A Republican state representative from New Hampshire, is under fire for a since-deleted post in which he wrote that “owning slaves doesn’t make you racist.”
Werner Horn had made the comment on Facebook in response to a post shared by former state Rep. Dan Hynes (R) in which he bashed HuffPost for a story about a historian who said President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE is tied with former President Andrew Johnson as the “most racist president in American history.”
“LOL. This is why no one believe the media (huffpo),” Hynes wrote. “Trump is the most racist president in American history, what does that say about all of the other presidents who owned slaves.”
Horn wrote in a since-deleted response: “Wait, owning slaves doesn’t make you racist…”
Horn later told HuffPost in an interview released on Thursday that he was being sarcastic in his response and said that his comment is by no means to be construed as “support for either slavery or racism.”
But in a follow-up statement, Horn said that although it is “never OK to own another person,” he feels that labelling the institution of slavery “is a false narrative.”
Horn argued in the interview that slave owners were making a “an economic decision” when purchasing slaves — a decision, he told the publication, that race did not play a deciding factor in.
“Unless you’re going to try to tell me those plantation owners were so in the dark ages that they delighted in being also sexist and ageist — practicing age discrimination and sex discrimination when they bought slaves — I don’t see how you can say they’re being racist because they bought black slaves,” he continued.
“My comment specifically was aimed at a period of time when that was how you survived, that’s how you fed your family,” the lawmaker went on. “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.' ”
During the interview, Horn was also pressed about his thoughts on a recent controversy ensnarling the president after he told four Democratic congresswomen of color — Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibIlhan Omar to Biden: 'Deliver on your promise to cancel student debt' Who's the boss? Pelosi's legacy sealed after kowtowing to 'the Squad' Democratic civil war hits new heights MORE (Mich.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by The National Council for Mental Wellbeing — FDA panel advises Moderna booster shot for high-risk people Ilhan Omar to Biden: 'Deliver on your promise to cancel student debt' Biden's Red Queen justice: How he destroyed both the investigation and the reputation of border agents MORE (Mass.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDemocrats step up pressure on Biden on student loan forgiveness Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention Bleak midterm outlook shadows bitter Democratic battle MORE (Minn.) and Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez goes indoor skydiving for her birthday Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention More than 200 women, transgender inmates to be transferred from Rikers Island MORE (N.Y.) – to "go back" to their where they came from.
In his response, Horn said he thought the president’s comments were “rude” and “inaccurate” but broke from other lawmakers who described the remarks as “racist.”