Virginia Lt. Gov. Candidate Says Social Programs Hurt ‘Black Family’ More Than Slavery (Video)

The Virginia GOP’s nominee for lieutenant governor, E.W. Jackson, gave a speech Wednesday in which he claimed government social programs have done more harm to the “black family” than slavery. Jackson explained that “programs that began in the sixties” hurt the African-American community because they encouraged people to feel women did not need men “in the home.” 

“My great grandparents, Gabriel and Elijah Jackson were slaves and sharecroppers in Orange County, Va. I am a direct descendant of slaves. My grandfather was born there, to a father and a mother who had been slaves. And by the way, their family was more intact than the black family is today and I’m telling you that slavery did not destroy the black family even though it certainly was an attack on the black family,” said Jackson. “It made it difficult, but I’ll tell you that the programs that began in the sixties, the programs that began to tell women that you don’t need a man in the home, the government will take care of you, that began to tell men, you don’t need to be in the home, the government will take care of this woman and take care of these children. That’s when the black family began to deteriorate.”

Jackson continued by citing some statistics that he said supported his argument. 

“In 1960 most black children were raised in two parent, monogamous families. By now, by this time, we have only twenty percent of black children being raised in a two parent, monogamous families with the married man and woman raising those children,” Jackson said. “It wasn’t slavery that did that, it was government that did that. It tried to solve problems that only god can solve and that only we as human beings can solve.” 

Jackson has previously made headlines for comments comparing Planned Parenthood to the KKK and his criticisms of gays. He made his remarks in Newport News, Va. at a celebration for Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery. 

Watch a video of Jackson’s speech below. 

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Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com
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