The “1619 Project:” What the hell is it, and why the hell is it?

In a nutshell, the “1619 Project” is just more racially divisive, liberal propaganda…, but let’s dissect this “project” a bit more.

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This “1619 Project” may be something new for many of us, or something you may have heard about, but aren’t really sure what it is.  Or, you may think you know exactly what it is.

In any case, here’s what the 1619 Project is.

The 1619 Project is an ongoing project, developed by The New York Times Magazine in 2019 [Warning! Warning! Danger Will Robinson!], with the goal of “reframing American history” around slavery and the contributions of African Americans.

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Can we not properly reflect back about slavery, and highlight the contributions made to our country by African Americans, without “reframing American history?”

The answer, of course, is “yes…,” but not if you’re going to use these topics to push an anti-American agenda, and hopefully create racial divisiveness.

The project was timed for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in the Virginia colony in 1619, and suggests that this date represents the “nation’s birth year,” not 1776.

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I cannot see how this could be the case…, in any case!

There was no “nation” present at the time to even be born.

Nor was there even any idea of an independent nation being conceived.

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The 1619 Project is an interactive project [not really] directed by Nikole Hannah-Jones, a reporter for The New York Times, with contributions by the newspaper’s writers, including essays on the history of different aspects of contemporary American life which the authors believe have “roots in slavery and its aftermath.”

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Hannah-Jones, who is supposedly an “investigative journalist,” has written about topics such as racial segregation, desegregation and re-segregation in American schools, and housing discrimination, civil rights, and social justice and injustice, and has spoken about these issues on national public radio broadcasts (NPR).

I would call her more of an opinion writer, or an historical fiction writer.

We know that some people see EVERYTHING through racial goggles.

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“The project” also includes poems, short fiction, and a photo essay. Originally conceived as a special issue of The New York Times magazine, for August 20, 2019, it was soon turned into a full-fledged “project,” including a special broadsheet section in the newspaper, live events, and a multi-episode podcast series.

The term “project” seems like it is being used as a cover word for what is an “indoctrination curriculum” and a propaganda vehicle.

The fact is, African Americans would like us all to think they make up about half of America’s population.

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But that simply is not the case.

In 1860, those of African descent accounted for about 14 percent of the population.  In 2020 they comprise about 13½ percent of the population.  Yet they would like their influence and representativeness to look more like 50 percent.

Joseph Carroll for the Gallup News Service reports that, “The latest U.S. Census findings on the increasing diversity of America have received considerable attention this year. Americans seem to realize that the United States is a diverse nation, but recent polling suggests the public thinks the nation is more diverse than it actually is. Americans generally overestimate, to a significant degree, the percentage of the U.S. population that is either Black or Hispanic.”

“Perhaps because lower-income and non-white Americans are more likely to come into contact with blacks and Hispanics, these subgroups are most likely to overestimate the U.S. black and Hispanic populations. The average non-white estimates that 40% of the U.S. population is black and 35% of the population is Hispanic. Americans earning less than $20,000 estimate the black percentage of the U.S. population to be 42%, and the Hispanic percentage to comprise 37%.”

Anyway…, getting back to “the project…”

“The project” has sparked criticism and debate among prominent historians and political commentators, however. In a letter published in The New York Times in December 2019, historians Gordon S. Wood, James M. McPherson, Sean Wilentz, Victoria Bynum and James Oakes expressed “strong reservations” about “the project” and requested factual corrections, accusing “the project” of putting ideology before historical understanding.

Really?!

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Imagine that!

Followers of MrEricksonRules already know that far be it for any liberal to let those nagging facts get in the way of their prescribed narrative!

In response, Jake Silverstein, the editor of The New York Times Magazine, defended the accuracy of the 1619 Project and declined to issue corrections.

What’d I tell you?!

Jake Silverstein probably still thinks “Russian collusion” is a factual thing!

