The stories may appear in an evening newscast or two but quickly disappear from the usually “days long” news cycles. This is just one of those many “under the radar” stories…
America’s kids don’t know jack about the Constitution, and according to a national Tea Party group, the only way to save them is to have school’s teach the nation’s founding document with materials provided by a controversial conservative group whose founder is one of Glenn Beck’s favorite historians.
Tea Party Patriots, the Georgia-based organization that counts around 1,000 chapters nationwide, is asking its members to pressure schools to teach the Constitution during Constitution Week in September, as they are required to do by a 2004 law. And when schools do teach the founding document, the group is suggesting that they use materials provided by the National Center for Constitutional Studies, a group that claims the country and Constitution were, “established by the hand of God.”
NCCS’s founder, W. Cleon Skousen, became a tea party favorite in recent years when Glenn Beck touted him on his program as an exemplary constitutional scholar. But Skousen’s past is marred by accusations that his work is far from accurate, and at times rife with racism.
In 1982, critics derided one of Skousen’s books, “The 5,000 Year Leap,” as racist for describing African-Americans as “pickaninnies” and claiming that slave owners were the real victims of slavery. Last year, Princeton Historian Sean Wilentz described the book in The New Yorker as a, “treatise that assembles selective quotations and groundless assertions to claim that the U.S. Constitution is rooted not in the Enlightenment but in the Bible.”
- ‘Constitution Week’ Has Tea Party Targeting Schools (huffingtonpost.com)
- Tea Party pushes right-wing propaganda on schools (capitolhillblue.com)
- Tea party targets schools for ‘Constitution Week’ (ajc.com)
- Tea Party Brings ‘Constitution Week’ to Schools (abcnews.go.com)