'Glenn Beck': Founders' Friday: African-American Founders

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," May 28, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Hello, America. And welcome to another "Founders' Friday" on "The Glenn Beck Program."

Somebody asked me just before we went on the air how these shows are being rated. And I have to tell you, we didn't think anybody would watch. We thought, we'll give this a whirl and see if anybody wants to watch it. They're wildly highly-rated and I thank you for watching. There is a hunger in America for the truth.

And tonight, I think we're going to blow your mind. You're going to have to ask yourself a couple questions by the end of the program: why — why would our schools leave all of this history out? I mean, this is some of the greatest American story that you've ever heard. Why would they — why would they do that?

And it's everywhere. You just don't know where to look. If you take a look at the revolutionary paintings, paintings of revolutionary times, here it is — this is the Boston Tea Party. A bunch of white guys and these people strangely looking like Indians, and they're not. But that's it, not a lot of racial diversity.

If you watch movies, want a great, great movie. This is "John Adams." You watch "John Adams" and you don't see a lot of racial diversity. I'm currently watching "Johnny Tremain." This is — I love this movie. I remember this growing up. I was watching it with my kids last night.

And I notice there are a couple of American Indians, but you don't see any African-Americans, unless they're slaves. They will show people as slaves. But that's it.

Now, I want to show you a painting of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Here's the Battle of Bunker Hill. A bunch of white guys, right? Unless you know where to look — right here. That's Peter Salem. He was actually the hero of the battle.

It doesn't look like he's a hero there. He looks like he's cowering behind a white guy with a sword. He was the hero of the battle and he saved scores of American lives that day. Why don't we know this?

Look at the picture of the Battle of Lexington. One hundred and fifty Americans — there it is. Do you see any faces of color in this painting? They were all members of the Reverend Jonas Clark's church. They went out.

They were actually — if I'm not mistaken, David — they were in — they were in church at the time, right?

DAVID BARTON, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, WALLBUILDERS: He called them together at church. Yes.

BECK: OK. So, they called together at church and then said, let's go! And they went to defend their town. When the shot heard around the world was over that day, there were Americans — 18 Americans lying on the ground.

What you don't see in this painting are the equal number of whites and blacks. They were white and black patriots. It was a mixed church. Did you even know that happened?

One of those injured patriots on the ground in this painting was a black man named Prince Estabrook. I bet you never heard of Prince Estabrook before.

How about the painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware? A bunch of white guys, right?

No. Look here. African-American helping row the boat across. You know what his name was? Prince Whipple. He fought alongside Washington during the revolution.

Take a look at this one, this painting of — this is the marquee, the Lafayette. He — if you look at this, you just think — oh, yes. Then he had — he made a slave dress up like I don't know what. But that's what you would think, right?

This guy is incredibly important. This guy may have won the Revolutionary War. James Armistead was his name. How did he win the Revolutionary War? Double spy.

I'm going to let David tell the story here in a minute — but basically, the Brits thought that he was spying for them, but he was spying for General Washington. He'd give the Brits bad intel and reveal the good, critical information to General Washington.

Did you know this story? Why?

I'm so tired of people saying, well, it was just the white people, white people, white people. No! No! Why are we intentionally leaving others out? There are black founders.

Let me ask the — let me ask the audience. How many of you can name one person of these pictures? Only one — how many can name only one? Most people, right? Am I mistaken in saying it's Frederick Douglass? OK.

How many can name two of the people here? We've got six, eight people.

How many can name three? Four.

How many can name four? One. And that's David Barton's wife.


BECK: David, come on up. This is our good friend David Barton. He is the founder and president of WallBuilders and also author of "Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White."

Come up and sit here.

We also have Lucas Morel. Lucas is a professor at Washington and Lee University in Virginia.


And he is also the author of "Lincoln's Sacred Effort."

OK. David, let me — where do we start? Maybe we should — maybe we should start with —

BARTON: James Armistead.

BECK: Yes, the spy.

BARTON: It is a great one because James Armistead at the Battle of Richmond, he's in Virginia, and a lot of the battles did not happen in Virginia. But after the siege of Richmond, he is there. He sees what the British have done in his home state and he goes to enlist.

