It isn’t an overstatement to describe The New York Times’ 1619 Project as a journalistic declaration of war against Americaaccuse the Claremont Institute's Ryan P. Williams and Matthew J. Peterson in the New York Post regarding the Twisted History that is the 1619 project
Many of the project’s historical claims are downright fabrications — but in the most decisive respect, that’s beside the point.RELATED: 1619, Mao, & 9-11: History According to the NYT — Plus, a Remarkable Issue of National Geographic Reveals the Leftists' "Blame America First" Approach to History
The project’s leader, Nikole Hannah-Jones, has tried to brush off the criticism of many distinguished historians by claiming that such disagreement is how historiography always proceeds — as we learn progressively more, a new “narrative” challenges old ones.
The 1619 Project, however, isn’t about new historical scholarship, and insofar as journalism is about the quest for truth, it isn’t quite journalism, either. As eminent scholars and stalwart liberals, such as Princeton University’s Sean Wilentz, have pointed out, the project makes utterly preposterous claims — above all, the notion that protecting slavery was a central motivation in launching the Revolutionary War and thus the American project.
Make no mistake — 1619 is a political project, aimed at piercing the heart of the US regime by overturning the American understanding of justice. As James Madison said, “Justice is the end of government,” it is “the end of civil society.” We seek justice “until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.” To transform America, you have first to destroy its understanding of justice.
American justice is based on the understanding that while we are all unequal in many respects — talents, beauty, strength, discipline and so on — our fundamental equality as human beings means that all citizens should be treated equally under the law. And law should be ordered toward the common good of all, rather than classes or groups.
… 1619’s cynical ploy is to write these principles out of America’s story by tracing all of our prosperity and success to slavery’s introduction and perpetuation. But 1619 goes even further. It attempts to transform the principle at the center of America’s Founding into the handmaid of slavery — rather than slavery’s eventual moral and constitutional stumbling block.
The new moral and philosophical foundation for America envisioned by 1619 is based on the abandonment of the individual equality of rights under the law for a racial and identity politics based on group rights. These groups are to be arranged in a new caste system based on the groups’ varying histories of oppression and their possession of more or less “privilege.”
When we adopt identity politics, the identity and the good of our group ultimately defines us, rather than our citizenship and individual humanity — an affront to the vision of abolitionists like Frederick Douglass and civil-rights champions such as Martin Luther King.
If the Times and the cultural elites who are promoting 1619 manage to hang racism and slavery around the neck of America’s colorblind Founding principles, those principles will be further delegitimized in our public discourse. That, in turn, will create ideological space for the fundamental transformation of America’s regime.
Abraham Lincoln once said that if America were to be defeated, it would be by suicide from forces within rather than by conquest from without. The 1619 Project is the latest manifestation of an ideology that will destroy us from within — if we don’t sound the alarm and act.
Every American and every political leader — from the local school board to the national legislature — must start thinking creatively and acting aggressively to deny the 1619 Project legitimacy and efficacy. What is at stake is nothing less than the dissolution of America.
• Wilfred Reilly on 1619: quite a few contemporary Black problems have very little to do with slavery
• "Out of the Revolution came an anti-slavery ethos, which never disappeared": Pulitzer Prize Winner James McPherson Confirms that No Mainstream Historian Was Contacted by the NYT for Its 1619 History Project
• Gordon Wood: "The Revolution unleashed antislavery sentiments that led to the first abolition movements in the history of the world" — another Pulitzer-Winning Historian Had No Warning about the NYT's 1619 Project
• A Black Political Scientist "didn’t know about the 1619 Project until it came out"; "These people are kind of just making it up as they go"
• Clayborne Carson: Another Black Historian Kept in the Dark About 1619
• If historians did not hear of the NYT's history (sic) plan, chances are great that the 1619 Project was being deliberately kept a tight secret
• Oxford Historian Richard Carwardine: 1619 is “a preposterous and one-dimensional reading of the American past”
• World Socialists: "the 1619 Project is a politically motivated falsification of history" by the New York Times, aka "the mouthpiece of the Democratic Party"
