LITTLE ROCK, Ark - Racist, anti-Islam comments by Republican candidates in the southern state of Arkansas have put their party in hot water ahead of looming November vote, with a state lawmaker writing that slavery might have benefited blacks, and a candidate advocating expelling Muslims from the United States.
"I see no solution to the Muslim problem short of expelling all followers of the religion from the United States," wrote Charles Fuqua of Batesville, Arkansas, who is currently seeking a House of Representatives, Reuters reported.
Fuqua, an attorney, served as a state representative from 1995 to 1998 before losing a state senate race.
According to The Arkansas Times newspaper, Fuqua's comments appeared in his e-book "God's Law: The Only Political Solution" which came out in April on Amazon.
Another Republican state Representative wrote that slavery might have benefited blacks in his self-published 2009 book titled "Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative."
"The institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise," state Representative Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro, Arkansas, wrote.
Hubbard, a retired teacher and Vietnam veteran who was elected to the statehouse in 2010, also wrote, "Wouldn't life for blacks in America today be more enjoyable and successful if they would only learn to appreciate the value of a good education?"
His book also says that blacks "are likely much better than they ever would have enjoyed living in sub-Saharan Africa."
Although there are no official figures, the United States is believed to be home to between 6-8 million Muslims.
Struggling to overcome the political storm ahead of November vote, the Republican Party of Arkansas swiftly denounced their comments and distanced itself from the two candidates.
"The reported statements made by Hubbard and Fuqua were highly offensive to many Americans and do not reflect the viewpoints of the Republican Party of Arkansas," state party chairman Doyle Webb said in a statement on Saturday cited by Reuters.
Webb blamed Democrats for drawing attention to the two books, which he called "distractions."
The Democratic Party of Arkansas swiftly responded to the appalling comments of the GOP candidates.
"With these appalling views, Jon Hubbard cannot be trusted to represent Arkansans and set policy for our state," Candace Martin, spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Arkansas, said.
Jay Barth, a political science professor at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, agreed.
He referred to the controversial comments as a throwback to the 1960s when Arkansas was a civil rights battleground.
"It's hard to remember a set of remarks this extreme on racial matters by an Arkansas official since the state's politics modernized in the late 1960s than that by Mr. Hubbard," Barth said on Saturday.
Hubbard and Fuqua's comments are not the first embarrassment to the Republican Party.
Last September 2012, a video of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has surfaced in which he makes disparaging remarks about Americans who support President Barack Obama.
The comments by the Republican candidate were recorded at a private fundraiser after the primary season ended in which he described almost half of Americans as people who pay no income tax and are dependent upon government.
Those voters, he said, would probably support President Obama because they believe they are victims who are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net