He said, I want to — I want to help. And he really — I don't know why, but he liked Lafayette. He went to Lafayette, a young French general,19 years old, and said, I want to — I want to fight with you.

And so, they make this agreement and what happens is James Armistead goes over to Benedict Arnold's camp, his British general then, traitor British general. And he says, oh, these mean Americans, they mistreat me. I escaped as a slave. Let me stay with you.

And Arnold says, OK, you wait on us. And so, he's part of Benedict Arnold's staff waiting on Benedict Arnold. Arnold is one of the generals who meeting with all the other generals. So, he's meeting with Cornwall all the time. And so, James Armistead is just serving them and doing all the right stuff and just picking up intelligence like crazy.

Every day, he gets back with Lafayette and says, here's what they're doing. Here's where they're going. Here's where they're going to do next. And he kept feeding the information back.

And Cornwall on the time got really comfortable with James and said, "You know, I don't want to ask you to do something you don't want to do, but would you consider being a spy against your former guys, there the Americans? Would you be a British spy and tell us what they're doing?" He said, "Yes, I guess if you want me to, I will. You know, if you're going to force me to, I will."

So, he goes back —

BECK: Be tough getting across the lines. But I'll risk it for you.

BARTON: Yes, I'll try!

BECK: Right.

BARTON: So, he ends up saying, yes, I'll do it. And what happens is when they leave Richmond, they decide they're going to down to Yorktown. They're going to go down there. So what happens is Armistead fed all the information to Washington and Lafayette, they're going to Yorktown and he has let the British know there are no Americans around there. It's real safe place to go. The Americans were elsewhere.

So, the British fleet drops the soldiers off to Yorktown and the fleet takes off so there's no Americans around. Right then, the French fleet came in and blockaded the ports so the British couldn't get their ships back. And now, we got all the American troops waiting for them when they got up. They're pinned in n the peninsula and can't go anywhere.

So, he probably cut months, maybe years off the revolution by what he did. Now, it's really cool. He liked Lafayette so much that he went back and got his name changed legally from James Armistead to James Lafayette. He loved Lafayette.

And so, Lafayette left America in 1784 and went back to France. He came back here in 1824 for his farewell tour. Last time he's going to be in America, he's an old man. There's a painting of Lafayette that hangs inside the House Chambers of the U.S. Congress of Lafayette the old man on his farewell tour.

And everywhere that Lafayette went, there were hundreds of thousands of Americans lining on the road. When he went through Richmond 40 years later, he looked over and spotted his old friend James right in the crowd. Picked him out, and called him a name, they went hugged and embraced. It was really cool.

BECK: Why — why do we not know the story? Or — because really, you talk to African-Americans and they'll say, well — I mean, I think I had Al Sharpton say to me: Will you give me someone like Rosa Parks up there. He said this about these three gentlemen. Get rid of all the white guys. You give me something like Rosa Parks up there. Why don't you have any color up there?


BECK: There is.

BARTON: There is.

BECK: Why leave people like this out?

BARTON: Let me give you an example of how well we used to know this. You know, the painting you showed of Washington crossing the Delaware, this little jewel right here. You mentioned that this is Oliver Cromwell. And he is.

But up here are Prince Whipple, but the other is Oliver Cromwell. There are actually two blacks in front of the boat and they served not as slaves. They were free men who served with Washington on the general staff throughout the revolution from start to finish.

Now, this painting that you showed was done in 1851 by a German. And it was done in Europe. It wasn't done in America. It was done in Europe to show the Europeans, here's what the American Revolution looked like. Which meant back then we knew blacks were involved, whites were involved. At the back of the boat, there's actually a lady is dressed up in men's clothes —

BECK: Put this back up. Put the "George Washington Crossing the Delaware" over because I find it interesting, because I looked into the history of this as well.

BARTON: See, they believe — what he did was —


BECK: This is the — this is the lady. But who are you saying?

BARTON: Right there. Right there. That's the lady.

BECK: Right here?

BARTON: Right there. The two guys up front, the very front guy, Oliver Cromwell and you pointed to Prince Whipple behind him there. I mean, this was done to show Europe, hey, here's what America did in the revolution.

