The peculiar odyssey of the New York Times’ “1619 Project” has gotten more peculiar still.

Just over a year ago, in a 100-page special edition, the New York Times Magazine rolled out the “Project,” announcing that it “aims to reframe the country’s history” by replacing 1776 — you know, the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, and “all men are created equal” — with the year 1619 “as our true founding.”

In case the year 1619 did not automatically ring liberty bells in people’s minds, the project’s director, Nikole Hannah-Jones, explained that 1619 was the year that 20 Africans were deposited by an English ship at the English colony of Virginia and sold into slavery. And that, argued New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein, was the real founding of America, because “no aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed.”

The journalists asserted that slavery and “the anti-black racism it required” shaped “nearly everything” in American life, from its economy to its slang to “the endemic racial fears and hatreds that continue to plague it to this day.”

The response was incredulity. Two groups of American historians, one headed by myself and another by my Princeton colleague Sean Wilentz, wrote Silverstein noting a series of errors and overreach. For instance: Hannah-Jones’s lead essay claimed that the American Revolution had been launched to defend slavery from British interference. Another Project essay, by sociologist Matthew Desmond, insisted that American capitalism was modeled on slave plantations, despite testimony from plantation owners about their loathing of capitalism as a threat to a slave economy.

The historians’ protests were waved-away. But as the Times rolled forward with plans to repackage “The 1619 Project” as a history curriculum for K-12 schools, investigative journalists such as Cathy Young, John Murawski and Philip Magness began poking still more holes in the Project’s claims.

One historian whom Hannah-Jones actually had consulted for the Project revealed that she had counseled against making the claim that the American Revolution had been designed to defend slavery, only to be shunted aside.

This forced the New York Times issued a grudging “update” in March.

In May, according to inside sources, the Times pressed hard for the Pulitzer Prize Board to award the Project one of its annual prizes. But the board would only grant a Pulitzer to Hannah-Jones for her lead essay, and only for “commentary.” Even that, wrote Peter Wood, the president of the National Association of Scholars, was little more than “a power play in which, at great expense in both money and reputation, The New York Times has attempted to intensify racial resentment and accelerate identity politics.”

The cracks in the “Project’s” facade have now widened sufficiently that the New York Times has begun quietly ‘disappearing’ some of its most outlandish assertions. As Philip Magness reported recently in Quillette, theTimes has noiselessly erased the “Project’s” landing page claim about the year 1619 being “our true founding.” It has also altered the text of the “Project’s” introduction to eliminate the provocative claim that in 1619 “America was not yet America, but this was the moment it began.”

Rather than touting how the “Project” “aims to reframe the country’s history,” Hannah-Jones is now protesting efforts by the federal government to “indoctrinate students” into what she criticized as a “patriotic” reading of history in the classroom.

Skepticism about “The 1619 Project” abounded from the first. Columbia University linguistics professor John McWhorter warned that the “Project” was really “an almost uncanny embodiment” of the “social justice warrior ideology” — the “Great Awokening,” as Matthew Yglesias has called it — rather than a serious effort at historical revisioning. It licensed what McWhorter called “a fantastical way of thinking” about American history and the American founding.

The pity of this is that it’s all-too-true that American history textbooks have, for over a century, sanitized, downplayed or even eliminated black America’s claim to be American. In his study of 3,000 American history textbooks, Donald Yacovone discovered in 2018 that “The assumptions of white priority, white domination, and white importance underlie every chapter and every theme of the thousands of textbooks that blanketed the country.”

But we will not rectify one set of historical errors by manufacturing another. In history, at least, two wrongs never make a right, and that is the lesson which it appears is only now slowly dawning on the New York Times and “The 1619 Project.”

Allen C. Guelzo, Director of the James Madison Program’s Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship at Princeton University, is a Visiting Scholar with The Heritage Foundation’s B.K. Simon Center for American Studies.

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(20) comments

BigBob

Love this -

And now the truth comes out, trump’s income tax records have been exposed and we find he doesn’t pay anything as a rule, when he does it’s a whopping $750. I pay three times that amount on my paltry income. As usual the con-man called the report “fake news” while proving no specifics while the report is fake. He also said the information about his taxes “will all be revealed.” He’s told that lie so many times no one even hears it anymore. And if it is “fake news” all he needs to do is immediately release his taxes and let the American people determine the validity of his lie.

What is most fascinating is that in his first two years as the non-elected president of our once great nation he made $73 million from foreign sources and paid India over $145,000 and nearly $157,000 to the Philippines while paying only $750 to the IRS.

Now as a reminder let’s go back and see where trumps BS about income taxes began –

Trump was the one who made tax returns an issue in 2012 when he said Romney should not be allowed to run if he did not show his tax returns. Trump, when asked, said he would "certainly" release his returns if he were to run. Then he claimed he could not because of an "audit" - a lie. Then he said he would show them "later", then it was he would show them "after the election." So, tell us why he will not release his tax returns? What is Trump hiding from the American people?

