The Tulsa Race Riots, The 3/5ths Clause & More – On Foundations of Freedom: Have you heard the WHOLE truth about the Tulsa Race Riots? What was the true purpose of the 3/5 clause? What is the economic view of American history, and is it accurate? Should the American flag be considered racist? Tune in to hear the important answers to these questions and much more on today’s Foundations of Freedom program!
Air Date: 10/28/2021
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith and the Culture
Abraham Lincoln said. “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts; not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
This is the intersection of faith in the culture. Thanks for joining us today on WallBuilders Live. We’re taking on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. If you want to know the right position on any issue out there, that’s how you do it. You say, hey, what does the Bible have to say about this?
I got to be in God’s Word every day to know these things. But then what can history teach me about this as well? What works and doesn’t work? History shows us that.
And then, of course, our Constitution, if you’re going to apply these things appropriately under our system of government, we have to know the Constitution and get that constitutional perspective as well. So that’s why we always say, WallBuilders Live looking at things from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.
We’re doing that with David Barton. This guy is America’s premier historian. I am so honored to get to work with David for the last couple of decades.
I’ve run into so many people that are serving in the legislatures of states all over the country, in Congress in Washington, DC, school boards, City Council’s, you name it that say, I ran for office because I saw this from David Barton or I read this from David Barton. David has been a catalyst for restoring biblical values and constitutional principles, and so thankful for that, and just thrilled to be here with WallBuilders.
And of course, the name WallBuilders comes from that scripture in Nehemiah that says arise and rebuild the walls that we may no longer be a reproach. We’ve got to rebuild the foundations, folks. Right here in America, there’s major cracks in the foundation, we’ve got real problems and rot in the culture.
Sunlight – the Best Disinfectant
But the good news is it’s been revealed over the last couple of years. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. And now we know what’s there and we’re learning what to do to restore the foundations in America. So we’re here with David.
We’re also here with Tim Barton. He’s a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. You ought to book him into your community, to your church, to your business organization to speak. I’m telling you he’ll light people on fire, he’ll get them excited, give them hope, and give them answers to how to turn this culture around.
My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And it’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday. So let’s get started today. You send in your questions to email@example.com. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alright, David and Tim, let’s dive into those questions. First one’s coming from Joe and it has to do with the Three-Fifths Clause in the Constitution. He said “In an article from the Epic Times Special Edition from July 2021, if I understood the author correctly, he said that the Three-Fifths Clause helped to eliminate slavery, but its primary purpose was economical. What do you think? Am I missing something? Thanks for what you do.”
And of course, David, Tim, this one is usually people say Three-Fifths proves the Founding Fathers hated blacks and they thought blacks were only three-fifths of a person. So Joe’s saying was it actually used to eliminate slavery? And what did it have to do with economics?
You know, this is the misinterpreted clause that won’t die. I mean, it’s just that misinterpretation keeps coming back that the Three-Fifths Clause had anything to do with the value of any individual is just completely mythical. It does deal with representation and what power slave states are allowed to have.
But I mean, what’s that old proverb that lie goes around the world seven times before the truth even get started. And that’s kind of where this has been. This has been really a favorite of CRT and those who want to smash America and those who want to miss-portray what happened.
And the Three-Fifths Clause, just to put in context, the Three-Fifths Clause was dealing with representation and the Constitution originally: for every 30,000 people in your state, you got to send one congressman to Washington, DC, or at the time, it would have been Philadelphia and New York, but nonetheless, to the Capitol.
So what happens is southern states say, this is great, we will count all our slaves, and we’ll get a whole bunch more congressmen going to Congress. And the northern antislavery stay said absolutely not: you can count free people because that’s who you’re representing, those who have a vote. You’re not allowing slaves to vote, so they don’t have any voice in government. And we’re not going to have a government that doesn’t have the voice of those represented so you can’t do that, and then went back and forth, back and forth.
And finally, what happens, they compromise and say, okay, we will allow you to count three-fifths of the slaves in your state for purpose of representation. Has nothing to do with the slaves are only worth three-fifths, that is an anti-slavery clause that cut by 40% the number of proslavery representatives from the south who went to Congress. So it clearly is an antislavery provision.
