• Since I’m part of the left wing media conspiracy….

    by  • 12/10/2004 • angst, life • 7 Comments

    Found an interesting little news story entitled School Defends Slavery Booklet when I was reading through updates at AmericaBlog.

    “Students at one of the area’s largest Christian schools are reading a controversial booklet that critics say whitewashes Southern slavery with its view that slaves lived “a life of plenty, of simple pleasures.”

    “Angela Kennedy, whose daughters have attended Cary Christian since 1996, said all the booklet does is help students learn about both sides so that they have a basis to form their own opinions. She pointed out that the students also read Abraham Lincoln’s speeches.”

    The point that they raise to defend having this little ‘peace and love’ booklet, published in 1996 (not 1796) in the curricullum is as a way to “counteract” the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” that would have you believe that all slaves were beaten regularly and were mistreated. So the kids are presented with a “fair” land owner variation of the story that they always treated their slaves well, and never ever beat, raped, or lynched their slaves… In fact, they weren’t slaves at ALL … they were volunteers, and they were treated like family. You know, that part of your family that you don’t speak to, that you can beat on a whim, that you can deny schooling and healthcare to, and that you can sell to someone down the road if you choose to. Just like family.

    I’m curious if the booklet featured any illustrations… You know, showing how that game they often played with a rope some hoods, and some torches was played.

    ‘Fig 17. Jimmie and Toby play at a game of lynching.”‘
    ‘Fig 27. “Don’t hit me massah! I’s be good” Toby said, laughing heartily”‘

    I’m put in mind of the TV show “Hogan’s Heroes” and their portrayal of German prisoner of war camps in World War Two.

    To quote a couple pieces from this contemporary little booklet apparently being used right now in a southern Christian School;

    “Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence.” (page 24)

    “Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care.” (page 25)

    “Nearly every slave in the South enjoyed a higher standard of living than the poor whites of the South — and had a much easier existence.” (page 30)

    I’d actually like to see a copy of this booklet. I know that things like the quotes in the original story could be out of context or outright fabrications. If anyone has photos of this booklet, I’d like to see them.


    7 Responses to Since I’m part of the left wing media conspiracy….

    1. Brad Green
      12/11/2004 at 9:21 am

      I am a student at Cary Christian School, and I can clarify this issue, as far as the blogs are concerned. The original article that sparked this controversy is in the Cary News and Observer, and has rapidly spread to other news sources, and obviously the blogs. The issue regards a pamphlet, titled “Southern Slavery, as it was”. This pamphlet, as the articles say, tries to give a southern view, and a biblical defense of slavery. The 9th grade class at our school had to read this article when studying the civil war. In addition to this they are also required to read a book titled “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, as well as many of Lincoln’s speeches. Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Lincoln’s speeches are both very much against slavery, and provide a stark contrast to the ideas of ?Southern Slavery?.
      Cary Christian School, as our principal, Larry Stephenson, has been quoted, always strives to bring both sides of an issue to everything that they teach. In Rhetoric, we study the ideas of Aristotle, and the contradictory ideas of Plato. In our bible classes, we study the ideas of Wycliffe, Martin Luther, Huss, and others, while only affirming those doctrines that we believe are primary, leaving the rest for the students to discuss with their pastors and parents. The school encourages reading of many different sources, no matter the beliefs of the writers, but with the lower grades, always tries to be careful to remind them the origins and beliefs of the writers. The book was pulled because of what they called, “Clerical issues with citations and footnotes”. The truth is, it had some parts that seem to be plagiarized from a similar book titled, “Time on the Cross”. This book provides an economic examination of slavery, and seems to be a more scholarly work, though it also does make some assumptions. Our school was unaware of the issues with the pamphlet at the time of the first newspaper article. The school, as I will reiterate, always tries to bring both sides of an issue to the students, and I believe they will continue to do so in this context, even without this book. There may be a new version of Southern Slavery released in the future, which fixes the clerical issues, and there is always the chance that the school may use this. They may even decide to replace it with ?Time on the Cross?, but I have no doubt that they will have something to replace this text.
      Some people say that this is dangerous. The critics of the school say that we should not teach young children things that may sway their beliefs. My brother is in the ninth grade, and he hates slavery now just as much as he did before reading these books. There is no doubt in my mind that our school and students are against slavery.
      Cary Christian School holds a very high standard of learning, and our ninth grade students are very intelligent. The philosophy of teaching at our school dictates that they are taught how to learn very early, and are always challenged with contradictory writings and ideas. We hold many debates in school, and the upper grades are even debating this very issue. I do not want to slam public schools, but many of them are not allowed the privilege of holding this type of debates. We value our right to debate very dearly.
      In conclusion, I would like to say that regardless of what the articles may say, our school is against slavery. The primary goal of our teachers is always to prepare us for the rest of our lives. Teachers can give us controversial topics, and debated books, but because we are taught how to analyze everything we read critically, we are not indoctrinated, we are not influenced, but we are only further taught how to think for ourselves. This is not a skill that appears through age, it must be taught. This skill will not appear after learning facts, for how are we thinking for ourselves when all we do is repeat information. This skill is only learned through debates, and critical analysis, and no matter what the critics say, this is the best way to prepare a child for the real world.

