• Donald V. Watkins

Tommy Tuberville’s Ignorance and Racism Are Appalling

Updated: Oct 12

By: Donald V. Watkins

Copyrighted and Published on October 10, 2022


Editorial Opinion

Charitably speaking, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) has never been viewed as an intellectual giant. Tuberville is an Arkansas native who tried to make a name for himself as a head football coach at several football factories in the South.


Tuberville has a college degree, but it is in physical education.


Politicians in the Modern-Era


In the modern-era, politicians for Congressional seats, whether black and white, Democrat or Republican, do not have to be smart to get elected. They don’t have to have a game-plan for improving the quality of life for their constituents.


They don’t even have to know the substantive issues that are adversely affecting their constituencies or states, or have an agenda to solve these issues.


Today, most politicians only have to pledge that they will be reliable “pack-mules” for the corporate oligarchy that runs each state and America as a whole. In political jargon, they must become a dependable “political whore” who can be bought or rented.


Without exception, all politicians place their self-interests above the people’s interests. This event occurs as soon as they are sworn-in as public officials.


In today’s political arena, there is no sense of “right” or “wrong,” or a generally accepted code of morale conduct. It’s mostly blind loyalty to a political party or special interest group.


“Character,” as we knew it growing up, flew out the window with President Richard Nixon’s criminal conduct during the Watergate break-in. Now, criminality appears to be an integral part of public service, whether the official is a city council member or a federal judge.


Tuberville “Whores” for Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans


Tommy Tuberville “whores” for Donald Trump and the MAGA faction of the National Republican Party. None of them respect him. They only use Tuberville whenever they need a neophyte "pack-mule" to tote a heavy load of MAGA political baggage.


Privately, Trump and his inner circle are amazed at how dumb Tuberville is. They originally thought former Alabama U.S. Senator/U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was the dumbest southerner they had met, but now believe Tommy Tuberville has surpassed Sessions’ intellectual shallowness.


Tuberville was Donald Trump’s proud ally when the former president lost the 2020 election and attempted to overthrow the duly-elected presidency of Joe Biden on January 6, 2021. He gave aid and comfort to the Trump “patriots” who stormed the U.S. Capitol that day.


Today, Tuberville is a choir boy for Trump at MAGA rallies for GOP Senatorial candidates. It is in this capacity, that the entire nation discovered how ignorant and racist Tuberville truly is.


Prior to Saturday, Tuberville had been in the news for trying to follow fellow Alabama U.S. Richard Shelby’s template for getting rich while serving in the Senate. Basically, this template involves (a) using “insider” information gleamed in closed-door Senate hearings to make personal stock trades, and (b) using your Senate position to pressure/persuade corporate America to contribute to your campaign and contract with your friends.


Shelby proved that these friends, in return, will shower a compromised politician with unreported gifts and other love offerings. What is more, Justice Clarence Thomas proved that even a Supreme Court Justice can sell his/her vote on the U.S. Supreme Court to whatever interest group is willing to hire his/her spouse as a consultant, and everybody in Washington will look the other way.


Prime-Time Racism


On Saturday, Tuberville’s "whoring" was on full display at a MAGA rally with Donald Trump in Nevada. This is what Tuberville said about Democrats and crime:


"They are not soft on crime. They're pro-crime. They want crime. They want crime because they want to take over what you got. They want to control what you have. They want reparations because they think the people that do the crime are owed that.


Not only were Tuberville’s comments racist in nature, they are also divorced from history.


Discussions in the American political arena about reparations have always been predicated on slavery-era conduct. Slavery is and has always been viewed by intelligent people as a crime against humanity.


Everybody in America concedes this point, except for the Trump “patriots” and MAGA loyalists who control the Republican Party. Tuberville falls within the group that has never acknowledged the horrors of slavery in America, or condemned it.


Nothing in Tuberville’s educational background suggests that he is literate in American history. In fact, everything in his background suggests that Tuberville is hopelessly trapped in the customs, traditions, and social mores of the Old Confederacy.


If Tuberville was a more enlightened man, he would know that America awarded slavery-related reparations to white slave owners, starting in 1862. They received cash money for the slaves who were freed and the return of their confiscated plantations (after the Civil War ended.)


I recommend that Tuberville read Jessica M. Parr’s April 16, 2018 article on “The Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862.” Ms. Parr is a Lecturer in History at Simmons College, and an Affiliate Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of New Hampshire at Durham. She specializes in the Early Modern Black Atlantic World, with focuses on race, religion, memory studies, and digital history. Parr is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and has received fellowships from the Boston Athenaeum, Duke University, the Congregational Library, Mystic Seaport, and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute.


Ms. Parr is currently the Managing Editor for The Programming Historian, and writes for The Junto: a Group Blog for Early American History, as well as Black Perspectives, the online journal of the African-American Intellectual History Society. Her first book, Inventing George Whitefield: Race, Revivalism, and the Making of a Religious Icon was published in 2015 by the University Press of Mississippi.

Here is what Tuberville, or his Senate staff members, can learn about slavery-era reparations in America from Ms. Parr’s insightful article:

“With a stroke of his pen, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the Compensated Emancipation Act on April 16, 1862, officially ending slavery in Washington, D.C. The Act reflected a new direction in the longstanding debate over slavery and emancipation in the nation’s capital. While a far cry from full emancipation, it was an important step towards the abolition of slavery.

The law ending slavery in the nation’s capital provided compensation for the owners of the roughly 3,185 slaves it freed. A three-person commission heard petitions of the former slave owners and made determinations on how much money they should receive for the loss of their human property. In the end, the total compensation amounted to nearly one million dollars. A second Compensation Act, which Lincoln signed into law on July 12, 1862, allowed former slaves to petition for reimbursement for their own value, so long as their former masters had not already been compensated. It also allowed former slaves who had purchased the freedom of family members to claim remuneration for the money they had spent to free loved ones. This corrected a flaw in the original Act. Under the original law, black claims were automatically discounted if challenged by a white petitioner. The revision required claims to be weighted equally, regardless of the petitioner’s race."

With this knowledge of history, Tuberville should be prepared to debate these questions (assuming he is intellectually capable of doing so):


(1) Should the U.S. government provide slavery-era reparations to African-American who are the documented descendants of slaves in America (excluding the descendants of slaves who were compensated under the second Compensation Act of 1862)?


(2) If so, what is the appropriate form and amount of compensation for each descendant who qualifies for such compensation and who files a petition for reparations?

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama)

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