And some people might argue, well, the northern states were really antislavery, why did they allow this at all? And the reality is it goes back to this notion, almost like John Hancock in the Declaration when they said that they would only include the grievances in the Declaration that were going to be unanimous because otherwise the king would come in and he would pull them apart by their own separate interest.
And this is why when you look at the original draft of the Declaration of Independence that Thomas Jefferson did, the largest grievance was a grievance against the slave trade, really against slavery as a whole. And that did not make it into the final draft of the Declaration because there were two states, at the time two colonies, Georgia and South Carolina that oppose that grievance, even though the other 11 were in favor of… And so they were going to do only what everybody could agree to. And this was a challenge of the Constitution we mentioned.
They wanted to find the common ground where they’re trying to be a nation. They’re not trying to be 13 nations. They’re trying to be one nation coming together. And this is where for many people in the north when they argued against the south in this notion of the three-fifths compromise, where the south said, we’re going to include all our slaves, and the people from the north said, wait a second, you count them as property, not as people; and if they’re not people, then that’s not a number you get to use in your representation. So this was the argument back and forth.
It Was About Representation.
And the reason they compromised was because the states from the north and the south realize it would be better to come together as one nation, and many Founding Fathers, including those who were there at the Constitutional Convention, argued and thought themselves that slavery would eventually be able to be weaned off in America. But the more important battle was to be able to come together as a nation, and then they would win the slavery battle in the future.
Now, actually, the founding fathers didn’t probably think that would have to fight an actual battle like the civil war to end slavery. But the idea was preserving the union. And this was the underlining theme and tone of why they would do a compromise at all because they thought the greater good was for the nation to come together, and then once a nation was together, then they could solve problems like the slavery issue along the way.
So the Three-Fifths Clause clearly deals with representation, not the issue of the worth of any individual. And by the way, if you want to have fun, read the original arguments in the Constitutional Convention and watch how much the north made fun of the south and even mocked the logic they were using. It’s quite entertaining actually.
And back to the question too, it was, was this really about representation, was it about slavery, or was it about economics? And this is a little bit true if you look at even the Civil War where many southern apologists today will say, right, it was states’ rights as the reason there was civil war, or it was really economic issues because of tariffs and things the north was doing. Well, there’s no doubt there were economic issues involved and the frustrations leading up to the Civil War. But that was not the primary issue for the reason for secession.
It’s very much true if you look back at the three-fifths compromise, there were economic realities and consequences they were dealing with. But that was another reason for the compromise. If dad, as you mentioned, if people go back and read those actual debates, they’ll realize what they’re debating is not necessarily the economic issues or not standalone economic issues.
They’re debating over the representation being used and utilized to have Congressman calm, and that’s where the slaves in the south, again, that’s the three-fifths compromise, the agreement was you can consider three-fifths or count three-fifths of that slaves in your population total. But economics were involved, it just not the underlying factor for the three-fifths compromise.
The Primary Purpose
So looking at the article, if the author of the article did say the primary purpose of the three-fifths clause was economic, then that’s really falling into a vein of thought has been highly discredited, even by liberal academics. And this is what Charles and Mary Beard did back in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, it’s called the Economic View of American History. Everything has to do with economics. There’s nothing to happen that didn’t have an economic issue to it. Well, wait a minute, pilgrims weren’t driven by economics, they were driven by religious liberty, and to look at them and try to interpret them from an economic viewpoint, that’s completely false: so true for so many others as well.
So while there is, as Tim mentioned, an economic impact that might have come from this, that was not his primary purpose, that was a downstream consequence. The primary purpose was to limit proslavery representation in Congress and thus help move the nation more toward being antislavery in its entirety.
It really punished slavery. So if you kept slavery in your state, you were going to get less representation in Congress. And I’ve heard you guys talk about Frederick Douglass wakeup call on this, that he thought that initially that it was proslavery demeaning to blacks clause, but then after he read it, and he read the debates, he said, wait a minute, this is antislavery, this is going to help us get rid of slavery.