    2. Brad Green
      12/11/2004 at 9:50 am

      Quick correction, it was the Raleigh News and Observer.

    3. 12/12/2004 at 9:42 pm

      “You can have two different sides, a Northern perspective and a Southern perspective,”

      How ’bout let’s talk to the black southerners ’bout that? heh.

      “Cary Christian School, as our principal, Larry Stephenson, has been quoted, always strives to bring both sides of an issue to everything that they teach.”

      Does that include showing both sides of the rape issue? That maybe rape isn’t wrong? Some people don’t think it is, after all.
      Does that include showing how maybe murder isn’t so bad? I’m sure there’s plenty of murderers who would argue for that – shouldn’t the Cary school teach how it might not be so bad?
      How about drugs? A lot of people think illegal drugs are okay… Is the Cary School teaching there’s another side of the drug story?
      And why have I read that the Cary Christian School teaches that evolution is wrong? And that a proven scientifically studied thing not to even be considered for someone of a Christian faith?
      Oh yeah, and are all faiths and religions represented in the Cary Christian School? That lots of people in the world, in fact most people in the world do not believe Chritianity is a religion to be believed?

    4. 12/13/2004 at 11:28 am


    5. 12/13/2004 at 11:30 am

      Yes, as a Cary Christian School parent, I am proud to affirm that my kids will debate rape, murder, drugs, evolution, alternative religions, and every other sinful worldview just like they debate the sin of slavery. I recommend you critics read Alan Bloom’s bestseller The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students before further comment.

    6. Melynda Huskey
      1/3/2005 at 10:55 pm

      Greetings from Moscow, Idaho, where I have been a close observer of Doug Wilson’s
      antics for a good many years. Here’s some food for thought on the subject.

      1. About 20% of “Southern Slavery as It Was” is plagiarized verbatim from
      another scholarly work, Fogel and Engermann’s *Time on the Cross.” This academic dishonesty is in itself reason to repudiate the work entirely as a textbook.

      2. The founder of Cary Christian also founded a church connected to Wilson’s
      church here in Idaho. The school is “accredited” by Wilson’s accrediting
      agency, ACCS. The curriculum is based on Wilson’s books. It’s just a little
      thin to presume that despite these very close ties (and won’t Wilson be
      speaking at Cary Christian’s graduation this year?), that Wilson’s book was
      being used simply to demonstrate a counterargument against Lincoln’s. For
      heaven’s sake, why not use the pernicious spewings of R.L. Dabney or some other
      Confederate apologist with firsthand knowledge of southern slavery and racism?
      Wilson’s popping up in this context looks mighty suspicious–unless one
      considers that *Southern Slavery as It Was* is published by the prolific
      Wilson’s personal press, Canon Press, and that he earns royalties on every
      book sold to the school as a textbook.

      Cary Christian is joined at the hip to Doug Wilson, and I don’t envy their
      administrators right now–they’re truly between the Devil and the deep blue
      sea. Annoy Wilson with too energetic a repudiation of the booklet and there’ll
      be a heavy price to pay (as former church members might attest). Cling too
      closely to the hideously unchristian ideas expressed in the pamphlet, and
      alienate students and parents.

      If you’re going to sup with the Devil, take a long spoon, Cary Christian.

      Melynda Huskey

    7. Kirk
      2/12/2005 at 11:39 am

      to the students, parents, and adminstrators, you should know that to a lot of us outsiders, your actions are transparent. there is no doubt that some people who are exposed to ridiculous notions are able to reject them, but for the school to give credence to something so offensive and far fetched will undoubtedly also win over some converts if not some sympathy. I’m sure that the orchestrators do not expect to make KKK members out of the entire student body, but if they soften up the resistance just a little, and get a few more people to be quiet in the face of racism and extremism, they will have succeeded. All they need is more apathy and less outrage about racism for them to make progress. That was Hitler’s formula and that is theirs. And that makes you a co-conspirator in my mind, even if you don’t realize it or won’t admit it.

      And don’t think we are fooled. “Debating” varoius sins is not the same as rejecting them. I’m sure you don’t distribute booklets by gay rights activists that defend homosexuality and argue for same sex marriage sanctioned by the Church. I’m sure you don’t make your students try hard to understand the homosexual position and argue in class in favor of it. So don’t pretend that it shouldn’t offend black americans and all other anti-racist Americans to tolerate slavery in a serious way.

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