By Marc Kelley
Syndicated by: Montana News
To understand the significance of the 1619 Project, one must delve into its origin. In 2015, a young African American woman named, Nikole Hannah-Jones, began work on what she called her "1619 Project." Following the 2016 election of Donald Trump, The New York Times, hired Ms. Jones and tasked her with creating a project worthy of publication by the "Grey Lady" herself. The basis of the 1619 Project is, in the year 1619, the first slaves were brought to the British Colonies located in North America. It is from this point forward, the project contends, slavery has shaped every aspect of American culture. The 1619 Project was in fact published by the New York Times in August of 2019, and was timed for publication coinciding with Ms. Jones contention, this date represented the beginning of a 400 year history of slavery and the oppression of Black individuals. Ms. Jones further contends without the oppression of Blacks, the US would have long ago failed in the experiment the Founding Fathers called, a "democratic republic.
As the US economy, soared and Donald Trump continued to pound away at the Socialists and Marxist, for their dystopian view called, "The Green New Deal", panic once again began to overtake the Democrat Party. Despite their numerous attempts to take Donald Trump down, the 45th President of the United States, remained not only in office, but more popular than at any other time in his presidency. Even though, the Democrats had attempted to paint Donald Trump as a racist, the fact of the matter is, African Americans are benefitting from his policies, and support for the President in Black communities, is clearly on the rise.
The New York Times, never a friend to President Trump, made the decision to move forward with the publication of the 1619 Project, not as the editorial or op-ed piece as it was intended, but rather, the concept would be elevated to full blown advertising blitz, including publication in multiple magazines owned by the Times; as well as, the development of an educational curriculum, designed in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center. As a condition for participation in this project, any writers or contributors, would be required to be of African American decent, and only the perspective of Black writers, would be included in telling the story of 1619. The first edition of the 1619 Project was published August 14, 2019 and included 100 pages, featuring 10 written essays, a photo essay, and a collection of poems and fictional work, written by sixteen contributing writers. For her work on the project, Ms. Jones won a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism.
Immediately following the Times publication of the 1619 Project, the work was praised by academia as "a dramatic and necessary corrective, to the fundamental lie of the American origin story." On the other side of the coin you will find historians and journalists alike, willing to endure the attacks from the left wing extremists for daring to speak out on the falsehoods and inaccurate depiction's, contained within the 1619 narrative. Once again to understand how such a stark contrast can exist, we must consider the basis for Ms. Jones work. If we accept the year 1619, as Ms. Jones posits, as the beginning of slavery in the US, can we then make the leap to the idea, the American Revolution was fought, not for independence from British rule; but rather, "to protect the institution of slavery?" For those of us who have studied American History, the answer is a resounding, NO.
As word of the inaccuracies and fictitious portrayals contained within the 1619 Project came to light, five leading American Scholars: Sean Willentz, Professor of the American Revolutionary Era, at Princeton University, James McPherson, American Civil War Historian at Princeton University, Gordon Wood, American Historian and Professor at Brown University, Victoria Bynum, Professor Emeritus of History at Texas State University, and author of the book "The Free State of Jones: Mississippi's Longest Civil War", and James Oakes, American historian and Professor of History at, City University of New York all sent a letter to the New York Times, objecting to the inaccuracies in" matters of verifiable fact", contained within the 1619 Project. In response to the the letter the New York Times editor in chief, Jake Silverstein chose to publish the letter, along with the names of its authors; yet, no correction to the 1619 Projects, was issued.
Possessing close ties to both the Democrat Party and the Black Lives Matter founders, the 1619 Project, has now generated wide spread attention thru promotion, by the multi-billion dollar, Canadian entertainment company known as, Lionsgate. Here at home, it is the Democrats, and their iron grip on the teachers unions: the National Educational Association and the American Federation of Teachers, which are carrying water for the project. Schools in Chicago, Washington D.C, Buffalo and New York have made sweeping changes to the history curriculums, downplaying the concept of American exceptionalism, to teach what they call "more accuracy in classroom textbooks."
The problem for the New York Times and the 1619 Project, only comes into focus, as one begins to study many of the contentions, claimed as facts, by the projects author. Historians and academics on both side of the political aisle, have spoken out claiming the project not only mis-represents history, but in many cases, includes information which is disputed by historical records. It is time America wakes up to the idea, our public schools system has failed our children. We spend more money per child on educating our children, than any other country on earth, yet our test scores and graduation rates, are not even close competition when compared with other developed nations around the world.
As many parents hope and pray, they will be able to send their children back to school in the fall, they are met with the resistance of the teachers unions. Threats of a nationwide strike, cries for even more funding, and claims "now is not the time for schools to reopen." On one hand we are being told we must follow the science, if we are to safely reopen our schools. Yet at the same time, when science tells us: the mortality rate for children is extremely low, children rarely transmit COVID-19, and more children will die from seasonal flu than from COVID-19, these studies are dismissed as "conspiracy theories." For months now, the true hero's of the COVID-19 crisis, have worked day in and day out, transporting food from the producers, to be distributed by warehouse workers and ultimately delivered to the consumer. This was possible because our nation recognized, our food supply was "essential to the survival of our people." Failing to recognize our children's needs for education and socialization as "essential", is a crime against humanity. Failing to address the economic impact, felt most harshly by families of color, of not allowing our children to return to school, is on its face, a racist act.
Now in contrast, we find private schools, charter schools, and magnet schools, from all across our country, have all put forth plans to reopen their doors, welcoming our children back into the classroom and continuing to educate our children. Applications for entrance into these schools are at record levels, begging the question, has American reached its limit for the liberal indoctrination so prevalent in our schools today? Make no mistake, for those who hate our country, embracing Saul Alinsky's concept of using the education system to bring about radical social change, has long been part of their agenda; and the 1619 Project, is simply the latest Marxist ploy, to sow hate and division in our country. Now, more than ever before, it is important to teach the lessons of history to our children. The books referenced in this essay will provide you with a wide range of perspectives and interpretations, of US Historical events. The movie ,"The Free State of Jones", provides an outstanding look into the history of slavery and the war we fought to overcome its cruelty. While the movie is not appropriate for young children, your research is encouraged, to see for yourself, if it appropriate for your children. It has been said many times of late, we need to have an uncomfortable conversation surrounding "racial justice", and these tools, will indeed help you and your children, have a conversation about the experiment called… America?