Yeah, that’s something too, when people often look at Frederick Douglass and they use quotes from Douglas against the Constitution, dad, one of the things I’ve heard you point out, and certainly people can go and look this up is Frederick Douglass actually had several autobiographies he wrote. Obviously, autobiographies about yourself, and he wrote those at different stages in his life.
And so Frederick Douglass was a slave. He escaped slavery. He joins the abolition movement. He writes an autobiography about that journey and what’s happened. And when he joins the abolition movement, he thinks that the reason slavery exists in America is because the Constitution. So he thinks the Constitution is bad because this is the document that secured slavery
And he was actually taught that the Constitution is bad but what are called radical abolitionists, Gary Smith, and others. White people said, hey, the Constitution is got to be eliminated, the Constitution has made America bad from its very roots, you have to get rid. And so that’s what he got early on. And that’s what he was just being taught. He hadn’t had that education to know at that point.
Well, and then, right, you go to second autobiography, you can see that he actually, and his own life was challenged by someone to show them the racist parts of the Constitution, right? And Frederick Douglass is like, well, let me go read this thing. Let me go see if I can find the racist parts.
And when you read a second autobiography, this is where he says there’s not a racist thing in the entire Constitution, because if it was racist, surely they would have included this notion of slave or some derivative of that word, slave, slavery, something, and there’s no mention of slave anywhere in the Constitution.
And then his third autobiography is at the end of the Civil War. And this is when he’s actually seen what America did and the reality of the promise of America from the Declaration being ultimately fulfilled in such a fuller way that now really every American is open to being able to enjoy this notion of God-given rights of life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, etc. So, even Frederick Douglass had an interesting journey along the way.
But people like Colin Kaepernick will point to his very first autobiography, where Douglas was saying negative things about America repeating what he had heard from other people and really revealing his ignorance because he’d never read the Constitution.
And this is where we have to even be careful when some of these arguments come up about well, the three-fifths compromise, you can point to some very noted people like a Frederick Douglass, and people go, well, look, Frederick Douglass said this, so it must be bad or evil. Well, understand when Frederick Douglass wrote those things, and why his views changed over time.
If you are answering a matter that you’ve never read the document, very likely you’re going to have a wrong interpretation or assessment of that document. And that’s where Frederick Douglass was early on. But that’s why his second and third autobiography are so much different because he came to realize more of the truth of the Constitution and of America herself at the end of the Civil War.
He Changed His Biographies
And by the way, in the same way, around the 4th of July time period, you will see CRT and critics come out, and they will cite Frederick Douglass talking about what is the 4th of July to the black man? That’s his famous speech he gave before the Civil War. And it’s critical of America, it’s critical of Founding Fathers, it’s critical of where America is on issue of race.
But he changed that in his next biographies. He said we’ve gone through the Civil War, I now know what the Founding Fathers meant what they believed. I don’t believe this about the 4th of July anymore.
So even that is often brought out as a criticism of how bad America was, according to Frederick Douglass, yeah, but that’s not his final word on that. He had another change of opinion, as he saw literally what happened in the Civil War, and how the Declaration of Independence was actually used as the liberation document that motivated much of that. As Tim points out, there’s much more to the story than what we often hear. And so that’s why it’s good to go back and get original documents and see him all the way through to the end.
And in fact, folks, if you want to go on our website, wallbuilderslive.com to the archive section, back in July, we had Dean Nelson with as chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation. And he talked about that very thing and pointed out exactly what David and Tim just said. It’s a really good interview. Check that out on our website wallbuilderslive.com.
And what Tim was saying about, you know, sometimes you say things about the Constitution just out of ignorance because you haven’t studied. America has been like that for the last few decades and we’re doing what Douglas did now. We’re waking up, we’re going and studying the document, we’re studying the debates, we’re getting the original intent, and we’re curing that ignorance.
