A Louisiana Democrat legislator says students should not recite the Declaration of Independence because it was written when slavery still existed.
Democrat Louisiana lawmaker Barbara Norton argued against a bill that would require fourth through sixth graders to recite a part of the founding document. Norton, who is black, says she fought the bill because the Declaration of Independence was written when blacks were not free, Fox News reports.
“For the Declaration of Independence only Caucasians (were) free, and for you to bring a bill to require that our children will recite the Declaration of Independence, I think it’s a little bit unfair,” Norton said on the floor of the Louisiana House.
Norton went on to say the Declaration was not even “validated” and that the bill was “unfair.” Republican Rep. Valarie Hodges, who presented the bill, shelved it after Norton’s comments.
“I’m not really sure what your intent is, but one thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal,” Norton said to Hodges on the floor. “When I think back in 1776, July the 4th, African Americans were slaves, and for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think its a little bit unfair to us to ask those children to recite something that’s not the truth. For you to ask our children to repeat the Declaration stating that all mens are free, I think that’s unfair.”
“In 1776, Dr. King was not even born,” Norton added. “African Americans were in slavery so since they were in slavery and the Declaration of Independence say we were all created equal, we were not created equal because in 1776 July the 4 I, nor you, nor any of us were born, nor was Dr. King born, so we were in slavery and to to have our children to repeat, to repeat again and again documents that were not even validated, I don’t think that’s fair because we are teaching them a lie.”
See Norton’s full comments.
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