So We’re All Clear: Slavery Was NOT A Good Thing For Black Families, Michele Bachmann

I'm almost tempted to ignore the bizarre things that come out of Michele Bachmann's mouth on the philosophy of if you ignore it, it'll go away. Hey, it's worked for Donald Trump. But this Michele Bachmann character has the temperament of a nagging Chihuahua: She just refuses to go quietly into the dark night.

So since she insists on standing in front of microphones and saying the first thing to come to her small, small mind as she marathons on the road to the White House, responsible Americans have the duty to step up and shine a light on the crazy. After all, this is the country that elected Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger hell, Ronald Reagan and the political wreck that was George W. Bush. We don't exactly have the best track record with putting and keeping zany candidates in their place. I'd really like to make Bachmann an exception to the We're America and We Love To Elect the Crazy rule in the next presidential election.

Which brings me to “The Marriage Vow A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family.” This sterling little document, created by a conservative Christian group in Iowa and signed by Bachmann, asks presidential candidates seeking its support in the upcoming Iowa GOP caucus, to vow, among other things, to ban porn, publicly state that homosexuality is a choice that should be equated with polygamy and adultery, and, of course, vow to do whatever it takes to dismantle abortion rights. Most interesting, though, was the section in which the document said that black families were better off during slavery than they are under the watch of the first black president. Witness this passage:

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.

*Dead Fish Eyes*

I promise you: 19 books in, not even I can make this mess up. But I guess under this creative, romanticized, revisionist history the very kind that Michele Bachmann and her ilk specialize in when it comes to America's past you could make all kinds of arguments about how much better off black people were under slavery. I mean, unemployment rates were zero during slavery, too seeing as when we were slaves and all of us were working and whatnot. Our divorce rates were zero, too. Of course, we had no legal right to marry. And weren't considered human. And I guess one could make the argument that there were a significant number of black two-parent households during slavery if we count the masters who raped and produced babies with their female slaves and forced their own offspring to work alongside their mamas. Until they tired of them and sold them off. You know, like you do cattle or prized hogs.

See what I mean by the crazy?

Of course, after a massive uproar, the Christian group that made up the pledge (nope, I'm not linking to it because they gets NO MyBrownBaby link love for their stance on gay rights, abortion or the black family) removed the controversial slavery passage from the document and issued a half-assed apology. And Bachmann's dumb ass says she didn't read the document in its entirety before she signed it and, therefore, should be excused from criticism.

I've heard defendants try to make those Your Honor, I Know I Signed It, But I Didn't Know That Part Was In There arguments on those afternoon court shows. Judge Hatchett and Judge Mathis don't play that mess. And when it comes to Bachmann's excuse for signing that pledge, we shouldn't either.

This woman has shown time and time again that not only does she not understand the pressing needs for African American mothers and their families, she doesn't give two runny poop diapers about them. Remember: this is the same Mama Grizzly pol who claims to support women's issues, but bizarrely equated First Lady Michelle Obama's proposal to make breastfeeding easier for working moms with a leftist, anti-business conspiracy to form a nanny state. Bachmann is also the fool who said the founding fathers worked tirelessly to abolish slavery (despite that many of them were slave owners), called for a McCarthy-styled investigation into whether liberal Democrats in Congress have anti-American views, claimed carbon dioxide is harmless and that The Lion King was a piece of gay propoganda, and suggested that Melissa Ethridge's cancer battle was a sign that she should repent to God for being a lesbian.

My God, people. We. Must. Speak. Up. About. This. Nut.

Also we must do what we can to establish a record not only of her ridiculous statements, but of accurate historical information about our country, so that even as states like Texas and California try their best to revise the contributions and struggles of people of color in the history books, we can teach our babies better. You know the old saying, Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it? Yeah, I'm not trying to get on that bandwagon.

So let me do my part to help Bachmann et. al. with the truth about black families in the time of slavery. I mean, I didn't think that we needed to call on American history professors to break down what happened to us during slavery, but if we actually have so-called leaders out there saying things like black families were better off in slavery, maybe it's time for a national teach in: Slavery was bad for black people. Black people were not happy during slavery. We didn't like it one bit. We were glad when it ended. Only after slavery were black mothers and fathers allowed to marry and have children together without having them sold off to another slave master, never to be seen ever again. Oh, and the South killed a whole lot of white people in their attempt to make sure their system of free labor wouldn't end. And the South lost.

Simplistic? Absolutely. But sometimes, you have to speak reaaaaally slowly for people like Michele Bachmann.

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. You make a good point… she seems like she is TRYING to cause controversy anyway.

  2. She is really a piece of work! And that conservative “Christian” group (quotes because they sure don’t love their neighbors as themselves) is a very small but vocal group. They are scared because Iowa legalized same-sex marriage before 47 other states in the nation did so. They are scared because Iowa has a history that doesn’t jibe with their fear and hate-mongering beliefs: Iowa abolished slavery before the rest of the nation–in 1844, legalized interracial marriage 100 years before Loving, and banned segregation in 1868. I’m betting that Michele learned her history in the same place Sarah Palin learned about hers (from rewritten textbooks in Texas? California?) I agree-catch her in every slip, record it and openly compare it to history. We know better. And we are better.