As Tom Jipping likes to say from Heritage Foundation, “ignorance is curable”. So we’re curing our own ignorance about liberty and freedom. And that’s the wake-up call in America. That’s why you need to listen to Foundations of Freedom Thursday.
We’re going to take a quick break. We want to encourage you to share today’s program with your friends and family as well to help them cure their ignorance and get some civic literacy in this country. Stay with us, we’ll be right back with more of your questions here on WallBuilders Live.
The Courageous Leaders Collection
Hi, friends, this is Tim Barton of WallBuilders. This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. And I know oftentimes we, parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.
And if you remember back to the Bible, to the book of Hebrews, it has the faith Hall of Fame where they outline the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans, we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes, not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity in our faith as well.
I want to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called The Courageous Leaders Collection. And this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers. And there’s a second collection called Heroes of History.
In this collection, you’ll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman; friends, the list goes on and on. This is a great collection for your young person to have and read and it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at www.wallbuilders.com. That’s www.wallbuilders.com.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The Constitution of most of our States and of the United States assert that all power is inherent in the people that they may exercise it by themselves. That is their right and duty to be at all times armed, that they are entitled to freedom of person; freedom of religion; freedom of property and freedom of press.”
We’re back here on Wallbuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us Foundations of Freedom Thursday today. And the next question, I don’t have a name on it. It’s an anonymous question. But here’s the question. “Hi Wallbuilders, I recently listened to your podcast when you mentioned the Confederate flag as being a racist flag moreso than being a symbol of southern heritage and southern pride.
“I’ve always seen it as a southern heritage and pride flag, and never as a racist flag. I was born in Kansas and grew up in Texas. And now my question for you is what will you do when the Liberals, the Left, the Democrats start saying that Old Glory is a racist flag, will you agree with them and start calling Old Glory racist too?
“Also, I did not understand how and when the south became overwhelmingly conservative if during the Civil War they were overwhelmingly liberal Democrats. Thanks for your response.” And by the way, “PS: Since you say the Democrats push the Confederacy secession based on solely on keeping slavery and they use this flag as their symbol, then this is something we need to communicate better because I can tell you that Southern Republicans and Conservatives are not being taught these facts.”
Let Truth Alter Your Perspective
Alright, guys, so we covered this. It’s been a couple of months, I think, when we had this discussion, and we talked about the fact that the flag itself was a particular flag in the Confederacy and used for a lot of people for pride for many years, but then it did become a symbol used by racist, and really kind of change the tone and the interpretation of the flag. And that was what we really talked about a couple months ago. What happens if people do that to the American flag?
Well, this is a great question because it really deals with what perceptions are, as opposed to what actual truth is, and truth does matter more…
Yeah. And let’s also point out that perceptions are shaped by what you understand to be true, right. And so you’re saying truth matters more. And sometime it’s just people’s perception of that. There’s a lot of ignorance. And we talked about often during our different conversations, especially with young people that when you’re in college, and you’re trying to influence your friends, alright, even for parents who are trying to help their students who have gone off to college and learn something, maybe some woke ideology.
It’s very important to understand that distinction in life when you deal with different kinds of people, that the two primary kinds of people you deal with are the ignorant or the intentional. The ignorant, just have bad information, and they don’t know what’s true. And the intentional, they don’t care what’s true. Maybe they know it’s true, but they care more about an agenda than actually being allowed to have truth sway them.
And this is where this notion that sometimes there’s their perspective versus what’s true, well, generally, the perspective that people have the south, right, the Confederate flag being the southern heritage or southern pride flag, it’s because that’s what they have learned growing up.
And most people growing up haven’t actually gone back to the Civil War era of those documents and read the original secession document from the States that seceded, right. When we hear that the Civil War was really about southern rights, and then you go read the secession documents and realize, you know, they didn’t really talk very much about southern rights, they did talk a lot about slavery.
When you read those documents, you realize that a lot of the narrative we’ve heard has been faulty or false information. And sometimes by southern apologists trying to help the south look good, or sometimes growing up in an era where what you learned growing up was Confederate flag it’s just southern pride, and you didn’t know any better, so you don’t realize this could be offensive to people who actually know the truth. This is one of the things we talk about often in the program, guys, is we care about the good, the bad, and the ugly of history. We want that whole story. We know the truth of history.
