WorldNetDaily isn't the only ConWeb outlet who's eager to give Oregon congressional candidate Art Robinson a pass on his love of racist novels by G.A. Henty.
An Oct. 13 NewsBusters post by Jack Coleman declared that Rachel Maddow's mention of it meant that "Cable television doesn't get any shabbier than this." Coleman highlighted that it was a character in Henty's "By Sheer Pluck" making the racist statement in question, as if that matters. He then writes:
What if Robinson had acquired the rights to the works of Harriet Beecher Stowe? Would Maddow cherry picking the vile opinions of a specific character -- plantation owner Simon Legree -- also render Robinson a racist?
The point, as we noted, is that the racist opinions of the character are not presented as "vile" in the book -- indeed, they are reflections of the 19th century era in which they were written. The character is not a Simon Legree villain; he's the mentor of the young man who is the story's main character and is considered a hero.
The question that needs to be asked is why Robinson promotes a book that presents such a racist as a hero, and an author whose entire ouvere -- which Robinson wants his homeschool students to read -- presumably contains similar outdated imperialistic attitudes as a core component of his curriculum. Robinson has not disclosed how his curriculum addresses the issue of Henty's racism and imperialism.
The only response we can find is Robinson declaring during a debate, "Henty's books are not racist, and I'm not racist." But that's a meaningless answer that doesn't address how his curriculum deals with it.
(P.S. our original post on Robinson is now up at Huffington Post.)