BECK: Right.

BARTON: Everybody came together.

We don't show that today. I mean, it used to be that we know — this book right here is an old textbook from 1855. It's a great book written by a black historian, a first black appointed to federal office. It's called "The Colored Patriots in American Revolution."

Now, we studied that as a textbook. That is not a skinny little book that we have there. I mean, there's a lot of patriots in the American Revolution that we studied, lots of patriots.

BECK: I read the book "Giants" and was just amazed — just amazed at this man, Frederick Douglass.


BECK: Incredible guy. We don't really even know — most people can say, I think the audience would say, yes, I can recognize, I know that's Frederick Douglass but you're not really sure. He looks kind of like a black Alexander Graham Bell.


BECK: I mean, you know, you're like, I don't really know his story, I think. Am I right saying that or not? You kind of know him but you're not sure why.


BECK: Right.

MOREL: Movies about Martin Luther King, Jr. And for some reason in American history, we think that the only time blacks stood up for their rights was when Martin Luther King decided to leave the pulpit and hit the stump —

BECK: Right.

MOREL: — hit the stump to make speeches. Bottom line is, for the longest time, we've adopted this victim narrative about blacks in the United States. That the only role they played was victim to white majority oppression.

When I teach my course on black American politics, I always stress to my students that when we talk about King and the civil rights movement in the '50s and '60s, we need to call it the modern civil rights movement, because blacks from —


MOREL: — before the revolution were pressing, prudently pressing for their rights. American history could be described as one long civil rights struggle. The first emancipation proclamation — Declaration of Independence.

BECK: Right.

BARTON: That's right.

BECK: It was it's been this way. It's going on now. It's going on now. It's people trying to grab other rights. That never changes. That's human history.

If I ask the audience: when did America have its first African-American judge? What year would you say? Anybody, take a guess. Judge?

1860s. Anybody?



BECK: 1770. Amy, is just that a wild guess?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: No. I wasn't sure exactly but I think it's about.

BECK: 1770. Tell me.

BARTON: 1768. Wentworth Cheswill, New Hampshire — elected to office in New Hampshire. He was re-elected for the next 49 years, held eight different political positions. A really cool story about him is we know that Paul Revere made his midnight ride. We also know he wasn't the only guy riding that night. The other guy riding, Wentworth Cheswill, black and white riding.

BECK: Now, how is it possible? Did you know we had an African- American ride to say "The British are coming, the British are coming"?

Amy did.

Anybody besides Amy know that?

Two, three. OK, three people in the audience.

BARTON: He was such a great guy and we never hear about him because he rode north and Paul Revere rode west. And Revere was going after Reverend Jonas Clark's church because that's where Hancock and Adams were.

And that's where we had blacks and white, as you pointed out, laying on the ground after the battle. Wentworth Cheswill rode north telling people the British were coming.

And it was from the north that all those people came to Boston, take on the British at Bunker Hill and everywhere else. So, we don't hear about his ride because the British went west and that's where all the action happened. But it was a couple days later when all these people started coming down from New Hampshire and Vermont and elsewhere, and that's where he had ridden, telling them what was up.

BECK: Let me come back, I want to take a break. And when we come back, I want you to tell me a little bit about — a little bit about Frederick Douglass. You know the opening of "Giants" is so captivating, where you see a man who has struggled, who was kept — I mean, this sounds horrible to say, but kept in I guess nice slavery, if there's such a thing.

How would you describe how he —

MOREL: Well, he didn't grow up as a slave in the Deep South, the deep cotton states. I mean, the phrase "being sold down the river," that has an actual historical connection. To be sold down the river is the worst thing because you went from something pretty bad to awfully bad.

BECK: Right. OK.

MOREL: So, a slave in Maryland is not as bad as being a slave down in the delta.

BECK: And what happened to his family where he was originally held?
Because they sold him.

MOREL: They sold him. He never knew his siblings, met his mother, and knew — had vague memories of his mother, maybe a few times. He remembers her calling him "My Little Valentine" and that's why he dates his birthday February 14th. But he doesn't have a birth certificate. He doesn't know when he was born.


MOREL: We think February 1818.

