A Louisiana lawmaker has objected to a bill that would require students to recite the Declaration of Independence, on grounds of racism.
“One thing I do know is all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the 4th, African Americans were slaves,” Democratic state representative Barbara Norton said. “And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it’s a little bit unfair to us, to ask those children to recite something that’s not the truth.”
Norton referred to the part in the Declaration of Independence that states “all men are created equal” and argued it was “unfair” because only white people were free at the time it was penned. It was almost a century later when George Washington Julian penned the 15th amendment that granted the right to vote for all men regardless “of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” (Women didn't get that privilege until the 19th amendment in 1920.)
Norton implied the founding fathers were insincere and said it was not right for black children to repeat something “that’s not the truth.”
“In 1776,” Norton pointed out, “Dr. King was not even born. African Americans were in slavery so since they were in slavery and the Declaration of Independence say we were all created equal, we were not created equal.”
Although Republican Valerie Hodges agreed to shelve the bill, she said she was “shocked” at the hatred expressed for the country’s forefather during the argument.
“They really just don't get it and to me I really feel that it's as important as math and English and conjugating verbs,” said Hodges.
The social media reaction, at the time of this post, was mostly negative reactions against Norton.
TV personality Deneen Borelli also denounced Norton’s outrageous comments on Fox News.
"For her to be attacking the Declaration of Independence, that is attacking liberty, that is attacking freedom," Borelli said. "People should not let her get away with this."