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History

Historians Rebuke '1619 Project'

But the New York Times's revisionist history is being used in American classrooms.

Lewis Morris · Dec. 3, 2019

Leftists have long relied on misinformation and propaganda to advance their agenda. They use outright lies and the rewriting of history to sway the young and impressionable to their cause because the facts are just not on their side.

True to form, earlier this year The New York Times, one of the Left’s most influential propaganda organs, gave us the 1619 Project, which seeks to “reframe” the year 1619 as the “true” founding of America in an attempt to cast America as fundamentally racist to its core.

What do leftists find so special about the year 1619? According to the Times, that’s when slavery was introduced in the New World. Fake news! Once again, leftists get it wrong. Some Native American tribes practiced slavery for centuries before that, and the Spanish enslaved Native Americans a hundred years earlier. But this isn’t about slavery itself. This is about making the claim that America was founded not for the cause of Liberty but to establish a slave-ocracy.

The project leans hard into identity politics at the core of the Democrat Party and the Left in general. Leftists often claim that every institution in modern America is inherently racist, from our schools to our economy, even the roads on which we drive. With the 1619 Project, the revisionists now equate these supposedly racist institutions with the slavery of America’s past so that they can say we haven’t changed, and nothing short of a “fundamental transformation of the United States” will save us. In other words, vote Democrat. (Just forget while you do that Democrats were the party of slavery and lynching.)

The 1619 project is a broadside attack on American history and how it is taught. Don’t be complacent about the reach of the New York Times just because its readership consists primarily of people who already believe the muck that it prints every day. Much of America’s print news media still takes its cues from the Times, reprinting its articles and often using the Times itself as a source for reporting. Worse, public schools across the country are encouraged to insert the 1619 Project into their already feeble American history curriculums. There are also regular features in the Sunday Times magazine, a website, a podcast, and other assorted 1619 propaganda.

Fortunately, many of America’s preeminent history scholars have spoken out against the 1619 Project for lacking context and being factually incorrect. Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Brown University professor Gordon Wood points out, “Slavery existed for thousands of years without substantial criticism. And the first real anti-slave movement takes place in North America. And it’s a massive movement that is unprecedented in the history of the world.”

Fellow Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson, who has written extensively about the Civil War, said, “I think it lacks context. [It] lacks perspective on the entire course of slavery and how slavery began and how slavery in the United States was hardly unique.”

Award-winning writer James Oakes also criticized the 1619 Project. “These are really dangerous tropes. They’re not only ahistorical, they’re actually anti-historical.”

None of these historians were consulted for the 1619 Project, and Wood notes that he is unaware of any of his colleagues who were approached. That is because the 1619 Project is not a work of history, it is a political propaganda constructed by journalists and leftist opinion writers. The real goal of the 1619 project is nothing short of rewriting American history to tear down our institutions and convince young people to hate this country.

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