The Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginia has praised the Constitution’s original clause to count blacks as three-fifths of a person as an “anti-slavery amendment.”Presumably, Jackson's rationale is that southern states wanted slaves to count for even more than three-fifths of a person when it came to allocating seats in Congress, so the fact that they didn't get everything they wanted was "anti-slavery." Of course, that misses the fact that the very existence of the three-fifths clause meant that slavery was written into the Constitution. In that sense, unlike the Thirteenth Amendment which banned slavery altogether, the three-fifths clause was pretty much the opposite of an anti-slavery amendment. Maybe slave states didn't get everything they wanted, but that certainly doesn't make it something to be proud of. And it's really bizarre that Jackson doesn't understand that fact.
In an April 28, 2011 statement while he was a Senate candidate, conservative minister and lawyer E.W. Jackson held up the three-fifths clause as an “anti-slavery amendment.” The context of his statement was to attack President Obama after a pastor at a church service he attended referred to the three-fifths clause as a historical marker of racism.
“Rev. [Charles Wallace] Smith must not have understood the 3/5ths clause was an anti-slavery amendment. Its purpose was to limit the voting power of slave holding states,” Jackson, an African-American, said in his statement.
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