This week, the House of Representatives – by an overwhelming vote of 399-1 – passed a resolution acknowledging the role slaves played in constructing the Capitol building.
As of now, I have not been able to uncover any statements about his opposition to the resolution. So, in the interest of fairness I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps King’s opposition is not necessarily with the resolution itself; just the fact that it being proposed and voted on at a time where Congress has much bigger fish to fry. In the face of one of the worst economic situations our country has ever faced, perhaps he is making a statement urging his colleagues to focus their attention on something other than recognizing injustices from the past through non-binding resolutions. In that respect, I could understand – and maybe even agree with – his opposition. As noble as it would be honor history, fixing today’s mess is more important in the scheme of things.
I hope for his sake – and for that of the party he represents – his vote reflected that sentiment and not the fact that he isn’t just being a racist jackass. If his vote reflected any skepticism he may have about whether or not slaves were involved in the contrustion, the Office of the Architect of the Capitol killed that noise (I should point out the report never determined how many slaves were involved; just that they were involved).
Regardless of the intentions behind his dissent however, at the end of the day his antics will still add yet another log to the fire already blazing between Republicans and Black Americans.
**** Update ****
Rep. King has offered a response.