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Glenn Beck defends book that claims whites were the ‘worst victims' of American slavery

Posted by on Jul. 16, 2014 at 1:16 PM
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Glenn Beck defends book that claims whites were the ‘worst victims' of American slavery

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 12:33 EDT
Conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Tuesday defended a history book that has ignited controversy for its portrayal of slavery in the United States.

The group Americans United for Separation of Church and State has criticized Heritage Academy, a charter school in Arizona, for using Cleon Skousen's The 5000 Year Leap in a 12th-grade history class. The group said that the book promotes "Christian nation propaganda" as well as claims slavery was beneficial to African Americans.

Beck, who has promoted The 5000 Year Leap, insisted there was nothing wrong with the book. He said he was "doubling down" on his support for it.


Co-host Steve Burguiere remarked that critics had never "produced one sentence from that book that was controversial."

"That book is absolutely right," Beck said. "That book, The 5000 Year Leap, changed my understanding of the United States government and our founders. It is the clearest, simplest, most direct way to teach what happened and why we were founded the way we were."

He encouraged his listeners to go out and buy the book, even if they already had a copy.

"Teach it to your children. Read it to them at night. Bring it to the dinner table," Beck said. "It will be the only chance they have to actually learn American history."

In the The 5000 Year Leap, Skousen tells the "story of slavery" by quoting historian Fred Albert Shannon at length. The quotations claim that white boys envied the freedom of black slave children and describe newly sold slaves as "a cheerful lot."

The book also claims that abolitionists spread false rumors about the mistreatment of black slaves, and it states that "slave owners were the worst victims of the system."

by on Jul. 16, 2014 at 1:16 PM
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by Emerald Member on Jul. 16, 2014 at 1:25 PM


Skousen's The Making of America advances controversial "story of slavery in America"

Skousen: "Slavery is not a racial problem. It is a human problem." In The Making of America, Skousen wrote of slavery:

In the history of the world, nearly every nation has had slaves. The Chinese kept thousands of slaves. Babylon boasted of slaves from a dozen different countries. The dark-skinned Hittites, Phoenicians, and Egyptians had white slaves. The Moors had black slaves. America had black slaves. The Nazis had white slaves. The Soviets still do, with several million white slaves wearing out their starved, near-naked bodies in slave labor camps.

So the emancipation of human beings from slavery is an ongoing struggle. Slavery is not a racial problem. It is a human problem. [The Making of America, page 728]

Skousen's "Story of Slavery" controversial when first published. In The Making of America, Skousen capped his analysis of the 15th Amendment by quoting several pages of historian Fred Albert Shannon's Economic History of the People of the United States (1934), saying that they "tell the story of slavery in America." [The Making of America, page 729] As Zaitchik wrote in his September 16 Salon article, Skousen's use of Shannon's work aroused controversy shortly after the book was first published in the early 1980s:

Toward the end of Reagan's second term, Skousen became the center of a minor controversy when state legislators in California approved the official use of another of his books, the 1982 history text "The Making of America." Besides bursting with factual errors, Skousen's book characterized African-American children as "pickaninnies" and described American slave owners as the "worst victims" of the slavery system. Quoting the historian Fred Albert Shannon, "The Making of America" explained that "[slave] gangs in transit were usually a cheerful lot, though the presence of a number of the more vicious type sometimes made it necessary for them all to go in chains."

Shannon's account of slavery sympathetic to slave owners, hostile to abolitionists, minimized suffering. The following are excerpts from Shannon's account of life in the antebellum South, as presented by Skousen in The Making of America as "the story of slavery in America." In them, Shannon claimed that children of slave owners envied the "freedom" of slave children and that "impermanent" marriages between slaves were a "blessing of slavery." Shannon also dismissed accounts of cruelty toward slaves as rare or unfounded but addressed in great detail the "fear" Southern whites had of slave rebellions against "white civilization."

