Photo: Tom Cotton/Facebook
Photo: Tom Cotton/Facebook

Even as America sees 'Black Lives Matter' protests and US Republican Senator has shocked many with his recent comments that slavery was a "necessary evil" on which America had been built. The Arkansas official was quoted in a BBC news report as attributing this thought to the 'founding fathers'.

"We have to study the history of slavery and its role and impact on the development of our country because otherwise we can't understand our country," the BBC quoted Senator Tom Cotton as saying in an interview to The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper on Sunday.

"As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as (Abraham) Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction," he said.

He however rejected the idea that the US was a systemically racist country to its core, adding that he was introducing legislation to ban federal funds for a project by the New York Times newspaper, aimed at revising the historical view of slavery.

Needless to say, the internet is not amused. And to be fair, Cotton tried to clarify his stance, stating in a tweet that this was the "definition of fake news".

"This is the definition of fake news. I said that *the Founders viewed slavery as a necessary evil* and described how they put the evil institution on the path to extinction, a point frequently made by Lincoln," he tweeted.

But by then, most were not listening.

Surprise and shock radiated through the Twitter community with many calling out Cotton. While some took the slightly unoriginal route of calling him a "(un)necessary evil", others called his comments "abhorrent" and "shocking".

"There are mostly two types of people; those who believe the means justify the ends, and those that believe the ends justifies the means. They are constantly locked in a spittle flecked ideological battle. The tricky bit, is that almost everybody is BOTH of those types of people," read one comment.

(With inputs from agencies)

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