State Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll has long been known in New Jersey political circles as one of the most socially conservative, and outspoken, members of the Legislature. Over the course of the years, the Morris County Republican has made controversial comments on immigration, urban poverty and public education, among other issues.
But it was a comment that Carroll made about slavery in 2008 that briefly made national headlines. At the time, the Legislature was weighing whether the state should issue an official apology for slavery. Carroll opposed the measure, and said that African-Americans should actually be grateful for slavery, because it was the means by which they eventually gained American citizenship. “If slavery was the price that a modern American’s ancestors had to pay in order to make one an American, one should get down on one’s knees every single day and thank the Lord that such price was paid,” Carroll told the Associated Press at the time.
Carroll is planning to step down from his seat in the Assembly — he says he's frustrated serving in the minority — and will instead run for the job of Morris County Surrogate, the official charged with overseeing the probate of wills, management of estates and determining guardianship issues. The filing deadline for candidates is April 1. The election is on June 4.
on WNYC News, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.