  • Abolitionists at fault for delaying emancipation. "Gradual emancipation by legislative action was talked about in the South for two generations after the Declaration of Independence. A fierce contest, waged over this issue in the legislature of Virginia as late as 1832, was lost by the emancipationists largely because of resentment against the interference of Northern abolitionists and terror over the Nat Turner insurrection of the preceding year.

"Had the result been different the effect upon the border states, where slavery at best was of questionable value, may well be imagined. By too militant action the abolitionists themselves did much to perpetuate slavery in the northern group of the Southern states." [The Making of America, page 730]

  • Newly sold slaves "usually a cheerful lot." "The tendency was to sell families as units, if for no other reason [than] to keep the slaves contented. The gangs in transit were usually a cheerful lot, though the presence of a number of the more vicious type sometimes made it necessary for them all to go in chains. At the other extreme, when the Central of Georgia railroad company in 1858 equipped a Negro sleeping car to assist in the slave trade it set a standard not always maintained in a later generation. When on the block, the slave was as likely to hinder as to help in his sale. Some, out of a vain conceit in bringing a high price, would boast of their physical prowess, in which case an unwary purchaser would likely be cheated. Others would malinger, because of a grudge against owners or traders or in order to bring a low price and be put at less tiring labor. Dealers, also, adopted the tricks of horse traders to make their merchants more attractive -- the greasiest Negro was generally considered the healthiest." [The Making of America, pages 731-732]
  • Slaves hampered efficiency of white labor. "In the management of slave labor the gang system predominated. The great majority of owners, having at the most only one or two families of Negroes, had to work alongside their slaves and set the pace for them. Slavery did not make white labor unrespectable, but merely inefficient. The slave had a deliberateness of motion which no amount of supervision could quicken. If the owner got ahead of the gang they all would shirk behind his back." [The Making of America, page 732]
  • White schoolchildren would "envy the freedom" of "colored playmates." "Slave food, even if monotonous, was plentiful. Corn bread and bacon were the mainstays, with plenty of fruit and vegetables in season. In hog-killing time, countenances were unusually greasy. Clothing also was on the par with that of the poorer white people and no less adequate in proportion to the climate than that of Northern laborers. If [negro children] ran naked it was generally from choice, and when the white boys had to put on shoes and go away to school they were likely to envy the freedom of their colored playmates. The color line began to appear at about that time." [The Making of America, pages 732-733]
  • Cruelty rare, slave owners "the worst victims." "Excessive toil occurred only where the masters or overseers were feeble witted as well as brutal. A persistent rumor among abolitionists was that sugar planters followed a policy of working slaves to death in seven years as a matter of economy. The persons spreading such reports were as ignorant of Negro nature as they were of conditions in the sugar mills. Furthermore, they overrated the ability of the masters to know how to kill a slave in the given time instead of leaving him a broken-down burden to the plantation. When they set out to prove the accusation they returned with no evidence, but convinced that the practice existed in some obscure region which they had not succeeded in ferreting out. Harriet Martineau, after watching slaves go through the motions of work without tiring themselves, considered the planters as models of patience and observed that new slave owners from Europe or the North were prone to be the most severe. Numerous observers, of various shades of opinion on slavery, agreed that brutality was no more common in the black belt than among free labor elsewhere, and that the slave owners were the worst victims of the system." [The Making of America, pages 733-734
  • Broken marriages "one the blessings of slavery." "Negro weddings were attended by white people who joined in the celebration. If the marriages were of a rather impermanent nature, that fact was frequently considered as 'one of the blessings of slavery.' At church and camp meetings the Negroes, in their own section of the building or tabernacle, enjoyed the experiences immensely. They could shout without restraint, while the masters, in order to preserve their dignity, had to repress their emotions. It made little difference if religion was thrown off soon after the camp meeting dissolved -- backsliding was pleasant, and there was always a chance to get intoxicatingly converted again." [The Making of America, page 734]
  • "Negro preachers" warranted surveillance. "The worst offenses of slaves against the white men's code were rebellion and running away. Drunkenness, stealing, hiding out from work, personal filthiness, carelessness of property, fighting, and general brutality had various positions in the scale of misdemeanors. Negro preachers often bred discontent by their unnecessary restraint upon pleasure, and, if itinerants, had to be watched closely for abolitionist or seditious doctrines." [The Making of America, page 734]
  • Southern life a "nightmare" of fear -- for white people. "The constant fear of slave rebellion made life in the South a nightmare, especially in regions where conspiracies were of frequent occurrence. The extermination of white civilization in Santo Domingo was followed in the nineteenth century by several other bloody outbursts in the West Indies, which never failed to cause ominous forebodings in America. [...]

