The 1619 Project is an ongoing project developed by The New York Times Magazine in 2019 with the goal of re-examining the legacy of slavery in the United States and timed for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia. (Wikipedia) The 1619 Project is dangerous commentary masquerading as history curriculum.
“The purpose of this historian-free history of America was to refocus the American story by centering it on slavery. The idea was that 1619, the year the first chattel slaves arrived is the date of America’s founding, not the traditional 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
This re-dating of the founding of the United States only makes sense if we accept an ahistorical claim that slavery was a major reason colonists split with England. That is exactly why Hannah-Jones (the author) made the claim.” (The Federalist)
The creator of the 1619 Project just won a Pulitzer Prize. It doesn’t matter that the curriculum is based on lies; the 1619 Project is already being taught in 4500+ schools across US. This prize will likely only increase that number. A project shown by historians, some even Marxists, to be riddled with errors and untruths written by political activists.
1619 and 2020
Today, in 2020, we’re seeing how important it is to know history, to understand it, and to avoid repeating it. There are many parallels between the American colonists and the Americans of 2020 during COVID-19.
As I watch Americans being told by their governors, judges, and mayors that they may not operate their businesses because they don’t fit in the approved categories, I’m reminded of the ways the British crown imposed similar measures on the colonies.
One of these was the fact that Americans were forced to house and feed British soldiers in their own homes. It’s remembered in the Declaration of Independence (“FOR QUARTERING LARGE BODIES OF ARMED TROOPS AMONG US”) as well as the Constitution. By proclamation of the King, colonists were required to provide housing for British soldiers. The colonist’s wives washed the soldier’s clothes. Unspeakable abuses of individual citizens accompanied this “quartering.” The 3rd Amendment to the Constitution would prevent this kind of abuse of freedom.
Similarly, after the Boston Tea Party, the King was so angry that he intended to punish the citizens of Boston by closing their port. His purpose was to deprive the Massachusetts colony of much needed trade from around the world. Again, it’s right there in the long list of offenses that set off the American Revolution: “FOR CUTTING OFF OUR TRADE WITH ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD.”
Why do I bring this up? What does this have to do with the 1619 Project?
Because we are far less likely to allow history to repeat when we know what actually happened. Ask yourself, ask your kids: did you know about or remember the Quartering Act? Did you know the long list of atrocities on the part of the King of England? Did you know that the Bill of Rights is explicitly connected to the draconian laws made by the King?
If you’re a business owner in America right now, and you’ve been told that you cannot open your doors, you probably understand why American colonists dumped a shipload of tea into Boston Harbor. You can relate to the words in the Declaration of Independence. You might more clearly envision that first militia. Knowing that they could lose their reputations, their property, and even their lives, they formed ragged bands of volunteer soldiers dressed only in their homespun farm clothing, and carrying only what weapons they already owned, and proceeded to buck the tyranny of the Crown.
Even as they penned the Declaration of Independence, they knew the extent of the cost: “And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”
Opinion and commentary in the history curriculum
But if American school kids are taught that the founding of America was begun the day the first African slave reached these shores, what then? What do they learn from that? They are given a history that leaves them ashamed, angry, and even hopeless. They believe that our founders were stupid, selfish, and white, and that’s it. They are taught to see everything through the false lenses of critical theory and intersectionality.
These are terms that we may not hear or understand, but their ideas are permeating the culture, education, and even the church. This is why we need to care.
“This has been allowed to happen because we live in a culture where feelings are the truth and feeling bad is virtuous.” –Summer Jaeger
Revisionist history is a staple in American education. But the 1619 project isn’t even that. It’s opinion. It’s commentary. But it’s still in schools.
We pay for this trash with our tax dollars and we send our kids to learn this trash because of “qualification” or socialization or football or whatever.
I feel certain, if our founders could see us now, they would be watching with baited breath to see if we will accept tyranny in small increments, or if we will remember their words, their actions, and the rights they fought so hard to protect.
I hope American parents will also see the dire need for unbiased history education for their own children. It is not only unnecessary to allow the public education system to fill the minds of children with such blatant lies, it’s unwise and un-American.
I highly recommend Mary Grabar’s latests book, Debunking the 1619 Project. Her work is excellent.
Also read my Knowledge Keepers Bookstore blog post Slavery and the Founding Fathers.