You can’t say E.W. Jackson isn’t blunt. Speaking in Newport News recently to make an oft-repeated criticism of what the Republican lieutenant governor candidate calls the welfare state, he noted that his grandfather was born to a father and mother who had been slaves in Orange County, continuing:
“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, it made it difficult but I’ll tell you that the programs that began in the ‘60s, 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 and 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. “
His comment drew a sharp response from Democrats.
“E.W. Jackson needs to explain to Virginians which government program was more detrimental to the black family than slavery was,” said party chairwoman, Del. Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria. “He should then apologize to every Virginia woman, particularly single mothers, for his attacks on their ability to raise a family with or without a ‘man in the home.’”
Asked if Jackson’s remarks reflected the GOP’s view on the impact of government programs compared to slavery, party spokesman Garren Shipley said: “We have three unique individuals running on the Republican ticket for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general,” and added “At the end of the day, we’re confident that the shared ideas of limited government, economic freedom and personal liberty that the Republican Party and our candidates promote will be well received by folks across the state.”
Cuccinelli campaign spokeswoman Anna Nix noted the candidate has previously said he would not defend statements by others on the GOP ticket since “The people of Virginia need to get comfortable with each candidate individual.”
Blue Ridge Caucus checked in with Jackson’s campaign, too, just to be sure recordings of the speech were accurate and hadn’t been manipulated or taken out of context. Here’s the candidate’s elaboration on his remarks in Newport News:
“In testament to the strength of the men and women who endured the institution of slavery in America, the black family remained largely intact. It is that much more shocking therefore that we have seen the erosion of the black family in the last 50 years since the rise of the welfare state. The black family endured the horror of slavery, but could not endure the intrusion of liberal welfare and social policies which encouraged the departure of men from the home.”