Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis excused slavery in a little-read 2011 book highlighted by the Miami New Times.
DeSantis wrote a book aimed at then-President Barack Obama titled, Dreams From Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama. DeSantis, who got into Congress on the Tea Party wave, used the book to imply that Obama was a secret Marxist with “Muslim roots.”
The book also features DeSantis' thoughts on race, leading to his justifications excusing slavery in the U.S. Constitution.
DeSantis slams former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American justice to serve on the high court, for saying that the Founding Fathers were hypocritical in creating a free nation that still allowed slavery.
The former Florida congressman claims that the Three-Fifths Compromise, which counted black people as three-fifths of a human for purposes of taxation and Congressional representation, actually “benefited anti-slavery states.” This is ludicrously false. The deal allowed slave-holding states to have extra representatives in Congress even though black people were not allowed to vote.
DeSantis argues that Marshall “missed the mark” by stating that the Constitution was “misguided from the start” for allowing slavery. He bizarrely argues that the Constitution set up a system that made slavery “designed to fail.”
He also excuses anti-slavery Constitutional Convention delegates like Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin for allowing slavery in the Constitution.
“This is why there was no real chance that the Convention would abolish the peculiar institution of slavery,” DeSantis wrote. “Some of the notorious compromises that demonstrated a toleration of slavery, such as the 'federal ratio,' which allowed the slave-holding states to count 5 slaves as the equivalent of 3 free citizens (the free states did not want slaves counted at all because they did not want the political power of slave states to be enhanced), were even thought to be necessary to ensure ratification. Hamilton, a counselor to the New York Manumission Society, later lamented that without such a compromise 'no union could possibly have been formed.'”
“Similarly, Benjamin Franklin, who served as president of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, declined to read a letter to the Convention delegates from the Society that denounced slavery on religious and republican grounds,” he continued. “Franklin did not want to derail the Convention by further inflaming the delegates over the issue of slavery, and believed that the United States could not last without a new federal government, for, as he wrote in his final Convention speech, 'our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another’s throats.'”
“For anti-slavery delegates like Hamilton and Franklin, abolition of slavery would be a moot point if a failure to erect a functioning government snuffed out the ideals of the American Revolution in their infancy; then, the future of all Americans, the free as well as the slave, would eventually be as serfs to a despotic government,” he claimed.
The news comes just weeks after DeSantis won his Republican primary, which he then celebrated by warning voters not to “monkey this up” by electing his black opponent, Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.
“The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state,” DeSantis said on Fox News after his win. “That is not going to work. That’s not going to be good for Florida.”
He insisted later that the comment was definitely not racial. But just days after that, more reports about DeSantis' past came to light.
The American Ledger discovered that he served as an administrator of a Facebook group that promotes racism.
The outlet described the group as a place where “conservatives share racist, conspiratorial and incendiary posts about a litany of targets, including black Americans and South Africans, the ‘deep state,’ survivors of February’s massacre at a Florida high school, immigrants, Muslims and, in recent days, John McCain.”
Days later, The Washington Post revealed that DeSantis appeared and spoke at “racially charged events” in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
The Post found that the Tea Partier spoke at David Horowitz’s Freedom Center’s annual Restoration Weekend conferences, which it described as events where “hundreds of people gather to hear right-wing provocateurs such as Stephen K. Bannon, Milo Yiannopoulos and Sebastian Gorka sound off on multiculturalism, radical Islam, free speech on college campuses and other issues.”
Gillum would become the state's first black governor if he wins in November. Every single poll released since his primary win shows him with a narrow lead over DeSantis.