White US politician tells primarily Black audience that her father born in 1933 was a white slave

By Abby Amoakuh

Published Feb 15, 2024 at 12:59 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

It is one thing to attempt to rewrite America’s history of slavery and the forced displacment of millions of Africans to the North American continent. It is a completely different thing to do so during Black History Month at a meeting for the National Association for Advanced of Coloured People while attempting to make a point about diversity and equity programs being unnecessary.

On 1 February 2024, Jennifer Decker, a 68-year-old white Republican state representative, claimed that her father, who was born in the 1930s, “was a white slave.”

Decker made the comment at a Shelbyville Area NAACP meeting that was discussing a state education bill she is sponsoring. If passed, the bill will prohibit state colleges and universities from offering diversity programs aimed at helping African Americans and other underrepresented students.

The politician’s comment occurred during a question-and-answer session, in which Decker was asked if her family played any role in the slave trade, according to The Daily Beast, who obtained an audio recording of the session.

“So, if you’re asking, did we own slaves? My father was a slave, just to a white man and he was white,” Decker said before the predominantly Black audience.

Despite their understandable astonishment at these statements, Decker insisted that her father was born on a dirt farm. According to her, his mother was the illegitimate child “of a very prominent person who then was kind enough to allow them to work for him as slaves.” Yes, sounds like he had a heart of gold.

Decker’s father was a white preacher, as reported by the Courier Journal. Decker senior was also born sometime around 1933, as aforementioned, which was 68 years after the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery.

In conversation with the journal, Decker clarified that her father was essentially the same as a slave because he was born poor and worked on someone else’s land.

Decker admitted later on that calling her father a slave was “probably” too much (probably?!?!?). The GOP representative went on to note that her father did not experience the same abuses that enslaved Africans and their descendants endured every day.

“A white slave in the mid-20th century? Talk about recreating history! Maybe this makes sense in the alternate supremacist reality that is Kentucky, but nowhere else. Jennifer Decker and her Republican friends lie about and distort everything else, why not this?” University of Louisville Pan-African Studies Professor Dr Ricky Jones said on X, formerly Twitter.

Many netizens also took to social media to share their outrage about the comments, accusing Decker of blackface and appropriation.

Republicans in general have tried to remove diversity and inclusion initiatives in the past few years, claiming that they offer unfair advantages to people who are not white, queer, immigrants, or differently abled.

This effort culminated in the majorly conservative Supreme Court overturning affirmative action in college admissions in 2023. Affirmative action are policies and practices seeking to benefit particular groups that were historically discriminated against, underrepresented, mistreated, or suffer from lack of public support.

To many, Decker’s comments highlighted how desperately these programs and, let’s be honest, better history lessons for public schools, are needed.

Keep On Reading

By Monica Athnasious

The bloody truth behind our food: Diletta Bellotti’s fight against food slavery

By Sofia Gallarate

The Stop Slavery Award 2018 goes to Apple and Unilever. Surprised?

By Abby Amoakuh

Why gen Zers don’t want to climb the corporate ladder: A deep dive into the middle management problem

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden is the murder suspect standing for re-election in Australia

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Julia Fox’s recent fashion statement sparks intense criticism from FGM survivors

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

From breast cancer survivors to greenwashing: Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS nipple bra heats up the internet

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Archaic Missouri law denies pregnant women the right to divorce, even in cases of domestic violence

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Netizens are mad about Greta Gerwig’s Barbie gaining 9 Golden Globe nominations 

By Charlie Sawyer

Ron DeSantis’ administration links pro-Palestine student group to terrorism and bans it from campus

By Abby Amoakuh

Tories delete ad attacking Sadiq Khan after using New York footage instead of London’s

By Abby Amoakuh

Who is Courtney Clenney, the OnlyFans model accused of stabbing her boyfriend to death?

By Abby Amoakuh

Grace Beverley is being cancelled for asking fans to fund her wedding by buying her £42 planners

By Charlie Sawyer

Who are nepo baby Matty Healy’s parents? Meet Denise Welch and Tim Healy

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Andrew Tate says MrBeast’s support of trans friend Kris Tyson is fake and a psyop

By Abby Amoakuh

Travis Barker’s ex-wife takes jab at his relationship with Kourtney, calls Kardashians disgusting

By Charlie Sawyer

Gwyneth Goes Skiing is a campy delight, plus it’s doing wonders for Gwyneth Paltrow’s PR

By Abby Amoakuh

The murder of a 22-year-old nursing student in Athens Georgia could decide the US presidential elections

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Miriam Margolyes angers adult Harry Potter fans after saying they need to grow up

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Selena Gomez accused of plagiarism for the second time by artist

By Abby Amoakuh

Everything we know so far about The Summer I Turned Pretty season 3