Jon Hubbard, a member of the House of Representatives in Arkansas, has ignited a furious debate after publishing his book, "Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative." Among other things, the Republican leader has claimed that slavery "may actually have been a blessing in disguise."
"The institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise," Hubbard wrote. "The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth."
Those remarks caught the attention of The Arkansas Times and TalkBusiness.net, which then published the sections. Hubbard is currently running for election in Arkansas as a Republican and a Christian representative.
"Perhaps the most important pledge I can make to the people of District 58, the citizens of Arkansas, and to myself, is to do whatever I can to defend, protect and preserve our Christian heritage. Regardless of one's religious beliefs, if we as a nation continue to turn away from those Christian principles and values upon which this great nation was founded, we will have truly lost everything worth saving!" Hubbard posted on his website.
"Anyone reading ['Letters to the Editor'] will have a very good understanding of where I stand on many of the issues facing Arkansas and America today," Hubbard added.
Soon after the book's remarks were published, the Arkansas House of Representatives denounced Hubbard's claims. Republican Chairman Doyle Webb issued a statement saying Hubbard's book was "highly offensive"; he also rejected candidate Charlie Fuqua's idea of deporting all Muslims in his book "God's Law."
The Arkansas Republican House Caucus further cemented their dismissal of Hubbard's ideas via a written statement: The books "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," said the statement.