Republican Senator Tom Cotton: Slavery Was a ‘Necessary Evil’
Republican Senator Tom Cotton has claimed slavery was a ‘necessary evil’ amid his attempt to prevent federal funding for teaching the 1619 Project. The program from the New York Times discusses American history from the arrival of the first slaves ships and has incensed conservatives.
Cotton spoke to an Arkansas newspaper about his opposition to the 1619 Project.
“The entire premise of the New York Times’ factually, historically flawed 1619 Project … is that America is at root, a systemically racist country to the core and irredeemable,” Cotton said.
“I reject that root and branch. America is a great and noble country founded on the proposition that all mankind is created equal. We have always struggled to live up to that promise, but no country has ever done more to achieve it.”
“We have to study the history of slavery and its role and impact on the development of our country because otherwise we can’t understand our country,” he said.
“As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction.”
Nikole Hannah-Jones, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her work on the 1619 Project, accused Cotton of defending the horrific practice.
“Imagine thinking a non-divisive curriculum is one that tells black children the buying and selling of their ancestors, the rape, torture, and forced labor of their ancestors for PROFIT, was just a ‘necessary evil’ for the creation of the ‘noblest’ country the world has ever seen,” she wrote on Twitter.
Cotton has denied defending slavery and attacked Hannah-Jones, claiming the New York Times’ project had been debunked.