Arkansas has been a solidly Republican state in the last three presidential elections. State House of Representatives member Jon Hubbard may not be the only extreme radical in the conservative state but he is the most radical to publicize anti-black and pro-slavery sentiment on a large scale. In his self-published book, available on Amazon, “Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative” he expresses a multitude of perspectives on slavery, Black people, immigration, White integration, and even Nazi Germany. Sadly, Rep. Hubbard’s views reflect those of extreme neo-conservatives whose influence has only increased over the years.
In this highly offensive book, Rep. Hubbard explains that slavery may have “been a blessing in disguise. [Because] the blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.” Slavery, an institution of Black oppression that lasted in this country for over 300 years and resulted in legal segregation for another 100 years, is not often reflected upon with admiration. And the “silver lining” Rep. Hubbard sees in the institution of slavery requires the minimization of excessive force, rape, abuse, familial breakdown, exploitation, physical violence, and even murder, to name a few.
He also asked if life “today [would] be more enjoyable and successful if [Black people] would only learn to appreciate the value of a good education?” This question seems a bit out of touch at a time when the sitting POTUS is a Black man, previously a lawyer and Law professor, who holds degrees from Columbia and Harvard. The FLOTUS, also a practicing lawyer, holds degrees from Princeton and Harvard. And, though the First Family is not indicative of the Black community on the whole, their accomplishments add light to the increasing number of Blacks who graduate from college. While Black women outpace Black men in this segment, the past twenty years have seen consistent growth. Rep. Hubbard is obviously unaware and misinformed about the Black community of which he speaks.
When speaking about school integration and busing, Hubbard notes that “to make matters worse the lack of discipline and ambition of black students soon became shared by their white classmates, and our educational system has been in a steady decline ever since.” So, in essence, Rep. Hubbard charges Black students with the state of the American education system. His assertions about integration are irrelevant as statistics show that racial differences have diminished and the educational gap between the rich and poor is increasing.
What is most unnerving about this “book” is that Rep. Hubbard calls it “…Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative.” From these excerpts, one might think the book was actually titled “The Racist’s Manifesto,” or maybe “Reflections of a Bigot.” Though Hubbard does support many mainstream conservative ideals, including Christian principles, immigration reform, and budget control, his extreme beliefs about the Black community are what diverge from the conventional wisdom conservatives subscribe to. Free speech aside, elected officials have a revered position which makes them more accountable for these types of extreme views. Political wing nuts, like Hubbard, work to set back the dialogue on race politics and further exacerbate the divide between social groups. It is unfortunate that this official’s hateful words have such a grand stage but it is imperative that the Black community is aware that these sentiments don’t disappear simply because of the political, educational, and economic gains we’ve made.