    And please, please…don’t let her rantings and ravings make you think that anyone else in Iowa is like her! We have a very strong civil rights history in Iowa–I mean Michele’s very own home state was the first in the nation to nominate Obama as our candidate for president! (I bet she hates that ; )

  3. I just can’t understand the mass acceptance of crazy in this country.

  4. Thanks for reminding us about American voters’ history of electing “the crazy” and the need to pay attention and be prepared to correct and educate. I had been dismissive of Michele Bachmann, applying a principle I learned from a co-worker, “sometimes, you have to forgive people even as they speak.” Sigh.

  5. Amen Denene! We must speak up and speak loudly! We can’t allow these lying louts to regain control of our country which they nearly destroyed with their greed. They also continue to try to rewrite recent history and blame Mr. Obama for our current economic crisis. Yet it was 20 years of Republican rule that created this mess (remember the GOP controlled Congress under Clinton). Yet they expect Mr. Obama to solve this mess in two years. WAKE UP, STAND UP and spread the TRUTH!

  6. Denene@MyBrownBaby

    You know what, Adam? You’re a nitwit. Picture that with a Kodak and a wagging middle finger.

  7. robert white eagle

    This lady(Bachman) need to be able to read and write. We are a country of many different type people some of us are not white but we need to stand together against stupidity and craziness. The only way she or her ilk can be elected is if we don’t vote and speak out. I realize that most Americans go for sound bytes and looks. There needs to be people elected that know how to solve problems and help common folks.

  8. Adam, speaking of someone talking like he is in high school, you make it quite hard for anyone to take you seriously when you are unable to adequately articulate your point. In other words: Dude, what the hell are you talking about?

  9. You made fabulous points, cited specific examples, and argued your point eloquently, Denene. The Adams of the world can’t help but revert to stereotypes when they foolishly and childishly disagree. Go away, Adam, and come back when you grow up.

    I want everyone to read this and I’m doing my part to ensure that Bachmann is outed for her ignorance.

    • Denene@MyBrownBaby

      Thank you, @Mocha! I just had no words for Adam, who actually stomped onto this site and compared me to a derogatory, stereotypical picture of black woman, with absolutely no regard for how offensive it would be. I refuse to use my big words with him, and he has been banned from the site. I don’t have time for that mess. I appreciate YOU for “getting” what I’m saying in this post and especially for speaking up about “the crazy.” Every voice must be lifted, every tongue heard. I appreciate you!

  10. divaliscious11

    I wonder how’d she classify the parenting skills of the Massachusetts or overseer who raped the female slaves…….

  11. The insanity must stop somewhere, geez, and to think these are supposed to be highly educated people is what boggles my mind the most. It is the same fear mongering inciting all the anti-immigration laws right now. Between McCain blaming illegals for the brush fires and Bachman’s lame attempts at covering this up, i wonder what the plan of action is for the Repubs.

    To top it off, you have Ann Coulter desperately pushing her book Demonic. I agree with all the points you have made above and I hope that people will truly listen to what is happening before we slowly lose the freedoms we fought desperately for.

  12. See, thats why I love mybrownbaby. Not only do you tell the truth, but you make me laugh the whole time you are doing it.

  13. Red Pomegranate

    So. Ashamed. That she is from my state. I keep thinking “that woman couldn’t get crazier if she *tried*” and then she goes and proves me wrong. She makes Palin look like innocuous.

  14. Shocked and sad that Black folks along with well meaning whites continue to pay the abusive price for America not having done our racial reconciliation healing needed after the Civil War. Black Americans along with GLBT folks and other demographic groups that are labeled as threatening continue to be used by the “powers that be” to whip these “Tea Bag” mops into a frenzy, such that they cannot even recognize their own shared best interests. Our power is to “fight back” individually and collectively.

  15. I agree with the thrust of this commentary, and virtually of its points except one. That one point is: I always hesitate to brand someone as “crazy” (or “nuts,” etc.) who has expressed disdain for or disagreement with what I know to be true. Yes, it is possible that Bachmann is “crazy,” and of course it is possible that I or anyone else also is. But ultimately, that is a clinical term that we don’t need to resort to in the first place in a situation such as Bachmann’s stupid comments, unless we are making a clinical assessment of the person’s words or actions. i think that Bachmann is many things: misguided, wrong on the facts, unable to draw intelligent or particularly rational conclusions from historical facts, guilty of the shallowest misconstruals as a critical thinker. That is not the same as “crazy.” To call her crazy is ultimately to PARDON her comments…e.g., if she’s crazy, she can’t really be held fully accountable for those comments. Better to not even open that door–we can skewer her very well by simply keeping our focus on the logic (or lack of it) in her thought process. Irrational is not the same as crazy!

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