"In the nineteenth century, conspiracies headed by George Boxley and Denmark Vessey in South Carolina (1816 and 1822), and the Nat Turner insurrection in Virginia in 1831 were the outstanding examples. Boxley, a Negro with a sort of John Brown intelligence, escaped while six of his followers were executed. The Vessey plot, prematurely revealed, resulted in 130 arrests which culminated in the hangings of 35, deportation fo nearly as many, and imprisonment of 4 white participants. Nat Turner, a mystic type of Baptist preacher, set out to annihilate white civilization, and succeeded to the extent of 10 men, 14 women, and 31 children. He was finally hanged with several of his followers, but the after-effects of the uprising were deplorable." [The Making of America, page 735]

  • Southern slavery better than Northern freedom. "The free Negro had rather more opportunity for economic advancement in the South than in the North. The Southerner was bothered by the race problem but knew how to handle the individual Negro, while the Northerner professed a benign interest in the race so long as its members were as remote as possible. Neither section was willing to grant equal rights in education, suffrage, or legal standing, while many states of all sections had laws prohibiting the immigration of free Negroes. Abraham Lincoln could not have maintained his standing in the Republican party had he not been a staunch supporter of the Illinois exclusion law and a firm opponent of political and social equality. It was most difficult for a Negro to get a job in the North, except at the most loathsome of tasks. Some Negroes, having been freed and sent to any Northern state which would receive them, became so miserable as to solicit a return to slavery." [The Making of America, pages 735-736]
  • Emancipated slaves hated because of Civil War and "carpetbag regime." "This seemingly hopeless situation was by 1860 approaching a solution which was not allowed to materialize. The limits of slavery expansion either by purchase or conquest had been reached. The natural increase of slave population in a few decades would have checked the opportunities for profitable sale. It seems futile to believe otherwise than that, before the end of the century, the diminishing returns from slave ownership would have driven slave prices so low that, in self-defense, owners would have made tenants of their laborers, thrown them upon their own resources, and placed dependence upon rentals for profits. It likewise seems reasonable to believe that by this solution the Negro might have escaped the revulsion of feeling against him that resulted from forcible emancipation and the carpetbag regime." [The Making of America, page 737]
  • The end picture-caption. At the end of Skousen's extensive quotation of Shannon, The Making of America features an illustration of two dark, manacled hands with the accompanying caption: "In some ways, the economic system of slavery chained the slave owners almost as much as the slaves." [The Making of America, page 737]


by on Jul. 16, 2014 at 1:26 PM
OMG WTF? what a pile of shit! sad that anyonne could be that Fing ignorant smh
by "Dude!" on Jul. 16, 2014 at 1:27 PM
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What the frack? It's like the people who deny the Holocaust.

*just blanked out - did I spell that right?
by on Jul. 16, 2014 at 2:02 PM
Is this a fucking joke?
by Ruby Member on Jul. 16, 2014 at 2:15 PM
Why do people insist on being Fucking stupid?!
by Ruby Member on Jul. 16, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Quoting sweet-a-kins:


  • Harriet Martineau, after watching slaves go through the motions of work without tiring themselves, considered the planters as models of patience and observed that new slave owners from Europe or the North were prone to be the most severe. Numerous observers, of various shades of opinion on slavery, agreed that brutality was no more common in the black belt than among free labor elsewhere, and that the slave owners were the worst victims of the system." [The Making of America, pages 733-734

