Screenshot from ABC Tampa Bay

Conservative Pundit on Slavery, Constitution: 'The South Wanted Blacks to Count for a Full Person'

Dinesh D’Souza, a controversial right-wing filmmaker and pundit, who has made racist remarks about former President Obama, went on Fox News on Monday to contest Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s statement that the Electoral College is a remnant of the days of slavery in the U.S.


Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old activist from the Bronx, won the Democratic nomination for New York’s 14th Congressional District in June in a stunning upset.

On Friday, she tweeted that the Electoral College should be eliminated:

“It is well past time we eliminate the Electoral College, a shadow of slavery’s power on America today that undermines our nation as a democratic republic.”

D’Souza, who in June
was pardoned by President Trump for his felony conviction over making illegal campaign contributions, said Ocasio-Cortez is “confused,” and then tried to separate the Electoral College from the three-fifths clause in the Constitution.

“First of all, I think she’s confusing the Electoral College with the three-fifths clause,” he said on “Fox & Friends.”

“The three-fifth’s clause was about slavery.

“And it had to do with an argument between the North and the South over representation. Ironically, the North, which was the anti-slavery side, wanted Blacks to count for zero because they wanted to reduce the representative power of the slave states.

“The South wanted Blacks to count for a full person. So the three-fifths clause, which is usually presented to show that the founders didn’t consider Blacks to be fully human, doesn’t actually show that at all.”

D’Souza was trying to create the faade that the South considered Blacks as equal to whites by wanting to count them as a full person.” But the South wanted enslaved Blacks to be considered property until they realized they could use them for political leverage.

Twitter users, including historians, were quick to let D’Souza know he’s wrong.

Mike Duncan, an author and award-winning history podcaster, tweeted:

Going back to Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet, the Electoral College was based on slavery.

James Madison of Virginia said in 1787 that Negroes” in the South presented a difficulty of a serious nature” because in a direct election system, the North would outnumber the South, whose many enslaved Blacks didn’t have the right to vote.

“It would not be until the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was be enacted in 1865 that the three-fifths Compromise would be rendered obsolete,” according to ConstitutionLaws.com.

But the Electoral College, which Madison proposed, let each southern state count its slaves, although with a two-fifths discount, in computing its share of the overall count.

To this day, each state has a number of electoral votes roughly proportioned to population and the candidate who wins the majority of votes wins the election.

In 2016, Trump secured the presidency with an Electoral College majority, even though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.

D’Souza, an immigrant, has been making racial statements going back to his undergraduate days in the early 1980s.

In 2015, he posted a derogatory tweet about former President Obama taking a selfie:

YOU CAN TAKE THE BOY OUT OF THE GHETTO…Watch this vulgar man show his stuff, while America cowers in embarrassment.”

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