Werner Horn

Republican Rep. Werner Horn Defends Comments That Slavery Was Purely an Economic Decision

Republican New Hampshire state Rep. Werner Horn wrote in a now-deleted Facebook exchange with a former lawmaker that owning slaves didn’t necessarily make someone a racist, according to the Associated Press.

Horn’s comment was in response to the other lawmaker trying to explain that President Donald Trump could not be the most racist president because other presidents actually owned slaves.

* face palm *

He even went on to defend and reaffirm his position in several interviews with various media outlets.

The conversation started on former state Senate candidate Dan Hynes’s Facebook account, when he wrote:

“This is why no one believes the media. If Trump is the most racist President in American history, what does that say about all of the other Presidents who owned slaves?”

“Wait, owning slaves doesn’t make you racist,” Horn wrote back. It shouldn’t be surprising since owning slaves wasn’t a decision predicated on race but on economics. It’s a business decision.”

Horn further defended racism in an interview with the Union Leader by explaining that people have been enslaved by others since “the beginning of time”.

Related Article: Harvard University is Profiting from Photos of Slaves: Lawsuit

“Slavery, later on in the American South, was not about the color of the skin of the slaves, but their value as workers on the plantations,” Horn said. “The U.S. had abolitionists since the start, people who felt slavery wasn’t moral but they weren’t enslaving Black people because they were Black. They were bringing in these folks because they were available… What they were looking at was whether they were fit enough to do the demanding work that needed to be done. It was an economic reality.”

And yes, according to the interview with the Union Leader, Horn actually called the kidnapping and murder and enslavement of African people “availability.”

There was an attempt at backtracking by Horn. On Saturday, he said that his comments on Facebook were saying that slavery was a business decision in the 17th and 18th centuries, but that, by the 19th century, racism was used to maintain slavery. Thank you for the timeline and history lesson, Horn.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu called Horn’s comments racist and said the “legislature would be better off without” him, according to the Associated Press.

Twitter was also alive with (mostly) condemnation of Horn.

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