Quotes -

“Maybe I’m going to do the tax returns when Obama does his birth certificate” April 2011

“If I decide to run for office, I’ll probably produce my tax returns, absolutely, and I would love to do that.” May 2014

“I have no objections to certainly showing my tax returns.” February 2015

“I’m being audited now for two or three years, so I can’t do it until the audit is finished” (a total lie) February 2016

“We’ll be releasing that...You know they’re going to be surprised how little I pay. I fight like hell not to pay a lot tax.” February 2016

“Hopefully, before the election, I’ll release. And I‘d like to release. By the way, you learn very little from a tax return.” May 2016

“The only that cares about my tax returns are the reporters.” (Another lie) January 2017

“Oh at some point, I’ll release them. Maybe I’ll release them after I’m finished because I’m very proud of them, actually, I did a good job.” May 2017

simon1dog

Just back from the "Wagon Wheel" restaurant. Most everyone in Needles is voting Trump / Pence.

BigBob

No, they are not. Why do post this trash. It must be the result of going to Needles and buying happy weed.

BigBob

Hmm, so my biggest fan is concerned about “snitch lines?” Check your own house before complaining about others:

Esquire Magazine 19 May 2019 – The White House plans to put together a “Dummkoff Stasi” AKA the White House Snitch Line. All one needs to do is fill out a form that, “…asks users to share their contact information, social media links, their citizenship and residency status and links or screenshots of any social media content they’ve posted that was censored by Facebook or its Instagram service, Twitter, or Google’s YouTube. ‘This permission grants the U.S. Government a license to use, edit, display, publish, broadcast, transmit, post, or otherwise distribute all or part of the Content (including edited, composite, or derivative works made therefrom),’ reads the user agreement for the form.

“The Dummkopf Stasi is a vehicle by which to legitimize the current conservative paranoia du jour—that Twitter, Facebook et al. are unfairly ‘censoring’ conservative voices. This is in response to the decision by those companies that hosting Nazis on their platforms is not good for business. (And we would note that the White House announced the Dummkopf Stasi on the same day that the administration piously declined to sign onto the Christchurch agreement regarding hate speech online.) For now, it seems that the DS will function only as a snitch line for people to complain about social media, but it's hard to imagine that, with this crowd, its function will remain the same. Snitches will have them in stitches, but the rest of us are unlikely to find it that funny.”

deaton

Yup, the most “deleted” commenter on this forum, complaining about “snitches”? Yeah, if you don’t know how to “report” objectionable content. BigBob can give a “crash course”, he’s worn out the “report” button “snitching” on folks! What’a Gasbag! [thumbdown][huh][tongue] Deaton

tomgarven

And this 1619 change just happened four [4] days ago. What is shocking to me is the sheer size of the distribution of the information to our children. Thing are a changin as they say.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/22/1619-s22.html

And here is a small tidbit of information I gleaned from a Netflix movie I watched just recently.

Ever wonder why your kids don’t talk to you anymore?

Maybe the Netflix movie the "Social Dilemma" is part of the answer which states in part: “Are we always going to defer to the richest most powerful people? Or are we ever going to say, you know there are times when there is a national interest. There are times when the interest of people, of users, is actually more important than the profits of somebody who is already a billionaire? These [social media] markets undermine democracy and undermine freedom and they should be outlawed.”. END QUOTE

These words are from some of the employees and corporate executives at companies like Google, facebook and others who developed the algorithm and Artificial Intelligence [AI] systems we all use today. Maybe we should be paying some attention to what they are saying.

The movie is called: “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix.

deaton

Mr. Garvin, long term erosion of our values starts with the indoctrination of the children! It worked in Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union, China, N. Korea, Cuba, East Germany, etc. Next will be the “snitch lines” where the newly indoctrinated can inform on parents and other not “toeing the accepted thinking” of the day? The suppression of “faith” and history, follows, with the mandatory re-education and “disappearing” of problems. One can see it happening all around? We need to “Make America Great Again” MAGA, Yes! #Re-Elect45! #86-“1619”! [thumbdown][huh][ohmy] Deaton

tomgarven

[wink]

1947

None of this matters much! If blacks had built and sailed their own ships, they would have a claim.

BigBob

You're not too terribly bright, are you?

1947

No need to be smarter than the intended audience.

BigBob

And you certainly prove that each time you comment.

1947

Thank you!

CVA-42

Big Bozo doesn't realize he is the audience. Bozo as usual steps on his you know what.

simon1dog

Glad my kids weren't subjected to this 1619 garbage.

BigBob

That is a shame. Education would have prevented them from being racists like their father.

deaton

Wow, BigBob you appear to have “crossed the Rubicon”! “from being racists like their father.” (Walthall Robert Moore, September 26, 2020 @ 9:22 am) I certainly hope you have evidence and proof of that statement, you’ll need it at your deposition! [thumbdown][huh][ohmy] Deaton

CVA-42

Hey Bozo, Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.

BigBob

Who is "Bozo?" You need to stop listening to those voices in your head. But take heart in the knowledge that President Biden will make certain everyone has access to medical care - even the mental health care you are so desperatly in need of.

“Your”welcome

Bobby! You are definitely “bozo!” I don’t understand what you think! If one has mental issues it’s you! I guess that’s the reason why your “Ridin with Biden” lmao that’s still ridiculously funny and possibly could be the best thing, little bobs best friend “HG” ever said! You continue talking about racism, but history and statistics have provided us that it only really exists within certain cultures as most white people do not have hatred to anyone other than those that are stupid and continue to commit crimes! looking at your fan base you fit part of the description!

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