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In March 2020, historian Leslie M. Harris, who served as a fact-checker for the 1619 Project, wrote that the authors had ignored her corrections, and was told that “the project” was a “needed corrective” to prevailing historical narratives.

Like I said, facts be damned!  The end justifies the means!

“Project” creator Nikole Hannah-Jones was awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary on the 1619 Project.

Oh…, of course she was!

Does winning a Pulitzer prize actually mean anything anymore?

Pulitzer prizes are now solely handed out to liberal propagandists as a reward for being good “useful idiots!”

“The project” addresses “the beginning of American slavery.” which it places in 1619.  It was launched in August 2019 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in the English colonies and its legacy. The first enslaved Africans in the English colonies of mainland North America arrived in August 1619. A ship carrying 20–30 people who had been enslaved by a joint African-Portuguese war on Ndongo in modern Angola, landed at Point Comfort in the colony of Virginia.

“The project” was based on a proposal by Hannah-Jones to dedicate an issue of the magazine to a re-examination of the legacy of slavery in America, at the anniversary of the arrival of the first slaves to Virginia.

Please note, the truth is, these 20-30 slaves were brought here to be pedaled, THEY WERE NOT REQUESTED TO BE SENT HERE.

Michael Guasco for SMITHSONIANMAG.COM says, “As historian John Thornton has shown us, the African men and women who appeared almost as if by chance in Virginia in 1619 were there because of a chain of events involving Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands and England. Virginia was part of the story, but it was a mere blip on the radar screen.”

The plan of “the project” was to challenge the notion that the history of the United States began in 1776.

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1776 is celebrated in the United States as the official beginning of the nation, with the Declaration of Independence issued on July 4, even though we did not officially declare nationhood with this act.

It wasn’t until 1783 that the colonies defeated the British to gain their independence.

And it wasn’t until 1789 that The Constitution was adopted, and George Washington became our first president.

The initial “project” quickly grew into an even larger project. “The project” encompasses multiple issues of the magazine, with related materials in multiple other publications of the Times as well as a project curriculum developed in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center, for use in schools.

So, we’re going to be teaching this stuff in schools, even though, as stated before, “In March 2020, historian Leslie M. Harris, who served as a fact-checker for the 1619 Project, wrote that the authors had ignored her corrections, but that ‘the project’ was a ‘needed corrective’ to prevailing historical narratives,” and that “the project” was accused of “putting ideology before historical understanding.”

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The project employed a panel of historians and had support from the Smithsonian, for fact-checking, research and development. The project was envisioned with the condition that almost all of the contributions would be from African-American contributors, deeming the perspective of black writers an essential element of the story to be told.

Of course…, even though none of these contributors were actual slaves, nor were their parents…, but they were “an essential element of ‘the story’ to be told.

And, oh, what a “story” it was.

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting has made available free online lesson plans, is collecting further lesson plans from teachers, and helps arrange for speakers to visit classes. The Center considers most of the lessons usable by all grades from elementary school through college.

Wow…, this is really a full-blown indoctrination pity party, designed to make white people feel as guilty as possible, and black people to feel as victimized and as important as possible.

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According to Vox [an internet news site], as of August 19, 2019, the project, harshly criticized by some conservatives, had “largely earned praise from academics, journalists and politicians alike.”

Ahhh, the three liberal amigos! Always ready to worship at the altar of racism and social injustice.

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The positive reviews include the analysis by Alexandria Neason for the Columbia Journalism Review, and the review by Ellen McGirt, published in Fortune magazine which declared the project “wide-reaching and collaborative, unflinching, and insightful” and a “dramatic and necessary corrective to the fundamental lie of the American origin story.”

I guess that would depend on what “American origin story” you’re referring to.

