David Barton: Expert on Black History?

A Huffington Post article reveals that tax records filed by David Barton’s Texas-based organization, WallBuilders Presentations, suggest that the religious right’s favorite propagandist is an expert in African-American history. From the article:

In filings with the Internal Revenue Service, Barton’s nonprofit, Wallbuilder Presentations, Inc., justified its tax-exempt status by highlighting among its “accomplishments” a video project “of the moral heritage and political history of African Americans.

It’s a curious claim for the Tea Party favorite, who has twice given speeches in front of white supremacist groups — protesting later that he was ignorant of the groups’ professed racist ideology.

But Barton can’t boast ignorance of his more controversial lobbying. The Texas-based former school principal once advocated that Thurgood Marshall be removed from the state’s text books and that Martin Luther King, Jr. got too much credit as a civil rights leader.

Barton has claimed that Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the powerful influence of the civil-rights movement. He argued that African-Americans couldn’t have had much impact since they weren’t the majority. “Only majorities can expand political rights in America’s constitutional society,” Barton has said.

“I call it historical creationism,” said Rob Boston, senior policy analyst with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “All I can tell you is everything that Barton does is to promote ultra conservative politics and to persuade people to vote for extreme conservative Republicans.”

“The material that I’ve seen that he puts out aimed at African Americans is typical Barton,” explained Boston. “It’s almost as if Lyndon Baines Johnson never existed.”

Or other true civil rights champions, we might add.

The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund looked at Barton’s distorted and politicized claims about African-American history and the Civil Rights Era (among other subjects) in a 2006 report about the religious right in Texas.

5 thoughts on “David Barton: Expert on Black History?

  1. I suspect that Barton is an “expert” on Black History as he is an “expert” on American History.

    Hopefully, he’ll be spending more time working with Huck-a-wannabe making childish historical cartoons.

  2. Yes. The Kennedy brothers didn’t give a flip about civil rights until the freedom riders nearly got burned alive in a bus by a racist mob in Anniston, Alabama. Here are the equations:

    Plight of Suffering Party + Highly Focused Media Attention = Nervous Politicians

    Nervous Politicians + Outraged Public + Intimidation = I Had No Other Choice Than to Quit my Oppression

    Try it sometime. This is the way a free society works. If the Palestinians had done a Gandhi/Martin Luther King, Jr. nonviolent number on the Israelis long ago and stuck with it, I think chances are good that there would be harmony in Israel right now. But no-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They would have no part in that. The Palestinians needed to go shoot somebody. If the Palestinians had played their cards right, the headlines would have read, “Zionists Treat Arabs Like They were Treated in German Camps.” That would have been the end of it.

    And I think we have to ask a question here. Hitler thought he had the “Final Solution” for his perceived Jewish problem. However, as a matter of historical fact, was Israel Europe’s true “Final Solution” to their Jewish problem? When the last boat headed out for Israel, did Europe draw a deep breath and say to itself, “Two thousand years and they are finally gone!!!! This is great!!!” Never thought about that did you?

  3. I’m a liiiiiiitle disturbed by the tone of Charles’ comments. I found myself agreeing with him until I reached the last sentence of his penultimate paragraph–when I hit the word “Zionists.” Of course, there was a Zionist Movement which lead to the foundation of Israel. However, the term nowadays is often used by anti-Semites. A more appropriate (and more correct) term would be “Israelis.” His last paragraph borders on the offensive. But let’s get back to the substance of the article.

    Barton’s work is, in my opinion, a symptom of an incredibly dangerous development in the history of our republic: the tendency over the last few decades of the radical Rigth to withdraw into an alternate reality: home-schooling, anti-intellectualism, alternative “science”, alternative “history”, alternative “news”. Also, they are actively trying to outpopulate liberals and moderates (Google “quiverfull”). If this trend continues, it could well portend the demise of America (or at leaset of democracy in America). God help us all!

  4. WalterPC’s reply is so wise. I’m a native Texan, who has lived out of state for the past 46 years. The ideas coming out of Texas – from Gov. Good Hair to the State Board of Education to Barton – make me wish I could put another state on my birth certificate. I’m embarrassed by my home state!

    I might add that had the white people in power not consented to vote for the Civil Rights Act when they did, serious civil unrest could have once again split our nation. Oh, wait, that’s what Perry wants- for Texas to secede!