Colorado Republican’s Claim that America Ended Slavery Voluntarily Steals Our History

slavery
Re-writing history, eliminating what they call “liberal bias” – in other words, “facts” – has become a Republican passion, one David Barton is hardly alone in pursuing. Just yesterday we saw the example of reality TV star Jessa Duggar, who blamed Charles Darwin for the Holocaust.

The Colorado Independent reported the other day that Pam Mazanec, “a Larkspur businesswoman who sits on Colorado’s Board of Education, posted on a Facebook discussion thread her concerns that questions asked on the Advanced Placement U.S. history test ‘portray the negative viewpoint as the correct answer.'”

The correct answer to what question, you ask?

“As an example, I note our slavery history. Yes, we practiced slavery. But we also ended it voluntarily, at great sacrifice, while the practice continues in many countries still today!

“Shouldn’t our students be provided that viewpoint? This is part of the argument that America is exceptional. Does our APUSH (AP U.S. History) framework support or denigrate that position?”

Well, we could teach them that viewpoint – if it was accurate. But it is not.

There is the little issue of the American Civil War, in which some 750,000 men on both sides died. Yes, three-quarters of a million men died in the war that settled the issue of slavery. And that total does not include civilian deaths.

Then there is the little issue of the Emancipation Proclamation, which would have hardly been necessary had the South voluntarily given up slavery.

The frightening part of all this is that, as The Colorado Independent points out, “Mazanec took office in January 2013 as one of the state’s seven education board members. She represents the 4th U.S. Congressional District – all of eastern Colorado.”

Conservatives like to claim that the Civil War was about states’ rights. The only problem for their claim is that the “right” in question was slavery. For years the country had been torn apart along free or slave-state lines.

Abraham Lincoln, when he ran for president in 1860, opposed the expansion of slavery, which had already spread to Missouri in 1820 and Texas in 1845, while the slave-owning states worried that as the country’s borders expanded westward that they would come to be under-represented in Congress, which would ultimately decide which new states were slave and which were free.

While Lincoln may have been fighting to restore the Union rather than to free the slaves, we must remember that Lincoln had called for the “extinction” of slavery, and that the reason he had to fight at all was because of slavery. Far from relinquishing slavery, the Southern states wanted to expand the institution to other states, and were willing to fight a war to keep their slaves.

Should there be any remaining doubt why a war was fought, Alexander Stephens, the Confederacy’s Vice President, in the Cornerstone Address of March 21, 1861, told his audience that,

[T]he new [Confederate] Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution.

To applause, he went on to say,

Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition.

Right. That’s really voluntarily ending slavery, Pam Mazanec! Far from ending it, Stephens’ speech was a re-affirmation not only of the institution of slavery but the alleged justifications for it.

If the importance of history lies in the fact that we can better understand where we are and where we’re bound from the facts of where we’ve been, it is clear that Republicans would just as soon not learn from the past, but rather invent one as it is needed to justify whatever agenda they happen to be pushing at the time.

We have already seen how John Aman at World Net Daily, is aghast that anyone would consider teaching something other than David Barton’s whitewashed version of American history. Unsurprisingly, but tellingly, Aman calls College Board’s AP United States History Curriculum Framework 2014-2015 a “dark retelling of U.S. history.”

History, for Republicans, should only be about white Europeans, not the darker-skinned peoples they bullied with guns and religion.

This re-writing of history has already attacked children in Texas and Ohio, thanks to pseudo-historian David Barton. We have seen Barton’s wishful thinking re-invent secularist Thomas Jefferson as a modern-day pro-theocracy Evangelical, and we have seen gun-rights quotes put into Jefferson’s mouth in order to combat gun-control.

You would think Mazanec might want to tout the fact that Lincoln, the guy who freed the slaves, was a Republican, but then she might have to admit that the slavery debate had already destroyed the Whig Party, and therefore that slavery was not voluntarily done away with.

And remember that things are not so cut and dried in the party of crazy, where we find many neo-Confederates, and at least one one neo-Confederate pro-slavery secessionist, saying Lincoln was a “commie.”

After all, slaves were property and Lincoln redistributed the wealth.

When you start re-writing history, one insanity leads to another, as we see in the modern Greek claim Alexander of Macedon as a Greek, when their ancestors denied him that appellation and called him instead a barbarian, which was their word for anything that was not Greek. And they were right: Alexander’s native language was Macedonian.

And of course, we’re all well aware by now that Barack Obama is to blame for Bush’s Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, that 9/11 did not occur on George W. Bush’s watch, and that Obama is to blame for Bush’s reaction to Hurricane Katrina.

