Conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Tuesday defended a history book that has ignited controversy for its portrayal of slavery in the United States.
The group Americans United for Separation of Church and State has criticized Heritage Academy, a charter school in Arizona, for using Cleon Skousen's The 5000 Year Leap in a 12th-grade history class. The group said that the book promotes "Christian nation propaganda" as well as claims slavery was beneficial to African Americans.
Beck, who has promoted The 5000 Year Leap, insisted there was nothing wrong with the book. He said he was "doubling down" on his support for it.
Co-host Steve Burguiere remarked that critics had never "produced one sentence from that book that was controversial."
"That book is absolutely right," Beck said. "That book, The 5000 Year Leap, changed my understanding of the United States government and our founders. It is the clearest, simplest, most direct way to teach what happened and why we were founded the way we were."
He encouraged his listeners to go out and buy the book, even if they already had a copy.
"Teach it to your children. Read it to them at night. Bring it to the dinner table," Beck said. "It will be the only chance they have to actually learn American history."
In the The 5000 Year Leap, Skousen tells the "story of slavery" by quoting historian Fred Albert Shannon at length. The quotations claim that white boys envied the freedom of black slave children and describe newly sold slaves as "a cheerful lot."
The book also claims that abolitionists spread false rumors about the mistreatment of black slaves, and it states that "slave owners were the worst victims of the system."
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