Oregon GOP Congressional Candidate Sells Racist Book Suggesting Africans Are Like Retarded Children
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 12:35:33 AM EST
Running against Democrat Peter DeFazio for a congressional seat in Oregon's 4th District, Art Robinson is one of the most influential leading Global Warming denialists in America and has proposed dumping radioactive waste and crude oil waste [see footnote] at sea.

But wait! There's more.

For a the better part of a decade at least Robinson has been reprinting, marketing, and selling a virulently racist 19th Century English boys' adventure novel that suggests Africans are like retarded children. "By Sheer Pluck" written by George Alfred Henty, is set in Africa and features a sympathetic character patronizing Africans as "just like children" and declaring, "the intelligence of an average negro is about equal to that of a European child of ten years old... Left alone to their own devices they retrograde into a state little above their native savagery." Over the last decade, Art Robinson's homeschool curriculum business has sold thousands of copies of the book.

Arthur Robinson has carved out a niche selling a Christian home schooling curriculum developed by his late wife, who according to Robinson compiled it curriculum from material culled from Christian homeschooling curricula published from Bob Jones University, the A Beka Book series, and other sources.

The Robinson Self Teaching Curriculum includes, as a reference for students, a 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica and a 1611 King James Version of the Bible which "is the foundational book of the Curriculum." As a 2001 article in The American Spectator described,

[Art Robinson's] family members have developed a home school curriculum consisting of over 250 books-among them the 30,000-page 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica—which the youngsters took turns scanning into computers. The curriculum was transferred to 22 compact discs, which are sold in a box for $195. Over four years, 20,000 sets have been sold. More recently, with typical single-mindedness, Robinson tracked down all 99 historical novels by the Edwardian writer G. A. Henty, and they in turn were optically scanned. Three thousand Henty sets (6 CD'S) were shipped in the first year. They retail for $99.

Here's what Art Robinson's Home Schooling Curriculum web site has to say about George Alfred Henty's books:

Our initial printing emphasizes the wonderful collection of historical novels written by G. A. Henty. While some of these books have been in print, two-thirds of them have been out of print and generally unavailable to home school readers.

G. A. Henty wrote at a time when the teaching of a deep Christian faith, high moral character, sound ethical principles, a strong work ethic, simple personal humility, and self-confidence based on real accomplishments were considered essential to the education of each young person. This is in sharp contrast to today's tax-financed schools where these values are deliberately excluded. The Henty books provide training in history and in many of the highest aspects of human character, while holding the attention of the reader with tales of adventure written by a master story teller. Not only do Henty's heroes serve as excellent examples to people of all ages, his own vocabulary, grammar, and literary skills serve as outstanding examples to young writers, readers, and speakers of the English language. In learning to write, as in learning to speak, the examples that children follow are the most important factors in their accomplishments.

American young people should read not a few Henty books, but all 99 of them. Taken together, they constitute a superb course in world history and an education in some of the the highest aspects of human behavior in the heroes - and in some of the lowest aspects in the villains.

According to a PBS description of  Henty's numerous formulaic 19th Century novels geared towards adolescent boys, "Henty's books are notable for their hearty imperialism, undisguised racism, and jingoistic patriotism." In his 1884 novel "By Sheer Pluck," in a chapter titled "The Dark Continent" Alfred George Henty wrote,

"the intelligence of an average negro is about equal to that of a European child of ten years old. A few, a very few, go beyond this, but these are exceptions...

Living among white men, their imitative faculties enable them to acquire a considerable amount of civilization. Left alone to their own devices they retrograde into a state little above their native savagery."

Signatory to A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism, a 2001 statement, from the creationist Discovery Institute, that challenges the Theory of Evolution, Art Robinson in 1986 co-authored with Dr. Gary North a book on how to survive nuclear war titled, Fighting Chance: Ten Feet To Survival. The book advocated bringing back the so-called "Duck and Cover" civil defense approach promoted by the US government civil defense film "Duck and Cover" shown in US schools to schoolchildren in the 1950's and 1960's.

