Friday, May 23, 2008

Is Doug Phillips a racist? and warning on Henty books and "Elsie Dinsmore" series

directly quoted from:

"Doug Phillips
March 16, 2007
Doug Phillips has made a name for himself among Christian homeschoolers by selling “old-fashioned” books and hosting “historical” conferences and events. In actuality, the words “old-fashioned” and “historical” mean “thoroughly white.” The Vision Forum catalog is full of books by racists. Their books and tape sets glorify men who believed and wrote that black people are inferior to white people. They sell no books by any of the people of color who contributed to American history. Doug uses code words like “cultural syncretism” to decry the “blackening” of American society.

G.A. Henty
June 13, 2007
For many years, Doug Phillips and Vision Forum have sold books by G.A. Henty and hosted an essay contest in his honor. You can see how often Henty is praised there.

One of the books included in the 40-volume set for sale at Vision Forum is By Sheer Pluck. Here is Henty’s opinion of black people, which any young child may find in its pages:

They are just like children. They are always either laughing or quarrelling. They are good-natured and passionate, indolent, but will work hard for a time; clever up to a certain point, densely stupid beyond. 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, just as Shakespeare was an exception to the ordinary intellect of an Englishman. They are fluent talkers, but their ideas are borrowed. They are absolutely without originality, absolutely without inventive power. Living among white men, their imitative facilities enable them to attain a considerable amount of civilisation. Left alone to their own devices they retrograde into a state little above their native savagery.

White superiority is the theme that runs through all of Henty’s books. He once wrote of “the utter incapacity of the Negro race to evolve, or even maintain, civilisation without the example and the curb of a white population.”

Note: Doug Phillips is selling the original, unexpurgated (racist) versions of these books, not the versions edited by Mantle Ministries and Preston Speed.

It’s astounding that racist books are being sold to impressionable youths under the guise of Christianity, but Henty is just the beginning. For example, Vision Forum also sells Elsie Dinsmore, which contains the “n-word” and borderline pederasty. Elsie even tells her slaves that “they wouldn’t be Negroes in heaven.”


Aubrey said...

I am so ignorant when it comes to many racial topics. I often have questions but it's such a loaded topic that just mentioning the word "race" get me flamed in some online circles. I haven't found a safe place to discuss racial issues. But I am going to ask you something that I feel like such a huge dolt asking. But since you're my aunt you can't flame me & hate me forever, right? lol

I hear that idea of Henty's ("Living among white men, their imitative facilities enable them to attain a considerable amount of civilisation. Left alone to their own devices they retrograde into a state little above their native savagery") repeated in various places. I also have read in books related to the US school system that there are "no successfully run schools by black people". The reason I feel like a dolt is because I don't have a come back to these beliefs & I want one! I'm too ignorant of geography & history & such. I want to know examples of where black folks are living with a healthy economy & healthy families that is run by black people. Or a school system headed by black folks that is healthy.

Do you happen to know which places are like this? I always hear that "once the whites left, the black society fell apart...". This can't be true for everywhere, there must be areas that are headed entirely by black people that are healthy. Um, help? lol Will you give me a geography lesson & tell me where they are?

Now I am going to go look up the word "pederasty". ;)

mamajill said...

here is a list of very successful colleges and Universities run by African Americans:
on the side bars on the left are hundreds of documents that you can reference.
As for "successful Black countries", well I am no geography historian either:) but I do know that there are several "successful" Caribbean countries such as Antigua, Barbuda, Barbados, and countries like Trinidad, Tobago, And Bermuda have a higher standard of living than the U.S. Also,
not all African countries are third world countries. Countries such as Mauritas, Libya, Botswana,and Tunisia, to name a few have a good standard of living. The African country of Equatorial Guinea is the second richest country in the world (and the Caribbean country of Bermuda is third) while the U.S is about 8th or so, depending on what chart you look at.
The very notion that any country was "unsuccessful until white man came on the scene" is a complete fallacy to even begin with. The truth being that Black societies were doing just fine UNTIL white man came on the scene, brought their diseases and killed off masses of native populations, and then tried to "civilize the people" by expecting them to conform to their ways by forcing, exploiting and destroying the families that had been successful for thousands of years prior to the white man coming on the scene. Even in our beloved country, our history is not so rosy. Let's face it. Our country was stolen from the Native Americans and then became rich on the backs of the African slaves. We should be proud of our country,
but certainly not of the all the history of our European ancestors.

mamajill said...

