Thanks to the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginia, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is having his best week as the wheels come of E. W. Jackson’s toy car. He has called the Constitution’s original clause to count blacks as three-fifths of a person, an “anti-slavery amendment.” Um, President Obama most of the black vote in Virginia, and Terry McAuliffe will too. No black voter in their right minds would cast a ballot for E. W. Jackson and it will have blowback on the Republican candidate, Ken Cuccinelli.
In an April 28, 2011 statement while he was a Senate candidate, conservative minister and lawyer E.W. Jackson held up the three-fifths clause as an “anti-slavery” measure. The context of his statement was to attack President Obama after a pastor at a church service he attended referred to the three-fifths clause as a historical marker of racism.
“Rev. [Charles Wallace] Smith must not have understood the 3/5ths clause was an anti-slavery amendment. Its purpose was to limit the voting power of slave holding states,” Jackson, an African-American, said in his statement.
This is a deeply misleading telling of American constitutional history.
The clause was demanded by Southern proponents of slavery as a way of enhancing their congressional representation. They wanted slaves to be counted as full persons but settled on three-fifths. People of African descent would have had no real rights either way. The inclusion of the clause greatly enhanced the South’s political power and made it harder to abolish slavery. The clause was effectively eliminated after the Civil War by the Thirteenth Amendment.
“Some of the compromises we can look back and be proud of; some of those compromises we can’t be very proud of. The three-fifths compromise, by which slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person, is not something any of us would applaud them for today,” said University of Pennsylvania historian Richard Beeman in a 2011 interview. Via Talking Points Memo
E. W. Jackson has nothing in common with the majority of the electorate in his state, much less black voters. Don’t think because he’s black he will automatically get the black vote. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The man is toxic and it will backfire on the entire ticket. Jackson made waves when he previously warned that President Obama is either an atheist or a Muslim, but was definitely an “evil presence.” He also compared Planned Parenthood to the Ku Klux Klan. Funny E. W. Jackson reminds me a lot of the character of Stephen in “Django Unchained,” played by Samuel L. Jackson.