Arizona school under fire for teaching literature that outlines the ‘benefits of slavery’
An Arizona charter school is being criticized for teaching what opposing members call “racist” and “sexist” lessons in its classrooms.
Two books by Cleon Skousen, who is often cited by uber conservative talk show host Glenn Beck and the Tea Party movement, are required reading for Heritage Academy seniors in Mesa.
Garrett Epps is a writer, legal scholar and law professor at the University of Baltimore who has poked holes in Skousen’s philosophies.
“Skousen’s account of the growth and meaning of the Constitution is quite inaccurate,” he told The Arizona Republic in an e-mail interview.
“Parts of his major textbook, ‘The Making of America,’ present a systematically racist view of the Civil War. … 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,” Epps said.
The books will be added to a list of recommended books that include Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl,” “The Communist Manifesto” by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, “The Lincoln-Douglas Debates.”
Americans United said that it would consider a lawsuit against Heritage if it does not drop Skousen from its curriculum.
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