Gary North, a leading Christian Reconstructionist theologian, prolific author, and former Congressional staffer for Texas Congressman Ron Paul (who has endorsed Art Robinson's congressional campaign.) In a November 23, 2002 post at the web site LouRockwell.com, North described how Robinson had purchased an industrial printing press to print hard cover copies of the G. A. Henty boys' novel series:

My friend Art Robinson, a scientist and the publisher of the Access to Energy newsletter, recently bought a used $3 million printing press and support equipment for about three cents on the dollar at an auction. The owner had gone out of business. There were few bidders for that press in a recession year. Robinson uses it to publish a series of over a hundred boys’ novels, based on world history, written in the 19th century by G. A. Henty. Robinson had assembled a large mailing list of potential customers who had already bought all of Henty’s books on Robinson’s Henty CD-ROM for $99 – a terrific deal.

http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com

Now parents and grandparents can buy the hardbacks.

Gary North is a protege' of founder of the Christian Reconstructionism movement founder Rousas J. Rushdoony. In 1992 Rushdoony spoke at the inaugural event of the U.S. Taxpayers Party, later re-branded as the Constitution Party. In 2008 Ron Paul endorsed the Constitution Party candidate for president of the United States, and current Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul keynoted a Minnesota Constitution Party rally in April 2009.

Rousas Rushdoony advocated executing by stoning homosexuals, adulterers, and women who have intercourse before marriage, wanted to reimpose slavery, claimed that African-American slaves were lucky, was a Holocaust denier and a creationist, and maintained that the Sun rotates around the Earth.

Arthur Robinson's homeschooling curriculum, for "parents concerned about socialism in the public schools," contains several references to R. J. Rushdoony including a 51 minute audio recording of an interview with the now-deceased Christian Reconstructionist titan.

[for other detailed explorations of Arthur Robinson's possible political views, see here and here]

Footnote:

Back in 2010, due to an error in the date attached to an article in the online archives of Arthur B. Robinson's Access To Energy newsletter, my first story on Arthur Robinson incorrectly stated that Robinson had written a story advocating that waste crude oil be dumped at sea. While that story, "Ocean Dumping? Yes!" was incorrectly dated in the ATE archive as having been published on November 29, 2004 (Arthur B. Robinson took over writing the Access to Energy newsletter in 1993), it was in fact written in the mid-1980s, by one of Robinson's mentors, the late Dr. Petr Beckmann. I'm rewriting that 2010 article of mine to correct the original error and add additional evidence of Robinson's related, dubious scientific claims - which apparently have not included advocating dumping waste oil at sea.




Display:
OK, there's a lot in this article that is either omitted or is a half-truth: (1) Art Robinson is not a "Global Warming Denialist". He questions the assumption that it is man-made and he provides scientific evidence: http://www.oism.org/s32p686.htm (2) The Henty books are not a part of his homeschool curriculum, although he sells them separately. These are the same books for sale at Amazon.com, BN.com, and borders.com. They're also on the library bookshelves at major universities such as the University of California. So, if you're going to imply racism, why not include them too? (3) Dr. Robinson did not create the Robinson Curriculum. In fact, it was her untimely death that inspired Dr. Robinson to create the Robinson Curriculum based on a self-teaching approach. (4) The Robinson Curriculum does not use the Bob Jones University Press, or the A Beka Book series. The Robinson Curriculum competes against those curricula. (5) Your quote from Henty did not come from the CD's that Dr. Robinson sells. Nevertheless, you haven't proved that Dr. Robinson concurs with Henty on that specific issue of race. (6) You leave out the fact that Dr. Robinson praised homeschooling for "bridging the gap" between black homeschool students and white homeschool students. (7) You left out the fact that Dr. Robinson worked with a black professor while teaching chemistry at UCSD to provide black students with the best education possible. His fellow black professor greatly admired Dr. Robinson's work and thanked him for it. If Dr. Robinson was a racist, as you are implying, then I don't think he would have received such accolades. (8) The Nuclear War Survival Skills is not a part of the Robinson Curriculum. In an unlikely, but horrific nuclear war, his book gives some of the best advice which is not merely "duck and cover" advice as this article implies. (9) Wow! A long string of people in this guilt by association argument: Dr. Robinson --> Gary North --> Rushdoony.

by CaliforniaArchitect on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 06:42:27 PM EST
For item #3, I meant to say that Dr. Robinson's wife did not create the Robinson Curriculum. She passed away before it was created.

by CaliforniaArchitect on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 11:19:58 AM EST
Parent

I live in this congressional district. I live in Josephine County, Oregon. Art Robinson is not a scientist, he's a quack.

by jimmyaj on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 02:01:52 PM EST
Parent

"(1) Art Robinson is not a "Global Warming Denialist"." - This is a matter of semantics. "Global Warming" has become common shorthand for "anthropogenic Global Warming."