I am having problems getting that whole url to show up directly to the Black University list. Here is the list cut and pasted:
Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Alabama A&M University
Alabama State University
Alcorn State University
Benedict College
Bennett College
Bethune-Cookman College
Bowie State UniversityCheyney University
Claflin College
Clark Atlanta University
Concordia College
Coppin State College
Delaware State University
Dillard University
Elizabeth City State University
Fayetteville State University
Fisk University
Florida A&M University
Grambling State University
Hampton University
Huston-Tillotson College
Howard University
Jackson State University
Johnson C. Smith University
Kentucky State University
Langston University
LeMoyne-Owen College
Lincoln University
Meharry Medical College
Mississippi Valley State University
Morehouse College

Morehouse School of Medicine
Morgan State University
Morris College
Morris Brown College
Norfolk State University
North Carolina A&T State University
North Carolina Central University
Oakwood College
Paine College
Philander Smith College
Prairie View A&M College
Saint Paul's College
South Carolina State University
Southern University and A&M College
Southern University at New Orleans
Spelman College
Stillman College
Texas Southern University
Tennessee State University
Tougaloo College
Tuskegee University
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
University of the District of Columbia
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
University of the Virgin Islands
Voorhees Colleges
West Virginia State College
Wilberforce University
Winston-Salem State University
Xavier University of Louisiana

and here is the home page for the website to research:

Brenda said...

Hi, Jill. . . I've been emailing you and not gotten any response--do I have the wrong email addy? I have the frontiernet one. . .
Blessings, Brenda

mamajill said...

email me at:
habdasfarm@ (remove space) temporarily until I get my computer fixed (should have it back this week w/ a new hardrive)
I am just using the teens computer and the yahoo mailbox

Brenda said...

k, Jill. . . I emailed you at yahoo twice yesterday. . . did you get them? Try me at

Jim Hodges said...

Some of your comments are not accurate. I sell my personal recordings of the Henty novels through Vision Forum and know for a fact that until very recently they carried exclusively the Preston Speed editions. Within the past year or so they switched to the editions published by Robinson Curriculum, which are taken directly from first edition Hentys. To my knowledge, there is no difference between the two editions. I recorded With Lee in Virginia from the Preston Speed edition, and it contained similar comments to those you posted as being contained in By Sheer Pluck.

It is true that Henty and many authors of his time held racist views - views which were widely though not universally accepted throughout the West. Since we have discovered the falsity of the claims they made, should we then never read them? Or should we clean them up? The New Testament seems to condone slavery. Should we ban that too? Or is anyone who reads Henty, or Mark Twain, or the Bible a racist or believes that slavery is OK? The conclusions you seem to be drawing are much too broad for me. Good people can disagree, and in relation to this post, I do. I also know Doug Phillips personally and have never heard a racist comment fall from his lips.

Jim Hodges
Jim Hodges Audio Books

Tammie said...

Hello MamaJill,

I am a African American Homeschooling Mom who just recently became awar of Dr. Voddie Baucham and although I really like his viewpoint, I am concerned about his connection to Doug Phillips. What do you think about the connection between the two?


University said...

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Dawn said...

As to the relationship between VB and DP-I can say that VB speaks and sells his materials through VF. If DP was a racist I doubt he would eagerly endorse many of his writings and his speaking engagements. I also attended a conference sponsored by VF that featured VB as the key note speaker. Phillips' views are anything BUT racist!!! He speaks to the equality of all through Jesus Christ. I agree with the above posting that the books may contain objectionable views but do not need to be thrown out--it is an opportunity to teach our children about why the author believed as he did and errant nature of that view. It is interesting to me we can excuse MANY more horrible images in movies-magazines and television as acceptable. Let's not throw the baby out with the bath here.

rwc said...

I would like to point out that the quote you use from the Henty book is actually stated by a (subordinate) character. Henty goes on in that particular book, By Sheer Pluck, to make several African characters heros, one of whom saves the main character's life. The character that said this quote is not the main character, he is much older and "set in his ways" as it were. The hero of the story holds much more progressive (for the historical time period) views.
For Henty, race is almost never a concern. In most of his novels set in India native Indians (Hindu's and Muslims alike) nobly assist his hero's, acting intelligently and courageously. In fact Henty praises the courage and fortitude of the Indian troops of the British Army, as well as the African troops. Henty describes in his book about the Boer War how cruelly the Boers oppressed the native Zulus and other Africans. We would assume from his condemnation that he does not support such oppression.

Two (at least) of Henty's books have hero's that are half black and half Indian, it would seem slightly ridiculous that he would idolize these hero's while slurring their ethnic background.

A charge that is more easy to stick to Henty is that he is an unabashed proponent of the British Empire and British culture and civilization as such. In his eyes anybody, of any race, can become whoever they want to be because of British culture. Today British culture of the 19th century seems quaint, but for the time Britain was one of the most politically and socially liberal places in the world. Women first gained suffrage in Britain. Britain was also the first country in the history of the entire world to outlaw slavery in all its forms and to allocate a large part of its naval budget for anti slavery activities.

The point is, when reading any historical literature, one must always look at the context. Henty supported the abolition of slavery, and he was quick to look for positive qualities of people from other ethnic background. However, he was not completely above his time in attributing certain characteristics to people of different races.