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On NRO right now is a piece by Allen C. Guelzo, Senior Research Scholar in the Humanities Council at Princeton University. He takes the 1619 Project’s foundational premises apart and exposes the absurdity. This piece isn’t that long and well worth your time to read. This is the response of a real historian to this malignant Marxist wishful thinking contrivance called the 1619 Project.
On August 14, 2019, the New York Times Magazine dropped something of a historical bombshell on its readers. It was not some new conspiracy theory about the Kennedy assassination or some breathtaking revelation of the secret life of Millard Fillmore. It was much more dramatic. It was called “The 1619 Project,” and it consumed an entire special 100-page issue of the magazine. It also aimed at nothing less than a complete overhaul of how we understand American history. It did not, however, meet with entire agreement by American historians: At least two very diverse groups of American historians and political scientists, one headed by myself (and including eleven others) and another by my Princeton colleague Sean Wilentz, wrote letters to Jake Silverstein, the editor of the New York Times Magazine, to question a host of gaffes and misstatements in The 1619 Project. All of these were summarily waved away, and last week, The 1619 Project’s lead essay sailed merrily to a Pulitzer Prize for commentary — although if “sailed” is the right metaphor, the ship in question resembles the Bounty more than the Cutty Sark.
Mr. Guelzo point by point lays bare the corrupt nature of this pseudo-history. He also makes clear the size of the threat it poses.
… Already, 3,500 classrooms and five major urban school systems (including Buffalo, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.) have adopted The 1619 Project for their history curricula. As they do this, the results will be that we teach schoolchildren that:
- capitalism is a form of totalitarianism . . . so that we may then think kindly of socialism.
- we should pay reparations for slavery (and Hannah-Jones has stated frankly that “the project is an argument for reparations”), as though, to reverse Lincoln’s formula in his Second Inaugural Address, every drop of blood drawn by the lash had not been paid for by one drawn by the sword.
- history is nothing more than a web of narratives and interpretations, so that any connection of history to historical fact can be ignored. As one enthusiastic backer of The 1619 Project confessed, “often reading straight history doesn’t get us deep into emotion and perspective and feeling,” and as we all surely believe, “emotion and perspective and feeling” are infinitely more important than truth.
- the America that Lincoln described as the world’s “last, best hope” becomes a swamp of guilt, resentment, accusation, and lethal mistrust.
The 1619 Project is false, sick, and evaluated by its real intentions just plain evil. The Goofy Woke New New Left is very very dangerous and needs to be stopped.Published in