And the truth is there’s a lot of nuance in history, right? Not everybody from the north was good, and not everybody from the south was bad. There were different players in different areas, and different issues going on with lots of levels. But by and large, when you look at the political statements of the southern states in the Confederacy, this is not that complicated or confusing of the positions they were taking.
And the number one position that you see espoused over and over and those original documents in the early speeches, again, from political leaders, was the issue of slavery. It doesn’t mean everyone in the south embrace that same political ideology, just like not everybody in California agrees with Nancy Pelosi.
But this was the political ideology being espoused by the leaders of those states in the south, and by the Confederacy itself. And so this is where part of that notion of well, it’s just perspective based on truth, right, but your perspective is based on your lack of understanding of truth, or what you’ve been told to be true that is actually maybe not true.
And this is where perceptions do have impact. If you believe that, you will act on that. I mean, if you were back 1000s years ago, and believe the Earth was flat, and you acted on that, that’s not true. It’s not accurate. But you acted on that. So this is where perceptions have an effect. And we see that even today.
For example, if you look in the Democrat Party, black folks vote Democrat 93% of the time. You ask them why and it’s because Republicans voices have been racist. Well, did you know that all the southern Republican parties were started by blacks and the southern Republican parties were dominated by blacks, not whites, and Jim Crow came not from Republicans, but from Democrats?
The Myth of Racist Republicans
Well, no, I never heard that. Exactly. So you’re voting in a way that you perceive to be right because Republicans have always been racist. That’s the perception. That’s not the reality.
So this is where truth always needs to trump over what our perceptions are. And in this case, if the perception is while I was raised… Look, raised in Texas, I was raised through that era where there was a lot of civil rights stuff going on, and I was taught the rebel flag was a southern heritage flag.
And we saw it more as a 10th Amendment flag; keep the federal government off of us, don’t tread on me, leave us alone, would be the flag that’s kind of like that now. But that’s not what the documents show. And that’s where it becomes super important to go back to the document.
So the question is, what do we do if liberals start saying that the American flag is racist? We pull out the truth, just like we do with the Confederate flag. We say, no, here’s what the truth is. Now, that doesn’t mean everybody’s going to believe it or agree with or even know what the truth is. But that’s where you always have to go with truth over perception once you know what truth is. And this is why it’s so important for us to speak the truth and to be very clear about it and to have the basis for proving that is true.
As Tim mentioned, the secession documents and the writings of political leaders in the south, the Constitution, the Confederacy, all of that makes clear that this is not about southern pride or our state’s rights; this is about slavery. And that’s from the pin of those who were most actively involved in. So truth is the determining factor on something like this.
Well, in speaking of truth, our final question of the day in our final few minutes is about Tulsa, Oklahoma. We’ve heard a lot lately about the race massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I didn’t know anything about this. Just be honest, I’ve never even heard of this before. But all of a sudden this year, I’ve seen several people talk about it on different programs.
The Race Riots
“So the question is about this. “I’ve started to listen your podcast and enjoy it. Currently, there are shows about the race massacre in Tulsa. I looked at my World Book Encyclopedias under Tulsa, nothing mentioned. I also check National Geographic American history book, nothing there. Is there more to this story than its portrayal now than has been revealed? Do you have any information or have you done a podcast on this? Thank you, Reggie.”
Reggie, good question. I actually have the same question. David, Tim, what do we know about this?
Well, the Tulsa riots, interesting, Tulsa, had a black section of the city that was more prosperous than any other black section anywhere in the United States. Blacks in Tulsa did better than whites in Tulsa. What they call Black Wall Street was in Tulsa. And so it was a super prosperous community. People came from across the nation, brought their businesses there. It was a very, very prosperous community. You had racist, racist got ticked off. It appears that they trumped up something where they accused a black man of having raped a white girl, and that allows us to go in and burn you down.
