Best-selling historian David Barton is blasting a proposal by the head of the San Francisco Board of Education which would ban schools from being named after George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other Founding Fathers and American leaders who owned slaves.
Barton, author of “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson,” called it a “misguided effort based on bad history.” Barton pointed out African-American leaders of the past often praised both Presidents Washington and Jefferson, who both recognized human slavery was an evil needing to be dealt with, as champions of the beginning civil rights for blacks.
“It is striking when you look at the people who looked to Washington and Jefferson as inspirations. For example, Dr. Martin Luther King praised Jefferson, as did Frederick Douglass, Henry Highland Garnett, Benjamin Banneker and many other African Americans who were the premier civil rights leaders in their generation. The difference between today’s generation and previous ones is that Americans today by and large no longer know American history based on historical fact. Instead, they are simply taught a version of it based on progressive political agendas.”It’s to combat this kind of phony history Barton says he wrote “The Jefferson Lies,” which details the many ways Jefferson’s memory has been manipulated and misused by left-wing activists. The book was a New York Times bestseller when it was first published in 2012 until a coordinated pressure campaign against the publisher won an unprecedented victory by having the book withdrawn from circulation.
Barton has since put out a new expanded edition in which Barton specifically rebuts his critics charge by charge.
"Both Washington and Jefferson openly advocated for the end of slavery and led legislative efforts to achieve that objective. As presidents, both actively introduced, supported, and even signed major measures that sought to end slavery in America and ensure that equal racial civil rights were achieved. It is unfortunate that both of those great leaders lived in the state of Virginia, which by state law would not permit them to free their own slaves as they wished. Nevertheless, they both worked to achieve for others what they could not achieve for themselves, and that’s why previous generations of African Americans openly praised and heralded them.”As long as factually inaccurate and political agendy driven portrayals of history continue to dominate America’s history textbooks and classrooms, errant proposals like this one will continue to be offered. This is just more non-sense from anti- American, self-loathing white leftist academics and Afro-centric anti-Western scholars.