Arizona Charter School Teaches Students That White People Were Jealous Of The ‘Freedom’ Slavery Gave To Black People (VIDEO)

Nah, this wasn't that bad. We fed them, didn't we?!

Nah, this wasn’t that bad. We fed them, didn’t we?!

It’s become a common claim within conservative circles that African-Americans were better off under slavery than they are as a free people. And that’s the exact message that one charter school in Arizona is teaching their students.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State discovered that Heritage Academy in Mesa, Arizona requires students to read “The 5,000 Year Leap” and “The Making of America,” by Cleon Skousen. Skousen was a religious whack job who saw communists everywhere he looked and is an influence of Glenn Beck and a Tea Party hero. The books claim that America was founded as a Christian nation, and not a secular nation as it has been since the beginning.

The Constitution makes no reference to God or Jesus. It doesn’t even mention Christianity. It simply grants all people the freedom to practice whatever religious beliefs they choose. And that has been the majority interpretation for nearly 230 years. Furthermore, separation of church and state has been a foundational principle of our governmental system for just as long. Governments may not support one religious group over another. But these 12th grade students are learning the opposite, and they’re going out into the world indoctrinated with extreme conservative ideas.

And that’s not all they’re being taught. Garret Epps, a Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore, pointed out to The Arizona Republic that “Skousen’s account of the growth and meaning of the Constitution is quite inaccurate,” and that “parts of his major textbook, The Making of America, present a systematically racist view of the Civil War.” According to Epps, who graduated first in his class at Duke University and clerked with a judge on the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, a “long description of slavery in the book claims that the state [of slavery] was beneficial to African Americans and that Southern racism was caused by the ‘intrusion’ of northern abolitionists and advocates of equality for the freed slaves.”

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The book also includes an outrageous essay by Fred Albert Shannon, that paints slavery as a state of freedom that white people were jealous of.

“If [black 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 essay read.

Here’s the video via Raw Story.

This charter school is teaching students that slavery was good for black people. It’s also teaching them the false conservative Christian version of American history in which there is no separation of church and state, the federal government was founded on the Christian religion.

Conservatives won’t deny that they want Christian dominion over the federal government and the destruction of separation of church and state. However, conservatives have always desperately denied that they are racist. Indeed, conservatives have unilaterally declared that racism is over in America. Unfortunately for them, the lessons being taught in this Republican-approved charter school are yet another example that proves otherwise.

Of course, conservative political candidates and officeholders have also revealed the racist strain that infects the GOP today, and many subscribe to the exact same racist claims that Heritage Academy teaches.

Arizona Republican Jim Brown is running against Democratic Rep. Anna Kirkpatrick in the 2nd Congressional District. In a disturbing post on Facebook, Brown said that slavery was good for black people because slave owners took care of their livestock. Two years earlier, an Arkansas Republican called slavery a “blessing in disguise.” CPAC defended slavery in 2013. In the same year, a Nevada Republican said he would vote to bring slavery back if his constituents wanted him to do so. And just so it’s clear how racist Arizona conservatives are, the state also once refused to honor Martin Luther King Day.

With all this blatant racism being spouted openly by conservatives, you’d think Republicans would understand exactly why minority voters roundly reject them at the ballot box. But even as Heritage Academy is taking heavy criticism, the school still refuses to change what it teaches. Instead, it is merely electing to “scale back” the lessons so that those particular books aren’t as much of a focus. Sadly, this kind of education is exactly what conservatives want students to get, which is why they fully support charter schools. Charter schools receive public funding but operate independently, so it’s easier to teach students things that aren’t part of the standard state or federally approved curriculum. This could be easily fixed. The United Kingdom recently banned public funding for charter schools that teach creationism. The same kind of law would be appropriate here, accept language should be included that prohibits teaching conservative propaganda over historical facts. The future of education in America would benefit greatly.