A New Hampshire state legislator committed the extremely unforced error of defending slavery as not being racist in a Facebook post, then doubled down when he was called out by media.
It all started with an allegedly sarcastic reply to a Facebook post. A former Republican state representative, Dan Hynes, shared an article from Yahoo, which cited a historian who said President Donald Trump was tied for "most racist president in American history."
Hynes added the comment "LOL. This is why no one believes the media (huffpo). If Trump is the most racist president in American history, what does that say about all of the other presidents who owned slaves?"
That's all fine. Horn took things in the wrong direction, however, with his comment: "Wait, owning slaves doesn't make you racist...". In a follow-up comment, Horn wrote that "owning slaves wasn't a decision predicated on race but on economics. It's a business decision."
Horn, when contacted by HuffPost to elaborate on his position, chose to continue digging the hole he was already in.
"It's never OK to own another person," Horn said. "But to label the institution as racist is a false narrative." Horn went on to say that slave owners were not purchasing slaves based on race, but based on who was available.
"I don't see how you can say they're being racist because they bought black slaves," Horn also said.
"It wasn't 'I want to own a black person today.' It was, 'I need to feed my family. I need five guys who can work stupidly long hours in the sun without killing themselves,'" Horn argued.
These comments are shocking not only because most people who hold such views would not publicize them to national media, but also because of how ignorant they are in their sugarcoating of the nature of slavery.
It should go without saying that African slaves were "available" for purchase because they were targeted, kidnapped, and shipped across the ocean for brutal, often fatal slave labor, and the justification of that slave labor as slave owners simply needing some people to "work stupidly long hours" sells things a bit short considering slavery resulted in the deaths of millions.