The Soviet Union tried to destroy the memory of the nations of Eastern Europe. The Republicans are willing to do that to their own country, without the need for a foreign conqueror. What need of enemies when you have Republicans?

If you’re ready to read more from the unbossed and unbought Politicus team, sign up for our newsletter here!

36 Replies to “Colorado Republican’s Claim that America Ended Slavery Voluntarily Steals Our History”

  1. As an American who happens to Black, the one thing I will not relinquish is the fact that slavery is nothing to belittle. The scars of the institution are still visible. NO Tea Party politician in his right mind would EVER belittle the Jewish Holocaust knowing full well he will be pounding the pavement looking for a job if he is not self-employed.

    I support the student protest in Colorado. History is about understanding the past to deal with the present and to prepare for the future. If we teach children a bunch of lies, we leave them in the dark.

  2. 750,000 men and women, please.

    They are repeating the ‘some people are property’ meme on women. It the state controls your body, you are a slave.

  3. Very few women served as soldiers in the Civil War. The 750,000 was almost entirely men serving in the ranks. Civilian deaths are not included in that total.

  4. When one looks at the big picture, the song still remains the same – it has been, still is, and will continue to be the epic battle between labor and capital. Since they lost on the slavery issue (cheap labor), the next best thing is to find cheap labor in other ways: allowing undocumented immigrants into the country and making them work for next to nothing under deplorable conditions; pounding on organized labor so that they are on the ropes and can’t effectively combat the debasing corporatocracy; doing their best to destroy public education, since an ignorant work force is more compliant; being adamantly against anything like minimum wage, equal pay, or even the supplementary funds like Social Security and Medicare (which they term “entitlements”), all things that help the working man and woman. If there is any “war” in this country, that is the main battleground, and the neo-confederates and the theocrats are in collusion with the oligarchs.

  5. I thought the name of Dan Barton was familiar. I know he has appeared on Fox but I wasn’t paying that much attention.Your comment about him caused my head to go TILT.

    I remember hearing about him (thanks to Jon Stewart) when Beck started his own show after he (Beck) was forced to leave Fox because of low ratings.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beck_University

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/glenn-beck-university/

    Yes, folks, he is also an instructor in Glenn Beck’s on-line university. I haven’t heard much too much about Beck’s university any more so I don’t know if it still exist. But if it does, then by golly gee whiz if you want to learn about the revised history, you should sign up.

  6. From the Texas Ordinance of Secession,
    “Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated States to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquillity and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery–the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits–a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association.”

  7. “In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon the unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of the equality of all men, irrespective of race or color–a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of the Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and the negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.”
    Don’t these people ever f*cking read?

  8. Conservatives tend to think admitting a mistake as a weakness and thus never are able to advance or better themselves in social areas of their lives.

    Progressives hold the opposite view and understand that one must admit fault in their mistakes to be able to learn and better themselves.

    This is only one of the many differences between the two ideologies, but it underscores a large reason why we have stagnated in recent decades on social advancement.

  9. I can not stand liars. Don’t we use the statement? The truth will set you free!! We learn from history, so we do not repeat the same mistakes. It’s because they want slaves again, period. Child labor is at the root. If they can take children away from parents, or make parents lives so miserable, with no hope, they will have in the end what they want. Parents will have no choice but send children out to work.

  10. Too bad the Republicans won’t end their War on reality voluntarily! Perhaps it is high time we Americans began a War on Republicans, and this time Fox News can whine and bitch and vex over some thing real instead of some perceived threat used to gin up fear and get the sheeple to vote fascist.

  11. Yeah, it was a big picnic for the Africans who were forcibly transported to work in the South. “Ended voluntarily at great sacrifice” I assume the great sacrifice is that the former owners had to actually pay the former slaves and the poor whites who had to fill the labor shortfall. The complaint that we ended slavery while it still goes on in other country sounds like a childish “Johnny does it and doesn’t get into trouble” plea from a whiny brat.

  12. I’m surprised “We educated them and gave them Christianity” isn’t in her little rewrite of the joys of slavery.

  13. One could say we still have slavery here in the good old US of A. When one works at 2 sometimes three minimum wage jobs just to survive with no end in sight what else can you call it?

  14. The US is the biggest slave state in the world. Women are brought here to work in Salons, massage parlors, homes etc and as wives with no choice to their lives. The one who are working live up to 25 in a house. No country has as many slaves as we do.

