Revoke the Pulitzer Prize for the 1619 Project: Too Little, Too Late?

 

I felt vindicated for my early attacks on the 1619 Project when I learned that the National Association of Scholars signed a letter that directed the Pulitzer Prize Board to revoke its award of the Prize to The 1619 Project. But my appreciation of the news was short-lived.

The NAS acted nobly in criticizing the 1619 Project. As they said in their letter to the Board:

We call on the Pulitzer Prize Board to rescind the 2020 Prize for Commentary awarded to Nikole Hannah-Jones for her lead essay in ‘The 1619 Project.’ That essay was entitled, ‘Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written.’ But it turns out the article itself was false when written, making a large claim that protecting the institution of slavery was a primary motive for the American Revolution, a claim for which there is simply no evidence.

They went on to say:

The duplicity of attempting to alter the historical record in a manner intended to deceive the public is as serious an infraction against professional ethics as a journalist can commit. A ‘sweeping, deeply reported and personal essay,’ as the Pulitzer Prize Board called it, does not have the license to sweep its own errors into obscurity or the remit to publish ‘deeply reported’ falsehoods.

And finally, the Times changed its digital version but did not make the change public:

Beginning almost immediately after its publication, though, the essay and the Project ran into controversy. It has been subjected to searching criticism by many of the foremost historians of our time and by the Times’ own fact checker. The scrutiny has left the essay discredited, so much so that the Times has felt the need to go back and change a crucial passage in it, softening but not eliminating its unsupported assertion about slavery and the Revolution.

Many of us would recognize the signatories to the letter that included, Larry P. Arnn, President of Hillsdale College; Victor Davis Hanson, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution; Roger Kimball, Editor and Publisher; Wilfred M. McClay, historian at University of Oklahoma; and a Ricochet contributor, Paul Rahe, Professor at Hillsdale College.

Although President Trump has called for schools that teach the 1619 Project to be defunded, many schools have been using the curriculum for months, particularly in California and the Chicago Public Schools. Dr. Janice Jackson, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, offered this statement:

‘The stories we tell about our nation’s history matter deeply, and the 1619 Project offers us a new set of stories by ‘placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are’ through a collection of essays, stories, poems, and photography that marks the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery,’ Jackson wrote.

‘As educators, we are always looking for new tools and strategies to help students contextualize the world around them so they may one day become informed and effective citizens,’ the CPS CEO said.

No one except the NAS seems particularly concerned that this curriculum is false, deceptive, and misguided. This story is just another example of the anti-American propaganda that has been taught in our schools for years.

Maybe President Trump will begin the process of holding the schools accountable for teaching the truth.

Or is it too late to make a difference?

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  1. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Susan Quinn:

    No one except the NAS seems particularly concerned that this curriculum is false, deceptive and misguided. This story is just another example of the anti-American propaganda that has been taught in our schools for years.

    Maybe President Trump will begin the process of holding the schools accountable for teaching the truth.

    Or is it too late to make a difference?

    Susan,

    It is most certainly not too late. Somebody said it here a few weeks ago. He doesn’t care anymore what Trump tweets. All he cares about is what Trump does. This is exactly the kind of issue that swift action from the top could make a huge difference. 

    K thru 12 must not be perverted and the universities must be held accountable. Academic freedom may be the best approach. I don’t think the lefty dogma can stand the competition. Force them into a position where they must defend their claims and they will fold. Kamala Harris bald-faced lied about Lincoln in the debate

    It is not too late.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #1
  2. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    We will see what happens in November. I don’t think this would be a high priority in the Harris “Biden” administration, rather they will encourage the lies along.

    • #2
  3. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    School choice is the way to deal with this. Parents should be the ones who choose the education process for their children.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    It is not too late.

    I hope you’re right, Jim. It’s just that we all keep complaining about the propaganda taught in the schools, but nothing seems to change. Although Trump, with the help of Betsy DeVos, might finally make some progress. It just seems to take so long to turn the ship around!

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):

    We will see what happens in November. I don’t think this would be a high priority in the Harris “Biden” administration, rather they will encourage the lies along.