BECK: OK. So, he was in, you know, a slavery that was northern slavery. But then he was sold into horrible, horrible conditions. And he witnessed for the first time, somebody is whipping him and he's like — whoa, whoa, whoa what is this all about? And it wasn't too much longer that he is sitting and having a conversation with Abraham Lincoln, because he was so impressive.

We'll tell you that story coming up in just a second.




BECK: Tonight, we're talking about the founders and the black founders. And I think Frederick Douglass is a re-founder. And we need more refounders.

There are black founders. There are people that were here and played instrumental roles in the American idea and experiment. To learn more about all the founders, go to GlennBeck.com and sign up for Insider Extreme. Check out the rock stars of the revolution, the five things you didn't know about our black Founding Fathers, available at GlennBeck.com. Sign up for Extreme and you get documentaries and everything else that are part of — part of that.

All right. Back with me now: David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders. And Lucas Morel, he is a professor of Washington and Lee University in Virginia.

We're talking a little bit about Frederick Douglass. And I just want to — I would like the thrust of this show to be able to have African- America African-Americans watch this and say, oh, wait a minute, hang on. I haven't been told the truth. This is my country.

There is such a disconnect prior to Abraham Lincoln. It's like the country for African-Americans maybe was founded here. But that's not true.

We have — we have a man who was born in slavery, didn't know his family, horrible life, sold to another family. He's being whipped. And he doesn't even understand it.

Correct me if I'm wrong, or if you can fill in the blanks.

He doesn't even understand it. He's like, what are you doing?

And whip him, whip him, whip him, try to break him. He runs away. He is sent back. Now, they whip him within an inch of his life. He finally actually breaks the master, if I'm not mistaken.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The slave breaker, right.

BECK: Right. Yes. And I think he is sold to another family where he's finally emancipated. I'm trying to remember this.

MOREL: Well, he escapes for a second time. You're right. He tried to escape in 1836, I believe, was caught, imprisoned for a while, sent back, and then two years later, just decides to try it again. Rather die fighting for his freedom than to continue living as a slave.

BECK: Right.

MOREL: And he succeeds in 1838.

BECK: Now, how does he, how does it — where does he go from there?
How does he make the transition from slave to —


MOREL: He gets in close with the anti-slavery association. The American Anti-Slavery Society and becomes a lecturer. And funny story about that is his English is so good, people start saying there's no way Frederick Douglass could have been a slave, because he speaks the king's English. I mean, it's so eloquent.

He publishes his very famous now, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave," in 1845, to rave reviews and has to flee the country because he names names, his masters.


MOREL: What he doesn't do is he names the whites who help them because he wants to continue the Underground Railroad. That's where — for it to work and be successful. In fact, he's very critical of those bragging about how they got out and this and that way. He's like, look, you are not doing your brothers a favor here.

So, he has to flee to England, goes on tour there for two years, and these British friends of his, with maybe a few Americans, who pay for him to be free so he can return to the United States in 1847.

BECK: OK. He comes back. He goes. He takes a trip to Washington, D.C. I think he meets a general.

I'm sorry. I'm so fuzzy on some of these details. I meant to brush up before I went on. So, I'm pulling this out of my memory here.

But he goes to Washington. I think he meets a general. And the general is so impressed with him, says, you should serve. You should serve. And he says, absolutely! Which was — if I'm not mistaken — unheard of at the time.

And the general is so impressed he says, you need to meet the president. And he walks him to the White House where he sits and they talk for three hours and they become friends.

MOREL: This is the summer, this is August of 1863. The Year of Jubilee, right? Emancipation, January 1st, 1863. He's there to complain to the president.

He says — he's one of Lincoln's fiercest critics, although a support, but one keeping Lincoln honest here. Now he's got freed men and free blacks serving in the Union Army and Navy, he wants them to have equal pay. He wants them to be treated equally, get all the same treatment that the white soldiers get.

And Lincoln explains to him, look, we're just barely getting the country used to the idea of blacks serving in the military, let alone paying them equally. He makes the governor of Connecticut wait down in the hall. Twice they come and say, Mr. President, the governor of Connecticut is out here, and he says, uh-uh, I want to talk to my friend Frederick Douglass here.