And that’s what a lot of the lynching charges were in the day they would come up with something. Occasionally, those charges would be true. But many times, they were just used to incite people. So they incited people, and for three days, they went in, they burned down black businesses and burned down Black Wall Street and they killed hundreds of blacks.
And by the way, there are some crazy details where like even people with planes came in, like firebombed buildings, which is just so bizarre to think about in that era. What in the world is happening? And so you do see in these moments where there is a lot of hate, there’s a lot of evil that people were doing to other individuals, and again, trumped up on race.
And this is something that we’ve seen, even over the last couple of years where there can be very emotional movements or riots in cities where a lot of times people don’t even know what the movement is, they just see violence, they see destruction, and people in this sinful nature give into violence and destruction and do great harm to people, oftentimes, not even knowing why they’re there or what they’re doing.
And by the way, there’s people that have interviewed some of these rioters from the cities, and they have no idea why they’re there or what even the riot is about; they’re just there to do destruction. And this is again, part of the sinfulness of human nature. But there are some crazy evil things that are happening at this time, dad, as you mentioned went for several days. And then finally, there were people that have put a stop to it.
Who Helped Rebuild?
It’s interesting people that we’re helping fight to put a stop to this were white people. And at the end of this, white people actually came back to help rebuild this black community to try to build Black Wall Street as it was kind of known back then, helped build that area back up. And a lot of times again, and kind of like today we’re in critical race theory, we’re hearing about how if you’re white, you are part of the oppressors, and if you’re not white, then you were oppressed at some point in American history. And this is kind of the oversimplification and the dishonesty of critical race theory.
It’s a little bit that way too with the Tulsa massacre where people talk about how white people did really awful evil things. Well, this is kind of like saying that all white people were proslavery before the Civil War.
No, there definitely were people that were pro-slavery. There definitely are people that were doing evil things before the Civil War. But many of the leaders, in fact, some of the most vocal leaders fighting against the slavery movement before the Civil War were white people. It’s very much true.
Looking at the Tulsa massacre, there’s a lot more to the story. And I know actually, dad, there’s been some people trying to write some articles and books over the last year or two as a story’s becoming known again. I haven’t actually read into those articles or books. Or maybe somebody has a really good job out there dissecting and unfolding this, but there is more to the story is the point.
Well, the story came out first, because the Tulsa newspapers pumped it up and really promoted this and get really white people angry and they went and burned it down back in the early 1900s when this incident happened. In recent years, there’s been a journalist who’s wanted to go through and document all this. So he went through, found all the newspapers, all the stuff that dealt with it, recorded it all, and he came out with a book.
And the book just laid it out. Here’s the facts. Here’s what happened. Here’s all the good things that happened. A whole lot more whites in the city were supportive of Black Wall Street than were against it, and so they rebuilt a really, really amazingly quickly after it was burned down. And so, as the editors get his book, they put the title on it “The Tulsa Massacre”.
The Tulsa “Massacre”?
And I talked to people who went to the writer and said, wait a minute, you know, this wasn’t a massacre? I know, but they think it’ll make the book sell better. So it’s called “The Tulsa Massacre” because of the name of the book, even though the author of the book admitted it was not a massacre, but that’s what has become known as because that book came out and that’s the title they use on it.
So again, truth is the most important part here. And yes, a really bad incident happened in Tulsa, but there was also a whole lot of racial cooperation and racial reconciliation that was part of restoring the bad that happened from that event.
The Tulsa Race Riots, The 3/5ths Clause & More – On Foundations of Freedom
Yeah, even the commission I was just looking up was renamed in 2018. In 1921, it was the Race Riot Commission. It was renamed to the Race Massacre Commission. So terminology creates certain images. I mean, clearly, evil stuff happening, no doubt about it. But yeah, let’s get the whole story for sure. That’s what we do here on Foundations of Freedom Thursday at WallBuilders Live. We’ve got more of your questions, but no time for them today, so we’re going to hit them next week, be sure to tune in then. And by the way, there’s more Foundations of Freedom Thursday programs at our website wallbuilderslive.com Thanks for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.