A Louisiana state Democrat doesn’t want schoolchildren to get anywhere near the Declaration of Independence because it’s racist and unfair. State Rep. Barbara Norton opposes a new bill that would mandate schoolchildren in grades four, five and six to recite a portion of the historic document in the first class of each day. HB 1035 was presented by Republican state Rep. Valarie Hodges and did very well early on, sailing through the House Education Committee. But now the bill has stalled and is possibly dead. The bill would have required students between the fourth and sixth grades to recite the passage: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…  Somehow it was considered controversial with some black members saying it would be better for students to recite portions of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech.” One, Rep. Ed Price (D), wrote an amendment to the bill for students to do so. He said, “We fought a long way to get where we are today and I think Dr. King’s speech really personifies what has happened.” But nothing compares to the assault on the Declaration of Independence made by Norton when she addressed Hodges on the state House floor last week.  The Democrat rambled for about two minutes about African-Americans being enslaved when the document was created and lamented the fact that Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t yet born in 1776.  This is what she said:
I’m not really sure what your intent is, but one thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the 4th, African-Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children would recite the Declaration, I think it’s a little bit unfair to us, to ask those children to recite something that’s not the truth.
Hodges responded in disbelief, “You don’t think that all men are created equal? You think that’s not true?” Norton continued, with little assurance that she’s actually read the document:
Let me finish… and for you to ask our children to repeat the Declaration stating that all mens [sic] are free, I think that’s unfair. In 1776, Dr. King was not even born. African-Americans were in slavery, so since they were in slavery, in the Declaration of Independence say [sic], we were all treated eq — we were all created equal. We were not created equal because in 1776, July the 4th, I, nor you, nor any of us were born, nor was Dr. King born, so, we were in slavery. And to have our children to repeat, to repeat again and again documents that was not even validated [sic], I don’t think that that’s fair because we’re teaching them a lie.
Hodges responded on Facebook, saying of her fellow members, “It is disturbing to see the lack of understanding of the founding of this country and patriotism.”  Although Hodges backed down and shelved the bill, she told KTAL-TV: ‘They really just don’t get it and to me I really feel that it’s as important as math and English and conjugating verbs.’ She also expressed her shock ‘at the hatred that was expressed at the forefathers and this document’ during the debate.  She then added a reminder to something Dr. King said during his most famous speech:
When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 
Apparently, Norton doesn’t know King’s words as much as she’d like to think. Moreover, Norton definitely needs to brush up on her history. When the Declaration of Independence was written, no one in the American colonies was free, including the Caucasians. They were all under the tyrannical rule of King George. That was the whole point of the document. There’s nothing inherently racist about the Declaration of Independence. It doesn’t include any language that says white people shall be free and blacks enslaved. It’s a big middle finger to England, letting them know we are starting our own country.  Using Norton’s logic, The US Constitution was written when black people were not free, so therefore it too is racist. The freedom of speech and religion should be ignored because they are racist. Even the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, was written when blacks were not free. That’s why it was written. Does Norton believe that to be racist as well? Predictably, the bill that would have required Louisiana students to recite the Declaration of Independence was shelved before it could face a vote. You know how things work: if one irrational person has a complaint about something, it has to go. 
The fact that a bill could likely be dead that would give America’s children a chance to recite the rights afforded to them by our Founding Fathers is a disgrace.  “It is outrageous that our ELECTED OFFICIALS are unable to discern the difference between a statement of TRUTH…. and past behavior!!!” reads a blog post at the Greater New Orleans Tea Party about the controversy over the Declaration of Independence. “Guess Norton and Smith object to teaching our kids that the earth is round because, in the past, many ignored this truth and acted upon the erroneous belief that the world was flat!!!”  
On “Fox and Friends Weekend,” Deneen Borelli slammed Norton’s “outrageous” argument, explaining the founding documents of the United States of America are the blueprint for our great country. “For her to be attacking the Declaration of Independence, that is attacking liberty, that is attacking freedom,” Borelli said. She added that the Democratic Party, of which Norton is a member, doesn’t exactly have the strongest record on slavery and race relations throughout U.S. history. “People should not let her get away with this.”    Terresa Monroe-Hamilton at Right Wing News agrees:
Norton should be removed from office over such statements. They incite unrest and she is obviously a racist. How anyone can bluntly state that the Declaration of Independence is racist is beyond absurd. These are the same people who hate and disparage the Founding Fathers of this nation. They hated Reagan as well. In essence, they hate anything that is good, sane or free. Dr. King called the words of the Declaration of Independence “magnificent” and quoted them in his “Dream” speech. I wonder if this bozo even knows that. It wouldn’t matter… they twist words and history to fit their current political meme. 
Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, miffed by the statement, asked if Norton’s argument was “a little decadent to attack the founding documents of the country that made your job and all this possible?” “I bet you my car [Norton] can’t recite two lines from the Declaration of Independence,” quipped Carlson. Sounds like a safe bet.