Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee may be fresh off a wave of controversy after he tweeted some questionable (and racist) tweets Tuesday, but that didn’t stop the presidential hopeful from suggesting that America should sell poor people into slavery as a way to deal with the criminal justice system.
Yes. That happened.
During an appearance on the Iowa radio program Mickelson in the Morning, the Republican candidate agreed when the conservative host used a bible verse to justify selling poor people who steal things into slavery.
According to Think Progress:
Host Jan Mickelson began by bemoaning that the “criminal justice system has been taken over by progressives.” In order to fight back, he argued, conservatives should look to the biblical Book of Exodus. “It says, if a person steals, they have to pay it back two-fold, four-fold,” Mickelson explained. “If they don’t have anything, we’re supposed to take them down and sell them.”
Mickelson went on to argue why jails, which he claimed are a “pagan invention,” are inferior to slavery: “We indenture them and they have to spend their time not sitting on their stump in a jail cell, they’re supposed to be working off the debt.”
“Wouldn’t that be a better choice?” the host asked. “Well, it really would be,” Huckabee replied without missing a beat. “Sometimes the best way to deal with a nonviolent criminal behavior is what you just suggested.”
While the optimist in us would like to believe Huckabee — a politician hoping to be the leader of the “free world” — didn’t understand the question or the bible reference, it’s not likely. As Think Progress points out, the politician was once a Baptist pastor. It’s also not likely Huckabee was unaware of Mickelson’s point of view. In fact, this wasn’t the first time the radio host suggested bringing slavery back.
In August, Mickelson argued that undocumented immigrants should “become property of the state,” who should “extort or exploit or indenture [their] labor.” After a caller pointed out that what he was describing is slavery, Mickelson responded, “Well, what’s wrong with slavery?”
Unfortunately for both Mickelson and Huckabee, it’s illegal to sell human beings. And like Think Progress points out, it’s also unconstitutional to run a debtors prison, though we’re not sure anyone has explained that to Ferguson officials.
In any case, it’s alarming that a presidential hopeful would suggest anything of the sort, but we are talking about Huckabee, who tweeted this just days ago.
Clearly, he doesn’t get it.
SOURCE: Think Progress | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
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