Timothy Sandefur who deemed “the project’s” goal worthy, but observed that the articles persistently went wrong trying to connect everything with slavery. Phillip W. Magness who wrote that “the Project” provided a distorted economic history borrowed from “bad scholarship” of the New History of Capitalism (NHC), and Rich Lowry who wrote there was much truth and much to learn from in Hannah-Jones’ lead essay but it left out unwelcome facts about slavery, smeared the revolution, distorted The Constitution and misrepresented the founding era and Lincoln.

Is that all?

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The World Socialist Web Site criticized what its editors consider the Times’ reactionary, politically motivated “falsification of history” that wrongly centers around racial rather than class conflict, and published a series of interviews with prominent historians critical of the project.

Marxist political scientist Adolph Reed dismissed the 1619 Project as “the appropriation of the past in support of whatever kind of ‘just-so’ stories about the present are desired.”

Let’s be clear…, the socialists and Marxists like using African Americans when it’s convenient, but they definitely have their own agendas.

In February 2020, a rival project called the 1776 Project, published with the support of The Washington Examiner, was launched by a number of African American academics who dispute the narrative of the 1619 Project.

Hmmm…, well isn’t that interesting?

I’m sure they were quickly shuffled off to a corner of some unimportant library somewhere.

In December 2019, five leading American historians, Sean Wilentz, James McPherson, Gordon Wood, Victoria Bynum and James Oakes, sent a letter to the Times expressing objections to the framing of the project and accusing the authors of a “displacement of historical understanding by ideology.” The letter disputed the claim, made in the Hannah-Jones’ introductory essay to the 1619 Project, that “one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery.” The Times published the letter along with a rebuttal from the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Jake Silverstein. Wood responded in a letter by saying, “I don’t know of any colonist who said that they wanted independence in order to preserve their slaves.  No colonist expressed alarm that the mother country was out to abolish slavery in 1776.” In an article in The Atlantic, Wilentz responded to Silverstein, writing, “No effort to educate the public in order to advance social justice can afford to dispense with a respect for basic facts.” and disputing the factual accuracy of Silverstein’s defense of the project.

The publication of the project received varied reactions from political figures.

And these reactions were split along party lines, as you would expect.

Democratic Senator Kamala Harris praised the project, in a tweet, stating “The #1619Project is a powerful and necessary reckoning of our history. We cannot understand and address the problems of today without speaking truth about how we got here.”

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Several high-profile conservatives criticized the project. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich criticized the project as “brainwashing” and “propaganda,” in a tweet, and later wrote an op-ed characterizing it as “left-wing propaganda masquerading as the truth.” Republican Senator Ted Cruz also equated it with propaganda.

In July 2020, Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas proposed the “Saving American History Act of 2020.” prohibiting K-12 schools from using federal funds to teach curriculum related to the 1619 project, and make schools that did ineligible for federal professional-development grants. Cotton added that “The 1619 Project is a racially divisive and revisionist account of history that threatens the integrity of the Union by denying the true principles on which it was founded.”

But wait, there’s more.

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According to Desi Gomez of the Los Angeles Times, “The ‘1619 Project,’ the New York Times’ award-winning multimedia series that examines slavery’s lingering effects on contemporary life, is about to go widescreen with the help of Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate.”

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“Creator Nikole Hannah-Jones, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the New York Times Magazine, and the NYT will work with Winfrey and Lionsgate to adapt “The 1619 Project” into a set of feature films and television shows.”

“Hannah-Jones and Winfrey will produce all adapted content alongside Caitlin Roper, an editor of ‘The 1619 Project’ and head of scripted entertainment at the New York Times.”

“Winfrey expressed her honor to be involved in the adaptation in a tweet, recalling that she ‘stood in tearful applause for the profound offering that [the project] was giving our culture and nation.’”

“A timeline for its adaptation has not yet been revealed.”

I can’t wait.

Please remember, while whites in this country are berated on a daily basis by angry African Americans, that 360,222 men died, from the North, in the Civil War, to free the slaves and end slavery in America.

I wonder if that will make it into “The 1619 Project” movie anywhere?

 

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