of money from national political action committees.
Rep. Crawford said Saturday he was ‘disappointed and disturbed.’
‘The statements that have been reported portray attitudes and beliefs that would return our state and country to a harmful and regrettable past,’ Crawford said.
U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., kicked off the GOP’s response Saturday by issuing a release, saying the ‘statements of Hubbard and Fuqua are ridiculous, outrageous and have no place in the civil discourse of either party.’
‘Had I known of these statements, I would not have contributed to their campaigns. I am requesting that they give my contributions to charity,’ said Griffin, who donated $100 to each candidate.
The Arkansas Republican House Caucus followed, saying the views of Hubbard and Fuqua ‘are in no way reflective of, or endorsed by, the Republican caucus. The constituencies they are seeking to represent will ultimately judge these statements at the ballot box.’
Then Webb, who has spearheaded the party’s attempt to control the Legislature, said the writings ‘were highly offensive to many Americans and do not reflect the viewpoints of the Republican Party of Arkansas. While we respect their right to freedom of expression and thought, we strongly disagree with those ideas.’
Webb, though, accused state Democrats of using the issue as a distraction.
Democrats themselves have been largely silent, aside from the state party’s tweet and Facebook post calling attention to the writings. A Democratic Party spokesman didn’t immediately return a call for comment Saturday.
The two candidates share other political and religious views on their campaign websites.
Hubbard, who sponsored a failed bill in 2011 that would have severely restricted immigration, wrote on his website that the issue is still among his priorities, as is doing ‘whatever I can to defend, protect and preserve our Christian heritage.’
Fuqua blogs on his website. One post is titled, ‘Christianity in Retreat,’ and says ‘there is a strange alliance between the liberal left and the Muslim religion.’
‘Both are antichrist in that they both deny that Jesus is God in the flesh of man, and the savior of mankind. They both also hold that their cause should take over the entire world through violent, bloody, revolution,’ the post says.
In a separate passage, Fuqua wrote ‘we now have a president that has a well documented history with both the Muslim religion and Communism.’