Bishop EW Jackson is running for the Republican nomination for senate in Virginia. Jackson, an African-American, believes that without minimizing the evils of slavery, blacks Americans are blessed to be living in this country as compared to blacks in African nations.
“Our ancestors may have came on different ships,” Jackson told me on WMAL radio in Washington, “but we’re all in the same boat now.”
O’Connor: What do you think it would say, being an African American Virginian and representing the Commonwealth of Virginia after the long history of the commonwealth, being really the birth place of representative democracy in what were then the colonies… to be, you know, the decedent of slaves, to represent the commonwealth… you don’t address it very often on the stump but to me I think the symbolism is quite beautiful.
Jackson: It really is and really to me underscores my love for this country because what Americans need to understand, particularly our young people who in many ways, in my view, are being indoctrinated and being victimized [inaudible], no place is perfect. There is no perfect nation on earth but if you want to compare America to the world [inaudible] there’s never been a better place. And I’m a representative of that. I get emotional even when I think about it because I often reflect on what would I be doing? Where would I be? What opportunities would I have if I had to live some place in Africa, for example, or in some other part of the world? And the likelihood is that I would have nowhere near the opportunities I’ve had in this great country of ours. And that’s a message that I think is being lost in a lot of the political rhetoric and I want to remind people I think Virginia is the right place [inaudible] …birthplace of the constitutional republic, we are the right state to show Americans who we really are and why we are the greatest nation mankind has ever known.
O’Connor: I think that’s a very powerful message. But I just want to clarify, because you know some people hear that EW Jackson and they’ll say, is EW Jackson saying that despite the horrible reality of slavery, in the long run, descendants of slaves living in America are actually better off than had they not been brought here?
Jackson: I believe [inaudible] I really do. I believe that with all my heart. And look, I’m in no way minimizing the pain, the suffering, the evil of slavery. But I would remind people that slavery was, for all practical purposes, a worldwide phenomenon. And sub-Saharan Africans weren’t the first people to be enslaved. This is not, for me, a racial problem, it’s a human problem. And slavery by they way is still going on in the world. And I’m not just talking about sex trafficking either, I’m talking about the enslavement of people and actually turning them into lifelong servants. It’s still happening. But it ain’t happening here. Look, I’ve often said our ancestors may have came on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now and we need to stop obsessing about how they got here and just be thankful that they got here
Jackson is in a three-way primary in Virginia against Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart and Virginia State Delegate Nick Freitas. The primary is June 12. The winner will square off against incumbent Democrate Tim Kaine.
Listen to the entire interview here: