A humanities course currently taught at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs teaches that the Founding Fathers were hypocrites, terrorists and money-hungry barons who used hyperbole and fear to rile up the colonists to revolt against England.
The “Resistance and Revolution” class is co-taught by history lecturer Jared Benson and sociology instructor Nicholas Lee, who also suggest that it was Mikhail Gorbachev – not Ronald Reagan — who brought down the collapse of the Soviet Union, and that wealthy CEOs deserve to be in a “moral prison,” among many other assertions.
Calling the Founding Fathers “terrorists,” Benson and Lee voice criticism and cynicism against many of the events leading up to the Revolutionary War, teaching students the founding ideals were “merely a fabrication for a social movement” — a means to an end for the colonist elites who were tired of England’s control and needed the gullible masses to help them break free.
They argued the Revolutionary War wasn’t really about freedom. The educators suggest that the only people truly affected by taxation were the rich. However, the rich could not wage war on their own and needed the poor to fight for them.
Ultimately, the impetus for America was the establishment of an economic system founded on enslavement and racism, according to audio copies of their lectures in September and October provided to The College Fix by a student in the class.
“Wealthy colonists needed to work to manufacture discontent,” Lee said. “They used slave rhetoric when the great hypocrisy was that they themselves owned slaves.”
“The wealthy led the colonists to believe they were suffering as a result of the British even though the quality of living was actually very high in the colonies for the people at the time—higher than London for the average person.”
Both professors mock the founders and Sons of Liberty for complaining about having to pay taxes, at one point calling them “childish” and “unjustified” in waging war against the British.
“They were an organization of guys that went out and did stuff, tarring and feathering in effigy, and sometimes it wasn’t in effigy,” Lee said. “As Jared pointed out, by any modern definition, they were a terrorist organization. I don’t say that to be hyperbolic, literally an organization that uses terror to accomplish what they want, that’s exactly what they were doing, right? So all these people who were our Founding Fathers—well it’s all relative at the time—were using violence and terror.”
Denouncing key figures of the American Revolution such as Paul Revere and Thomas Paine, the scholars call them propagandists who riled “the uninformed masses against the British” by appealing to fear.
Benson said of Paine that in Common Sense he appealed to the masses “by deprecating all the people he knows his colonists hate even if they don’t know any. He caters to the lowest common denominator—people who are scared—scared of things that are different—of different stories, of different narratives. This should sound very similar in 2016. Appeal to the masses by giving them people to fear and hate.”
In reference to the Boston Massacre, Lee likens it to the September 11 terrorist attacks: “They [founders] were incredibly quick to act upon it and use to their favor. This happens all the time—9/11…these events that happened that the revolutionaries didn’t coordinate, but used it to their benefit, used it as a perfect opportunity for propaganda.”
Said Benson: “I told you, and yeah I’ll be blunt, about the asinine nature of the taxation without representation argument, because technically, as England was a constitutional monarchy with a House of Lords and a House of Commons, in theory, the colonists were represented in the House of Commons.”
“They argued that the British forcing them to buy the Dutch tea was enslaving them and compromising their freedoms,” Benson said. “For a culture that literally enslaves people, they throw that word around because they have to buy tea from certain company. Feels a bit propagandist.”
Benson also censured the colonists involved in the Boston Tea Party, saying “Why did they dress up like Native Americans? That’s offensive on so many fronts. But they didn’t care about being offensive.”
At one point, the class compares the Sons of Liberty to the Westboro Baptist Church. In reference to Andrew Oliver, the British official responsible for implementing the Stamp Act, Lee notes: “And to add a little bit more to the history of poor Andrew Oliver, he dies in 1774 and the Sons of Liberty protest his funeral. Do we know another group right now that protests funerals?”
Many students comment back in unison: “Westboro Baptist Church.”
Lee said the founders used colonists’ disdain for taxes to help prompt them to revolt: “British are imposing taxes on us…don’t blame us, blame the government for making your stuff more expensive. Everyone’s like, fuck – I don’t want my Mac & Cheese to be a penny more.”
Benson and Lee did not respond to several requests from The College Fix seeking comment.
(The College Fix has compiled a highlight reel of the professors’ lectures.)
The student in the class who provided audio clips on the condition of anonymity said lectures are taught from a biased and one-side perspective.
“What they have been teaching us goes beyond any liberal interpretation of history that I have ever heard,” the student said. “If you think their crass language is bad from this audio, I’m more disgusted by the way they talk about my country.”
Often the scholars weaved socialist themes into their lectures.
In reference to taxes, Lee said “my Marxist argument for that is why aren’t the corporation’s profits being reduced in an equivalent amount [instead of increasing the cost of goods]?”
Lee later goes on to say he wishes CEOs of companies could be put into “moral prisons” for not fulfilling their “human responsibility,” but “that’s just not how our justice system works.”
Lee also suggests slavery still exists today – in the form of capitalism.
“Is there a difference in being a tributary slave, as in a slave to the system, and the actual them owning another human being? But here we’re just debating the slavery of modern capitalism versus the slave system that existed in colonial times. Is there a difference,” he said.
The professors’ lectures worked on several students who seemed to openly admit that they were no longer patriotic, according to the audio files.
While the professors are extremely critical of the founding of our country, they are quick to defend social movements such as Black Lives Matter and the Black Power Movement.
“Black power at this point in time was not anti-white, was not reverse racism or some other bullshit that we are conditioned to believe,” Benson said. “It was about empowerment for people that had been disempowered or subjugated by an oppressor.”
“Real quick — how many people did the Black Panthers kill? One, after a shootout started by police. One in their entire history after being started by police. One. Violent? Let’s do the math. Your cops have killed damn near 800 people this year alone,” Benson said.
Seeming to side with violent black power leaders such as Malcom X, the professors mock Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of peace and patience, yet appreciating one of his speeches that they called “anti-capitalist.” Lee also suggested MLK was pro-communist.
And during one class, President Ronald Reagan was disparaged as well: “Anyone who has actually studied history knows that Reagan did nothing (to tear down the wall). It was Gorbachev that actually deconstructed the Soviet Union. But that fact that he’s the one standing there, what’s everyone in America thinking? Yeah we did it. We won.”