• Dan Gainor on 1619 and rewriting history: "To the Left elite like the NY Times, there’s no narrative they want to destroy more than American exceptionalism"
• Utterly preposterous claims: The 1619 project is a cynical political ploy, aimed at piercing the heart of the American understanding of justice
• One of the Main Sources for the NYT's 1619 Project Is a Career Communist Propagandist who Defends Stalinism
• A Pulitzer Prize?! Among the 1619 Defenders Is "a Fringe Academic" with "a Fetish for Authoritarian Terror" and "a Soft Spot" for Mugabe, Castro, and Even Stalin
• Allen C Guelzo: The New York Times offers bitterness, fragility, and intellectual corruption—The 1619 Project is not history; it is conspiracy theory
• The 1619 Project is an exercise in religious indoctrination: Ignoring, downplaying, or rewriting the history of 1861 to 1865, the Left and the NYT must minimize, downplay, or ignore the deaths of 620,000 Americans
• Fake But Accurate: The People Behind the NYT's 1619 Project Make a "Small" Clarification, But Only Begrudgingly and Half-Heartedly, Because Said Mistake Actually Undermines The 1619 Project's Entire Premise
• 1619 and The Collapse of the Fourth Estate by Peter Wood: No one has been able to identify a single leader, soldier, or supporter of the Revolution who wanted to protect his right to hold slaves (A declaration that slavery is the founding institution of America and the center of everything important in our history is a ground-breaking claim, of the same type as claims that America condones rape culture, that 9/11 was an inside job, that vaccinations cause autism, that the Moon landing was a hoax, or that ancient astronauts built the pyramids)
• Mary Beth Norton: In 1774, a year before Dunmore's proclamation, Americans had already in fact become independent
• Most of the founders, including Thomas Jefferson, opposed slavery’s continued existence, writes Rick Atkinson, despite the fact that many of them owned slaves
• Leslie Harris: Far from being fought to preserve slavery, the Revolutionary War became a primary disrupter of slavery in the North American Colonies (even the NYT's fact-checker on the 1619 Project disagrees with its "conclusions": "It took 60 more years for the British government to finally end slavery in its Caribbean colonies")
• Sean Wilentz on 1619: the movement in London to abolish the slave trade formed only in 1787, largely inspired by… American (!) antislavery opinion that had arisen in the 1760s and 1770s
• 1619 & Slavery's Fatal Lie: it is more accurate to say that what makes America unique isn't slavery but the effort to abolish it
• 1619 & 1772: Most of the founders, including Jefferson, opposed slavery’s continued existence, despite many of them owning slaves; And Britain would remain the world's foremost slave-trading nation into the nineteenth century
• Wilfred Reilly on 1619: Slavery was legal in Britain in 1776, and it remained so in all overseas British colonies until 1833
• James Oakes on 1619: "Slavery made the slaveholders rich; But it made the South poor; And it didn’t make the North rich — So the legacy of slavery is poverty, not wealth"
• 1619: No wonder this place is crawling with young socialists and America-haters — the utter failure of the U.S. educational system to teach the history of America’s founding
• 1619: Invariably Taking the Progressive Side — The Ratio of Democratic to Republican Voter Registration in History Departments is More than 33 to 1
• Denying the grandeur of the nation’s founding—Wilfred McClay on 1619: "Most of my students are shocked to learn that that slavery is not uniquely American"
• "Distortions, half-truths, and outright falsehoods": Where does the 1619 project state that Africans themselves were central players in the slave trade? That's right: Nowhere
• John Podhoretz on 1619: the idea of reducing US history to the fact that some people owned slaves is a reductio ad absurdum and the definition of bad faith
• The 1619 Africans in Virginia were not ‘enslaved’, a black historian points out; they were indentured servants — just like the majority of European whites were
• "Two thirds of the people, white as well as black, who crossed the Atlantic in the first 200 years are indentured servants" notes Dolores Janiewski; "The poor people, black and white, share common interests"
• Wondering Why Slavery Persisted for Almost 75 Years After the Founding of the USA? According to Lincoln, the Democrat Party's "Principled" Opposition to "Hate Speech"
• Victoria Bynum on 1619 and a NYT writer's "ignorance of history": "As dehumanizing and brutal as slavery was, the institution was not a giant concentration camp"
• The Confederate Flag: Another Brick in the Leftwing Activists' (Self-Serving) Demonization of America and Rewriting of History
• Who, Exactly, Is It Who Should Apologize for Slavery and Make Reparations? America? The South? The Descendants of the Planters? …
• Anti-Americanism in the Age of the Coronavirus, the NBA, and 1619