Harriet Martineau (12 June 1802 – 27 June 1876) was an English social theorist andWhig writer, often cited as the first female sociologist.[1][clarification needed]

Martineau wrote many books and a multitude of essays from a sociological, holistic, religious, domestic, and perhaps most controversially, feminine perspective; she also translated various works from Auguste Comte.[2] She earned enough to be supported entirely by her writing, a rare feat for a woman in the Victorian era. A young Princess Victoria, (later Queen Victoria), enjoyed reading Martineau's publications. The queen invited Martineau to her coronation in 1838—an event which Martineau described, in great and amusing detail, to her many readers.[3][4] Martineau said of her own approach to writing: "when one studies a society, one must focus on all its aspects, including key political, religious, and social institutions". She believed a thorough societal analysis was necessary to understand women's status under men.

In 1834, after completing the economic series, Harriet Martineau paid a long visit to the United States. During this time, she visited with James Madison, the former president, at his home atMontpelier.[10] She also met numerous abolitionists in Boston and studied the emerging girls' schools established for their education. Her support of abolitionism, then widely unpopular across the U.S., caused controversy, which her publication, soon after her return, of Society in America (1837) and How to Observe Morals and Manners (1838), only added to. The two books are considered significant contributions to the then-emerging field of sociology.[citation needed]

In Society in America, Martineau angrily criticised the state of women's education. She wrote,

"The intellect of women is confined by an unjustifiable restriction of... education... As women have none of the objects in life for which an enlarged education is considered requisite, the education is not given... The choice is to either be 'ill-educated, passive, and subservient, or well-educated, vigorous, and free only upon sufferance."[2]

Her article "The Martyr Age of the United States" (1839), in the Westminster Review, introduced English readers to the struggles of the abolitionists in America several years after Britain hadabolished slavery.[11]

In October 1836, soon after returning from the voyage of the Beagle, Charles Darwin went to London to stay with his brother Erasmus. He found him spending his days "driving out Miss Martineau", who had returned from her trip to the United States. Charles wrote to his sister,

"Our only protection from so admirable a sister-in-law is in her working him too hard." He commented, "She already takes him to task about his idleness— She is going some day to explain to him her notions about marriage— Perfect equality of rights is part of her doctrine. I much doubt whether it will be equality in practice."[12]

The Darwins shared Martineau's Unitarian background and Whig politics, but their father Robert was concerned that, as a potential daughter-in-law, the writer was too extreme in her politics. Charles noted that his father was upset by a piece read in the Westminster Review calling for the radicals to break with the Whigs and give working men the vote "before he knew it was not hers [Martineau's], and wasted a good deal of indignation, and even now can hardly believe it is not hers."[13]

by on Jul. 16, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Oooooh, noooooo.

white children claimed that the black slave children were a happy lot...?

Cleon Skousen...LDS, anti-communist, conspiracy theorists, right winger who covinced so many naive people that there were commies everywhere and stupid stuff such as "Flouride in the water was a communist plot to control the mnds of Americans".

No wonder Beck likes him and defends his book. Beck is also LDS and probably believes in the same idiotic conspiracy theories.

This is disgusting. The 50's were negatively affected by this Skousen guy and Joe McCarthy. They ruined lives of innocent Americans with their accusations .


by Ruby Member on Jul. 16, 2014 at 2:31 PM
Southern life a "nightmare" of fear -- for white people.

This was actually true. It's still true and now people are exporting that fear to the rest of the country. Fear was codified into the white consciousness at the time. Free white men were required to run patrols usually every couple of weeks to ride around all night and look for slaves walking without papers. They were supposedly also looking for Indians and Spaniards running raids but the focal point of the fear was black people, free and slave.
by Emerald Member on Jul. 16, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Supermonstermom - why did you delete your comment?

by Platinum Member on Jul. 16, 2014 at 2:37 PM
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Far-right Mormon crank.

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