A senator for the state of Arkansas has described slavery as a “necessary evil” on which the American nation was built.
In a local newspaper interview, Republican Tom Cotton said he rejected the idea that the US was a systemically racist country to its core.
He is introducing legislation to ban federal funds for a project by the New York Times newspaper, aimed at revising the historical view of slavery.
The project’s founder expressed outrage at the remarks.
Senator Cotton told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: “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.
“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.”