He meets with Douglass next year, August of '64. What's happening then? The war is going very poorly. Lincoln on record does not believe he's going to be re-elected.

So, why is he meeting with Frederick Douglass? Not just Frederick Douglass, but a second meeting, another meeting with Martin Delaney, another black intellectual of the day. One plan. He says, McClellan gets elected, the Emancipation Proclamation goes out the window.


MOREL: You guys need to help me spirit as many slaves as possible across Union lines. Because after March 4th, 1865, I will be no help to you.

Thankfully, he gets that great telegram from Sherman in September. Atlanta is ours and fairly won. And, of course, everybody is like, I'm not against the war, I'm for the war. If the war is going great, I'm for it!

BECK: Boy, we change it all.


MOREL: That's right.

BECK: We are just little worms.

MOREL: Some of us are glow worms, to quote Winston Churchill.

BECK: All right. So, there he is. But he goes back to meet and meet with Lincoln again later. And he's kept away from Lincoln.

MOREL: Yes. After the second inaugural address, Douglass was there. He sees it, and he figures, hey, there's a reception. There's no reason why I, an American citizen, can't see this elected president. He goes to the door and they say, no, no colored people are allowed. And he says, there's no way that that order emanated from Mr. Lincoln. And so, they say, OK, fine, come with me.

So, the two security guys bring Douglass in, and then escort him out a window. They had planks on this window, this were so many people at the reception. They needed to find a way for him to get out. And he gets escorted out the window.

BECK: Wouldn't it be great if we —



MOREL: So, he walks the planks and finally gets back word to Lincoln. Lincoln sends for him and he comes across this great ballroom, the East Room. And he says, "There's my friend, Mr. Douglass!"

Douglass comes to him and Lincoln says to him, "There is no man in this country whose opinion I value more. What did you think of my speech?" And he said, "Mr. Lincoln, that was a sacred effort." And the last time he saw him alive.

BECK: All right. I want to — I'm going to take a break and then when I come back, I want to go back to the revolutionary time, because African-Americans played a critical role — a critical role. And there's one thing that drives me out of my mind. I've heard president's say it. And it is such a mis-justice to our founders, such a miscast. And it cannot — it cannot be anything other than intentional by people who are intelligent.

But, then again, I've seen how history has been distorted and changed. You may not even know the truth. Maybe I should give them the benefit of the doubt that they don't know the truth either. It is "I am only three-fifth of a man and don't tell me about the founders." Let's correct that history. It's crucial to understanding and it restores the founders and who they were.

Back in a minute.




BECK: You are going to learn more about our founders and the role that African-Americans played in the founding of the country in the next 15 minutes than you probably have learned your entire life. Back with me is David Barton, founder of the president — founder and president of WallBuilders and Lucas Morel, he is professor at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. I want to go back to Frederick Douglass here, because Frederick Douglass actually was very upset at our founders because he said I'm not just three-fifths of a human being. I'm a full human being. This is an argument that is used even today that Frederick Douglass corrected. Tell me the story.

BARTON: What happened was after he escaped in 1838, he ended up in New York. In New York, he gets disciplined by a lot of anti-slavery folks.

And that's the spooners and Garrett Smith and William Lloyd Garrison, et cetera. And Massachusetts society hears him do his testimony and they said oh, man, you have to speak for us. Well in the meantime, they're saying, you know, you need to overthrow the Constitution, because the Constitution is a slavery doctrine and the founders gave us slavery in the document and there's all theses clauses to slavery.

And he believed that. But bless his heart, when the Massachusetts anti-slavery society said we want to pay you to go on the road full-time, he said OK. I've got to make sure I know this stuff. So he sat down and read the Constitution for himself, not just what the guys had taught him.

He read it himself and he read the documents surrounding it, the debates going around it. And he comes out with this epiphany and said this is a great anti-slavery document. And he said every clause in it — wait, time- out. How can the three-fifth clause be an anti-slavery laws? Real easy.

He read the convention notes.