"(2) The Henty books are not a part of his homeschool curriculum, although he sells them separately." - That's flatly wrong [ see: http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/view/rc/Curriculum.pdf and also see: http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/view/rc/s31p45.htm ] Further,  Robinson advertises, prints in hard-cover, and sells the Henty books [ http://www.robinsonbooks.org/ ] and his homeschool curriculum web site features a glowing endorsement of the books.

"(3) Dr. Robinson did not create the Robinson Curriculum. In fact, it was her untimely death that inspired Dr. Robinson to create the Robinson Curriculum based on a self-teaching approach." - According to Utmost Way magazine [ http://www.utmostway.com/authors/arthur-b-robinson ], Art Robinson's wife seems to have developed her own ad-hoc curriculum while still alive - "Art and his wife Laurelee, and his brothers Zachary and Noah, moved to Oregon in 1980. Concerned about the decline of public education, Laurelee had already begun to accumulate filing cabinets full of her own instructional material and was home-schooling all the children." I find it hard to believe the Robinson Curriculum was not derived from Lauralee  Robinson's own curriculum.

"(4) The Robinson Curriculum does not use the Bob Jones University Press, or the A Beka Book series. The Robinson Curriculum competes against those curricula." - Well, if it competes with the Bob Jones and A Beka Book series, that's telling.

 "(5) Your quote from Henty did not come from the CD's that Dr. Robinson sells. Nevertheless, you haven't proved that Dr. Robinson concurs with Henty on that specific issue of race." - The quote sure did come from a book Art Robinson sells. As Robinson's OISM web site states [ http://www.oism.org/s32p1090.htm ] quite clearly, "This set of 6 CD-ROMs contains all 99 books written by G. A. Henty. It also includes 53 short stories by Henty and 216 short stories by his contemporaries. Written during the latter part of the 19th Century, G. A. Henty's books were very popular and widely used in the schools of Britain and the United States during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries."

I don't know if Art Robinson is racist or not, but his inclusion, in his curriculum, of an extended interview with  R.J. Rushdoony, who quite clearly was (Rushdoony also claimed the widely acknowledged Holocaust death toll was greatly inflated) is it least a case of questionable judgment.

"(6) You leave out the fact that Dr. Robinson praised homeschooling for "bridging the gap" between black homeschool students and white homeschool students." - Well, that's in Mr. Robinson's favor, sure.

"(7) You left out the fact that Dr. Robinson worked with a black professor while teaching chemistry at UCSD to provide black students with the best education possible. His fellow black professor greatly admired Dr. Robinson's work and thanked him for it. If Dr. Robinson was a racist, as you are implying, then I don't think he would have received such accolades." - My point was that Robinson sells a virulently racist book that compares Africans to retarded children, and I also noted that PBS characterized Henty as a racist author.

"(8) The Nuclear War Survival Skills is not a part of the Robinson Curriculum." - I did not say it was. But, I have friends and acquaintances who served in the first Reagan Administration who assure me that the world came very close to global thermonuclear war during the first three years of Reagan's 1st term in office. Art Robinson seems, in my assessment, to do some brilliant work but not in the realm of nuclear war-fighting or deterrence. I'd suggest that the book Mr. Robinson co-authored with Gary North was thoroughly delusional.

"(9) Wow! A long string of people in this guilt by association argument: Dr. Robinson --> Gary North --> Rushdoony." - Robinson & North wrote a book together. Art Robinson's curriculum includes an extended interview with R.J. Rushdoony (North's father-in-law). For a start.      

by Bruce Wilson on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 07:57:18 PM EST
Parent




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