Republican Indiana Representative Jim Lucas is in hot water after shrugging off slavery in a Facebook argument with a Black surgeon.
After Lucas made wild false claims about the history of slavery, the GOP politician told the surgeon, James Carson, slavery is "a way of humanity."
Lucas echoed White supremacist rhetoric that tries to present an "alternate view"—one not supported by any evidence—of slavery, painting it as less violent, cruel and dehumanizing than it actually was.
Republican accused of racism after telling Black surgeon that slavery is ‘a way of humanity’ during Facebook feud https://t.co/1ASXscw0Q4— Raw Story (@Raw Story) 1617042892.0
The conversation between Lucas and Carson took place in the comments below a now-deleted Lucas Facebook Lucas post decrying Democratic President Joe Biden's call for an assault weapons ban following two recent mass shootings.
Lucas' pro-gun screed began as so many debates about gun rights do—with Lucas citing an absolute constitutional protection of all gun rights under the Second Amendment. In response, Carson challenged Lucas' premise the Constitution should be followed to the letter more than 200 years after it was written.
Although if followed to the letter, only a "well regulated militia" would be eligible to own firearms.
"You know the constitution was written with people like me as slaves with no rights. Is that how it should be interpreted?"
Lucas' response was a bit of a jaw-dropper.
First, he responded with an incendiary claim about the history of slavery.
"[The] first slave owner in America was Black."
This is a favorite slogan and meme topic among the right that is patently false.
It referencesAnthony Johnson, a freed Black indentured servant turned plantation owner who successfully sued to enslave another Black man in 1653. While that court case was among the first of its kind, the first slave ship from Africa arrived in the American colonies in 1619, two years before Johnson was even brought to the colonies.
Lucas' response then parrotted more well known White supremacist rhetoric.
"Blacks captured and sold Blacks as slaves. Slavery is vile and repugnant, but has, and is tragically a way of humanity."
He then moved on to patronizing Carson and impugning his career with racist rhetoric.
"You say you're a surgeon, congratulations on your accomplishment. Did you get any scholarships or financial assistance because of your skin color? Any minority scholarships?"
Speaking to The Indianapolis Star, Carson said Lucas' words were manifestly racist.
"Beyond a doubt, not even thinly veiled, it's pretty obviously racist to me. The fact that he would even imply that I've gotten where I am in life through school, only because of my race, he doesn't even do a good job of trying to hide it."
Despite parroting racist false rhetoric, Lucas insists he is not racist.
He called the accusation "vile and horrible and despicable."
Folks on Twitter, of course, weren't buying it.
Rep. Jim Lucas is a racist.. blacks may have sold slaves but slavery was mostly a white racist entity for profit..L… https://t.co/dtNuGXhSxI— Prez (@Prez) 1617044334.0
@AllisonLCarter Jim Lucas: "I'm so misunderstood!" Everyone: "No, we actually understand you really well."— Erik the Rural Juror (@Erik the Rural Juror) 1617033382.0
Oh look 👀👀#INLegis Rep. Jim Lucas makes headlines for racism AGAIN. When will the implicit bias training be,… https://t.co/xNfj6SlMBz— JB (@JB) 1617019170.0
Jim Lucas is a racist and a misogynist and apparently fits right in the #INLegis. Rather than hold him to account,… https://t.co/HZzw2YvIlR— End White Supremacy (@End White Supremacy) 1617027975.0
They just can't stop, can they? https://t.co/Yllvkwn3Re— Tea Pain (@Tea Pain) 1617047296.0
Another example of the America, trump and Republicans having been trying to create. They want a divided country wi… https://t.co/DeqC7JpJZh— Thomas Kaine (@Thomas Kaine) 1617050178.0
Both-sidesing slavery and then doubling down on it in an interview https://t.co/Wli70DVStv— James Briggs (@James Briggs) 1617031180.0
Reminder that Rep. Lucas is a proud member of a group associated with people arrested for attacking Congress on Jan… https://t.co/R6h7Ag1a5X— Dr. MKM 📚 (@Dr. MKM 📚) 1617040873.0
Known Indiana racist said racist stuff again and the @indgop is fine with it. #Indiana https://t.co/yoD0ukjG9A— IND Progressives (@IND Progressives) 1617012739.0
This is just the latest in a string of Facebook posts by Lucas dating back to 2016 that have drawn outrage in Indiana, including memes comparing women to dogs and photos of nooses hanging from trees posted in response to news stories about Black crime suspects.