What happened was you had all these anti-slavery founding fathers, you had for examples James Wilson, you had Edward Sherry, you had Luther Martin, all these anti-slavery guys. And you had three hardcore southern states that were proslavery, there's Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina. And so the Constitution says every 30,000 inhabitants you have, you get a representative to the House of Representatives.

And in South Carolina and Georgia, there are more blacks than there are whites and they are slaves. And they said great, every 30,000 slaves we've got, we'll get another member of Congress. Guys up north said no, no, no, we are not doing that. If you want to count them, you free them. Every free person you have, you can get 30,000. And they said no, no, we're going to count this, but we're not going to be part of this. The debate goes back and forth and what is really funny is the guys in the South said blacks are property. I love —

BECK: They're not people, but they want to count them as people.

BARTON: And so the guys north said no, every black is equal to a white. We're all created equal. You get 30,000 free blacks, you get a member of Congress. And that was the incentive to free blacks, you get to count them in Congress.

So the guys up north started having fun with the guys down south. They said, you know, you guys say that blacks are property and Alberts Gerry (ph) did this and Luther Martin did it out of Maryland. They said, OK, here's what we're going to do up north is you're counting 30,000 piece of property, get a member of Congress, we're going to count 30,000 chairs and horses and cows. We're going to count our property. Every 30,000 piece of property we get, we get an anti-slavery member to Congress.

So they went back and forth on this thing and what they finally ended up was the three-fifths clause that says OK, we will count three-fifths of the slave population, not individuals, which meant you now had to have 50,000 before you could get a proslavery rep to Congress. The three-fifths cause cut the slavery representation to Congress in half. And when Frederick Douglass read that, he said the three-fifths clause, that has nothing to do with worth. That has to do with the representation. It makes it harder to get a proslavery representative in Congress. The constitution is anti-slavery document.

BECK: It was.

BARTON: And it was. And that's why Frederick Douglass, who points that out.

BECK: The original document for the Declaration of Independence was life, liberty and property.

BARTON: That's right.

BECK: The reason being they changed it? They changed it to pursuit of happiness because they didn't want the south to say, ah, ha! You've got chairs, we've got people! By the way, all of these people here, most of the people in the pictures, most people cannot identify them. But they all played a role in the founding of our nation, or the re-founding of our nation. And these people are now in the textbooks because of Texas because of what happened. These people, they fought to put these people in. Why would the left fight to put these people in?

BARTON: Let me go back to the picture we had earlier of the Battle of Bunker Hill. So if you take that picture of the Battle of Bunker Hill and this is a painting that was done in 1817. And the guy who did this, John Trumbull did this painting. John Trumbull was at the Battle of Bunker Hill. He's the guy who drew the maps for Washington and what went on.

Over here on the right, we have Peter Salem. He had 14 military commendations that he is the hero. They brought him in front of George Washington to get special honors from the commander in chief.

BECK: He is the guy standing behind the white guy with the sword.

BARTON: That's right. Now the white guy with the sword is Thomas Grosvenor. So you have Thomas Grosvenor and you have Peter Salem, black and white, fighting side-by-side. But Peter is definitely the hero that day. 1817 this painting is done and all the way up until the 1980s, we knew that that was Peter Salem, the hero of Bunker Hill. 1980, the professors got together and said oh no, that's not Peter Salem. We think that that's Grosvenor slave is who that is. It's not Peter Salem.

BECK: Oh, you're kidding?

BARTON: No. In the '80s, they changed that from Peter Salem to Grosvenor's slave Masaba (ph). And they it's Masaba Grosvenor, it's his slave. How come the guy who painted it and the guy who was there and the guy who saw it and painted what he saw had him as Peter Salem and now we've all convinced, oh no it's a slave? Because we're into this thing that the founders have got to be evil. We've got to make every effort we can to make them evil. We've got to make victims of everything. These guys weren't victims. They were courageous Americans who won the battle. And we can't afford to say that. It doesn't make America look good.

BECK: When did America have the first speaker of the House?

BARTON: 1789.

BECK: Wow! Details next.


BECK: "Founders' Fridays." This is lost history in America and you need to preserve it. Back with me now is David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders and Lucas Morel, professor at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. We're going to get to some questions in the audience here in a second. First, the one thing that I think is missing in America, and it is the key to America, has been the difference between individual rights and collective rights and this man articulated that.

