In a since deleted Facebook post, state Representative Werner Horn (R-NH) said slavery had no basis in racism. Instead, he says slavery was about economics. According to USA Today, he doubled down on his position in various interviews.
The controversy began when former state House member Dan Hynes posted on Facebook: “If Trump is the most racist president in American history, what does that say about all of the other presidents who owned slaves?”
Horn commented on the post, “Wait, owning slaves doesn’t make you racist…”
Hynes answered, “I guess not. Which is surprising since everything else makes someone a racist.”
Horn continued, “It shouldn’t be surprising since owning slaves wasn’t a decision predicated on race but on economics. It’s a business decision.”
This is where the two men differed. Thursday, Hynes posted on Facebook to say “slavery in the U.S. was in fact racist.”
In his interview with the Union Leader, he called slavery an “economic reality.”
“Slavery late on in the American South was not about the color of the skin of 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.”
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