Friday, January 21, 2011

Truly Epic Historical Revisionism: Glenn Beck Claims 3/5's Clause Was Abolitionist

I usually don't bother dealing with U.S. media idiocies - it would take all day every day to chronicle U.S. cable news inaccuracies. In fact, there are entire non-profit organizations dedicated to debunking the lies that pass for U.S. news coverage nowadays.

However, this is so ridiculous and vile that I couldn't let it pass - I can't believe Beck uttered it out loud:
BECK: Yesterday -- or was it today? I don't even know. It was yesterday that they read the Constitution in Congress. It was today? Read the Constitution in Congress. And it was -- no, it was -- they edited the Constitution, not for time, but because they didn't want to offend anyone. And parts of it were outdated. You got to be kidding me. This, we're getting from the Republicans. Hmm. Parts of it are outdated and parts of it are offensive.
The three-fifths clause was offensive, and so they didn't do it. This shows such a -- either lack of understanding of our history, who the Founders were, what the Constitution says, or it is just cowardice in Washington. Three-fifths clause. African-Americans: three-fifths in the South, three-fifths of a human being. That's an outrage, unless you know why they put that in there. They put that in there because if slaves in the South were counted as full human beings, they could never abolish slavery. They would never be able to do it. It was a time bomb.
Progressives should love that. It was a way to take a step to abolish slavery. It is a tremendous story about our Founders, about the genius of the Constitution -- but that might offend some people, so they skipped it. They skipped it. That's offensive to me. [Fox News'Glenn Beck, 1/6/10]
And in case you don't believe me, here it is coming from his own mouth:

Are you kidding? The 3/5's clause extended the era of slavery because it gave the South way too much power and representation in the pre-Civil War Congress. Southern states had all these slaves that counted as 3/5's of a person when it came to apportioning Congressional representation but couldn't vote for representatives - voting was of course restricted to white males, many of whom owned slaves - so thanks to the 3/5's clause, slaveowners had way more power in the pre-Civil War Congress than they should. This is something that any U.S. 8th grader should understand and be able to explain.

Hmm ... perhaps the job qualifications for nationally-syndicated news pundits should include at least some post-high school education? Or being able to pass a basic U.S. history test?

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