MOREL: In the speech entitled "Our Composite Nationality," Frederick Douglass said "I know of no rights of color superior to the rights of humanity." He thought the worst thing that could happen for blacks after the Civil War was to treat them as exceptions in the law. And so today with the discursive log jam that we have over things like affirmative action and group rights and the only thing that you get from government is if you ally with others who look like you or somehow are characterized —

BECK: This goes into your theory this is why this is not being taught, because you can't play the victim card.

MOREL: It goes against the traditional victim narrative. After the Civil War, the history was actually written by the losers. That was the one time in history where the losers wrote the history.

BARTON: That's exactly right.

BECK: Really interesting perspective.

BARTON: Right.

BECK: All right David, explain, quickly, let's go through these people.

BARTON: Let's go through these. This guy right here, this is Lemuel Haynes. Lemuel Haynes is a soldier in the American Revolution, he is a black preacher. He is the first black preacher ordained in America that was a pastor of a white congregation in Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, several places.

BECK: A black professor in a white —

BARTON: Black preacher.

BECK: A black minister —

BARTON: Black minister in a white church in four different states. He was ordained in the congregational nomination of 1785. He's the first black to receive a master's degree in America. He got that in 1804 from Middlebury College. So Lemuel Haynes. Every year on Washington's birthday, he preached a special sermon about George Washington, his commander and chief in all his churches where he was. So we don't hear about Lemuel Hayes. This is Benjamin Banneker. I think he's the most brilliant scientist in American history. This guy, unbelievable what he did.

BECK: More so than Franklin?

BARTON: I would put Franklin and Banneker almost equal. Franklin did a lot of inventions. This guy one time took a pocket watch, he taught himself how to read. He taught himself science. He wrote an almanac that 10 years ahead, he was able to predict to the minute solar eclipses, lunar eclipses, 10 years before they happened. I mean, by watching the motion through a telescope, unbelievable what the guy did. He once took the back off a pocket watch, saw how it worked, went home and carved a wooden clock with all the gears, mainspring and it was accurate to within one minute a year, a wooden clock the guy did.

BECK: Holy cow.

BARTON: He's the guy who laid out Washington, D.C. He's the surveyor who did all that. He's a brilliant mathematician.

BECK: I never knew this.

BARTON: Jefferson gave him example to France. He said, hey, you guys in France think that blacks are inferior? Here is Benjamin Banneker.

BECK: OK, I have two minutes total, so quickly there.

BARTON: Right here is James Armison and we talked about the double spy, really cool guy. This is Richard Allen, he's the first founder of a black denomination in America. He is a soldier in the American Revolution. He actually is the first guy to practice medicine, taught by the signer of the declaration, Dr. Benjamin Rush. Just a really cool story, so really cool.

BECK: All right, now tell me —

BARTON: These guys.

BECK: Now let's take the first representatives. I asked, when did we have our first black speaker of the House? When did he have the first speaker of the House?

BARTON: 1789.

BECK: When did we have our first black speaker of the House? I bet most people would say never.

BARTON: Never, expect it was right here, Joseph Hayne Rainey. Joseph Hayne Rainey of South Carolina, the first black to preside over the House of Representatives. These are the first seven blacks elected to Congress.

You have here Senator Hirum Rhodes Revels, the first black U.S. senator elected. He was a minister of the gospel. He was a missionary. He worked with Frederick Douglass. He recruited three regiments of black soldiers in the Civil War and he was a missionary to slaves in the South.

You have here Benjamin Turner, Josiah Walls. This guy right here is really cool. Robert Brown Elliott is probably the most brilliant guy of the era. He actually took on the vice president of the confederacy in a debate on the floor and just tore his head off.

BECK: When, when did we — were these guys proud Americans? Or did they say we —

BARTON: This is the epitome of what we were just talking about.
These were individual guys. Half of these guys taught themselves to read.

Half of the guys were slaves. And five years later, they are sitting in Congress. And as slaves, it was a capital offense to learn to read. So these guys in five years — and I'll guarantee, if you read their speeches and records in Congress, you better have a dictionary and a thesaurus in both hands because you won't understand the language they use. It is so brilliant what these guys did.