  15. Wo ld you people on the right please educate yourselvesabout whatYOUR party the GOP has done to you. I beg of you not to vote republican. People suffer when the GOP is in the house.. Any house. Look at them.. they haven’t done anything in 5-/2 years!! But call us lazy!!! How do you justify voting for a party that is doing everything so i can’t vote? What kind of sick racist party is that? And now want to shove BS HISTORY down our throats as they do those things we fought and died for. THe right to vote! Sickening is all i can say abt you people who vote republican.

  16. Maybe the tea-party is really a commie organization. Wasn’t it Lenin, or Marx who proclaimed, “He who controls history (books), controls the future!”

  17. Maybe he means that Hrafnkell is full of shit.

    Lest you misread MY intentions, I do NOT beleive that Hrafnkell is full of shit.

  18. Is that what you got from the picture? So let me get this straight showing ta-tas bad. People in chains ho-hum

  19. People don’t vote for school boards so a handful of idiots can set the agenda. Now can we understand every election is important

  20. Still feel like I’m owned by the system that is. Tea party would have us picking damn cotton if they could get by with it. The Republican party has been screwing the public with lies every since Ronald the “actor” really screw em’ royally Reagan. I’m sure i wasn’t the only person that saw the country being sold out around the globe. 35 human, shit, I’d forget I’m disabled and give a well deserved “etiquette lesson” personnified. Prison or jail. All they can do is lock me up.

  21. Actually, there were many women who fought in the Civil War. They had to masquerade as men, but there were many who refused to sit by while their husbands fought.

  22. How can you with good conscience compare what the African people who were stolen from their homes, brought over here in chains, beaten, raped, flayed, drowned or lynched to people who work multiple jobs??? I worked 3 jobs at one time and I would never have the audacity to compare myself to a group of people who were so poorly treated.

  23. They (idiots before our time) noticed that the number was getting too damn high. Nearing the threshold of out numberin’ Massa’s people. Massa couldn’t have that, so they located an “abacus”, a Chinese calculator at the time. We only had time to love each other in between cotton pickin’, more slaves by god. Oh lord!!, were almost out numbered. We’d better stop our deplorable behavior asap or else. That’s when the early Teaparty settlers started to add things up and get Lincoln elected, stop the three-fifths human BS and slow the numbers down a notch. Ingenious wasn’t it. They killed Prez Lincoln. Go figure. Hey, Teaparty Republicans with your lying asses, come stroll thru the hood. We’ll leave the light on for ya’. Oooops! I forgot, my bad. You scatter when exposed to light. Roaches.

  24. funny how the states rights argument is always used to justify the reprehensible treatment of a states residents, but socialist is always used to describe those places which try to treat their residents with dignity.

  25. Thanks for demonstrating the inability of conservatives to process political history in an intellectually honest manner.

    But we already knew that about you. Anything from this century?

  26. That devout and good Christian Barton bears false witness of our collective history to our nation’s young. Personally, I think Barton ought to be shunned from society for the damage he has done. Of course, the (not-ever) right has made him into a hero. Doesn’t matter to them that this douche does not have a history degree of any sort, and couldn’t teach history in any public school or any legitimate college. No, I do not consider Beck’s University to be a legitimate educational venue.

  27. “Yes, we practiced slavery. But we also ended it voluntarily, at great sacrifice, while the practice continues in many countries still today!”

    Wow, what jumbled nonsense. I’m missing Ms. Mazanec’s point. Are we supposed to feel proud that we made the sacrifice of giving up our slavery. And she emphasizes that the poor slave owners made a great sacrifice, but entirely ignores the millions who, over two centuries, spent their entire lives in subjugation, including inhumane treatment, torture, death, etc. Their suffering and loss is so enormous that even the 150 years since the end of slavery is not enough time to atone. I think many are so overawed by the enormity of the crimes perpetrated against those put into slavery, that psychologically, the only viable option for them is to reside in denial. Because that is what her comment is – one giant lie in the attempt to deny our actual history. We did not voluntarily give up slavery – there was bloody war fought over it.

  28. America is exceptional, among other reasons, because it righted the wrong of slavery , even if it took a war to do this. This gop lady needs to look at the gop’s roots since it was her GOP party that saw the wrong of slavery and did what had to be done to correct it, even by force.

    I really hope that this “conservative curriculum” they want to put into that school district includes the Gettysburg Address. Ms, Gettysburg was not just a quaint Pennsylvania town, but a battlefield of extreme violence and death attempting to fix the slavery problem. The 1st 3 sentences of this speech, one the greatest american speeches that details why America is truly exceptional, answers this rather ignorant person.

    God help us if the education of our youth is entrusted with people like her.

    “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a g…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.