In addition to defending slavery, Florida Republican Ron DeSantis also railed against women's rights and anti-discrimination laws.
Ron DeSantis, the GOP nominee for governor of Florida who kicked off his campaign by hurling dog whistles at his African-American opponent, is once again under fire for making racist remarks.
This time, however, he wrote the comments in a book.
During his 2011 bid for a congressional seat in Florida, DeSantis penned a little-noticed book focused almost entirely on attacking America’s first black president, arguing that President Barack Obama’s worldview was incompatible with the U.S. Constitution.
But in between the pages taking aim at President Obama’s biracial heritage and questioning his Christianity was an even lesser known section in which DeSantis jumped headfirst into a disturbing justification of slavery.
The discovery was first reported this week by the American Ledger, an American Bridge project.
In the book, “Dreams from Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama,” DeSantis defended the Founding Fathers for ratifying slavery in the Constitution.
DeSantis even argued that the Three-Fifths Compromise — which held that slaves could be counted as three-fifths of a free citizen for the purpose of representation in Congress — was really an “anti-slavery” move.
Framing his argument as a defense of the Constitution, DeSantis wrote that the Founding Fathers were compelled to ratify slavery, and that the Constitution wasn’t flawed just because it allowed slavery in the first place. Rather, DeSantis argued, the Constitution was perfect from the get-go because it enabled the abolition of slavery (75 years later, after a bloody civil war).
DeSantis also railed against former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court and the great-grandson of a slave, because he critiqued the Founding Fathers for allowing slavery as they created a supposedly free state.
“For someone like Marshall, this failure [slavery] overshadows the numerous and long-lasting political achievements embodied in the structural foundations of the government that have nothing to do with the institution of slavery,” DeSantis wrote. But, he continued, the “philosophical foundations of the Constitution are incompatible with slavery.”
Those same philosophical foundations, of course, also allowed slavery in the first place. But DeSantis is willing to let that slide because in his warped view, the rest of the Constitution is so darn great that it just makes up for the whole slavery thing.
As disturbing as the book passages are, they align with other recent statements from DeSantis, who will face off against Andrew Gillum, Florida’s first African-American gubernatorial nominee, in November.
After kicking off his campaign by using a racial dog-whistle in reference to Gillum, it was revealed that DeSantis had spoken for several years in a row at a far-right conference packed with racist and Islamophobic speakers and attendees.
A short time later, DeSantis was identified as one of the moderators of an aggressively bigoted Facebook group where members shared racist, conspiratorial, and hateful content targeting “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,” according to American Ledger.
No word yet on how that fits in with the “philosophical foundations” of the Constitution.