BECK: But were they there to say the white man is bad and America is bad?

BARTON: Oh, no. These guys were — Richard Allen, let me go back here. Richard Allen had been in slavery. Richard Allen was in slavery and he held no bitterness at all. He said god would not allow bitterness even in Joseph when he was in prison. You think god will allow it in us? He said we can't have bitterness. He said by the way, there were some whites who held us in slavery but it's whites who are working for our freedom. I mean these guys had no bitterness. They wouldn't allow it.

BECK: Back in just a second.


BECK: Here is an easy book for you to read that will answer a lot of the questions. "American History in Black and White" by David Barton, available at WallBuilders, also at amazon.com. Grab it now. David Barton is here, president of WallBuilders, Lucas Morel, professor at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. Dineen (ph) has a question in our audience.

QUESTION: Yes, when did this rich history get erased from the textbooks?

BARTON: Lucas said it. The losers wrote the history. That's exactly what happened. You really said something, put it together for me because my viewpoint was — and you're going to love this, this is red meat for you, Woodrow Wilson.

BECK: I hate that guy.

BARTON: Woodrow Wilson, when he came into office, he took every black in the office and federal government and kicked them all out except one.
He left one black in office.

BECK: He resegregated the office.

BARTON: He resegregated. He's the first guy to show a film at the White House and the film he showed was "Birth of a Nation," a Klan recruiting film.

MOREL: He called it "history written with lightning.

BARTON: That's right.

MOREL: The NAACP, to their credit, boycotted that movie.

BARTON: So he's the guy who wrote the seven volume history of the American people and that is the set that suddenly became the whole basis of the way we started teaching 20th century history. It's racist.

BECK: Oh, it's awful.

MOREL: But he has a PhD.

BECK: Rafiq?

RAFIQ JENNINGS, WRITER: Can you explain to the audience that Texas is working to put this into history books, it's not trying to take out black history as the hype propagated by the media.

BARTON: The media doesn't like what we're doing. I was one of the six guys appointed in Texas to help oversee the writing, the standards for one of the experts and we got every one of these guys back in.

BECK: Back in.

BARTON: Back in and I love what you said, too, about groups versus individuals because if you look at the American Revolution, not only was it black and white, guess what? We had a lot of Hispanic heroes as well. It is such a good group. And the national motto is e pluribus unum, out of many we became one. And we have tried for 20 years to make it e unum pluribus, out of one we're going to be all these groups.

ROBIN MARTIN, ACCOUNTANT: What is the motivation behind not disseminating the information? What is the motivation behind the left or whoever is it that doesn't want the information put into the textbooks?

MOREL: Well, their mentality is that you get what is secure if government gives it to you. The Declaration of Independence says your rights are not a gift of government, you are born with them, you are endowed by your creator with these. Government exists to protect what you already possess, that is counter-180 degrees to what the typical status approach to government exists.

BECK: It really is slavery again and you just start with the easiest to enslave but it eventually ends in all of us being enslaved.

MOREL: It's Plantation mentality.

BECK: Justice, go ahead.

JUSTICE WOODS, STUDENT: How have these revelations of the black founding fathers personally affected your viewpoints on the American government society today?

BECK: I have to tell you, I didn't grow up in the civil rights movement. I grew up in Seattle, Washington, and so I've always kind of approached it as everybody, hey, everybody has a fair shot. I was one of the more uninformed people on planet Earth.

In learning about the founders and seeing the heroes that were involved, it only strengthens my view that this was a divine document, the Declaration of Independence, that these guys really did struggle, just like in any society at any time. Bad guys, good guys. There were some real dirt bags. But for the most part, these guys were amazing. And they struggled in their time to do the right thing. You say that they're not Christians. They were Christians. And they fought for people who weren't.

The same thing with they were all white. Well they fought for people who weren't. It was a confusing time but an amazing time. Thanks, back in a second.


BECK: I was just thinking about justice, the question before the break. And the other thing that I've learned is I'm really hacked off because there are amazing people that have been forgotten. Remember them.

From New York, good night, America.

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