History

History: 1776 vs. 1619

There's now an alternative to the New York Times's revisionist, race-baiting project.

Lewis Morris · Feb. 18, 2020

A wide-ranging group of writers from ideologically diverse backgrounds has come together to challenge leftist assertions in the New York Times’s 1619 Project that the United States was built on slavery. In response, the educational series 1776 was recently launched by the Woodson Center under the guidance of longtime activist and scholar Robert Woodson.

The Woodson Center was founded in 1981 to raise awareness and funding for neighborhoods seeking to solve critical community problems through innovative initiatives. Robert Woodson began 1776 as a direct response to the misguided and harmful history put forth by the Times.

Woodson described the 1619 Project as a “lethal” narrative that perpetuates a culture of victimhood in the African American community by claiming that life for blacks in America has been predetermined by slavery and Jim Crow.

“This garbage that is coming down from the scholars and writers from 1619 is most hypocritical because they don’t live in communities [that are] suffering,” said Woodson. “They are advocating something they don’t have to pay the penalty for.”

Glenn Loury, economics professor at Brown University and 1776 contributor, added, “The idea that the specter of slavery still determines the character of life among African Americans is an affront to me. I believe in America, and I believe in black people. Something tells me … the 1619 Project authors don’t. They don’t believe in America … and I’m sorry to have to report, I get the impression they don’t believe in black people.”

Since its launch last year, the 1619 Project has been widely criticized by numerous academics and journalists. It pushes glaring historical inaccuracies through a leftist-driven narrative about slavery in America and the supposed lack of progress of black people since 1865.

Despite the criticism The New York Times has faced, the rag continues to push the 1619 Project, which, unfortunately, has been embraced countrywide by thousands of schools. When Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson called upon the Times to issue a correction regarding its claim that the Revolutionary War was fought to maintain slavery, New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein refused. He responded, “Historical understanding is not fixed; it is constantly being adjusted by new scholarship and new voices.” Spoken like a true leftist.

By comparison, the 1776 initiative seeks to tell a more balanced story about African American history. Contributors include academics, journalists, and activists across the political spectrum. Among the topics addressed in several essays are the moral meaning of America; what the new morality of “stain” and “purity” seeks to accomplish; Black America’s algorithm for entrepreneurship and success; critical race theory’s toxic impact on America; acknowledging slavery’s limits in defining America; and several others.

These essays, according to Woodson, “counter the false history that the 1619 Project espouses and has disseminated as a school curriculum. Our focus will be to identify and highlight solutions, models of success in reviving our streets and communities, and actionable goals that should be pursued.”

1776 will not refute every ugly anti-American lie that the 1619 Project has perpetuated. That would take too long. Instead, 1776 offers an inspirational alternative that encourages people about the history of the greatest country on earth.

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