    I am praying everyday that Americans will see the light. The Left has so many lies that they have to keep straight that I’m hoping they become obvious to everyone. So much depends on a Trump victory. Thanks, @eustacecscrubb!

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    School choice is the way to deal with this. Parents should be the ones who choose the education process for their children.

    Will they be able to determine whether a school is free of propaganda? I wonder if any of the voucher schools are focusing on traditional values and truth in education. Do we know if those schools are with us, @bobthompson

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I’m going to elaborate on my last comment. It probably takes a while for a good/conservative school to develop a reputation that would encourage parents to sign up their kids. Do we know that those schools have not been infiltrated with a progressive agenda? How long would it take to discover if that’s happened? And then how difficult would it be to change the curriculum to conservative values? It very much concerns me.

    • #7
  8. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    Too late?  In the absolute sense, probably not.  It probably is too late to avoid a future in which we (assuming our lukewarm civil war never turns hot) must contend for several decades with hard-core, anti-American Leftists as the backbone and guiding force of our domestic opposition, and from a position of institutional weakness in practically all spheres of public life.  We have to keep fighting anyway because the alternative is far worse. 

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    Too late? In the absolute sense, probably not. It probably is too late to avoid a future in which we (assuming our lukewarm civil war never turns hot) must contend for several decades with hard-core, anti-American Leftists as the backbone and guiding force of our domestic opposition, and from a position of institutional weakness in practically all spheres of public life. We have to keep fighting anyway because the alternative is far worse.

    Yes, @lowtech-redneck, the future looks quite daunting. Yet in a sense we are fighting for America’s future. The question for us: are enough of us committed to that future to spend years trying to take it back? We must be prepared, too, to celebrate the small victories, because in the short term, there may be very few big ones. But cumulatively, those small ones will take us in the right direction. It’s so difficult not to get discouraged. 

    We’ve fought Progressives for years with little success. I hope we are motivated sufficiently to fight the tough fight this time.

    • #9
  10. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    Too late? In the absolute sense, probably not. It probably is too late to avoid a future in which we (assuming our lukewarm civil war never turns hot) must contend for several decades with hard-core, anti-American Leftists as the backbone and guiding force of our domestic opposition, and from a position of institutional weakness in practically all spheres of public life. We have to keep fighting anyway because the alternative is far worse.

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    It’s so difficult not to get discouraged. 

    I cannot imagine ever giving up. I think my position is right and my mind won’t let me give that up. I do sometimes wonder if there is a very significant genetic component at work in those who are ideologically steadfast in their positions and we spend all our time trying to sway those who don’t possess those same genes set combinations.

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    Too late? In the absolute sense, probably not. It probably is too late to avoid a future in which we (assuming our lukewarm civil war never turns hot) must contend for several decades with hard-core, anti-American Leftists as the backbone and guiding force of our domestic opposition, and from a position of institutional weakness in practically all spheres of public life. We have to keep fighting anyway because the alternative is far worse.

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    It’s so difficult not to get discouraged.

    I cannot imagine ever giving up. I think my position is right and my mind won’t let me give that up. I do sometimes wonder if there is a very significant genetic component at work in those who are ideologically steadfast in their positions and we spend all our time trying to sway those who don’t possess those same genes set combinations.

    Not giving into them frustrates and confuses them. They are ever so much more entertainng when they are frustrated and confused.

    My parents probably should have bought me more toys when I was a kid.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    I cannot imagine ever giving up. I think my position is right and my mind won’t let me give that up. I do sometimes wonder if there is a very significant genetic component at work in those who are ideologically steadfast in their positions and we spend all our time trying to sway those who don’t possess those same genes set combinations.

    Well, I’m the eternal optimist, Bob, so although I get discouraged, I anticipate that I will fight on. I don’t know if I’m prepared to try to convince others that I’m right, though. They are so zealous about their agenda!

    • #12
  13. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    It is not too late.

    I hope you’re right, Jim. It’s just that we all keep complaining about the propaganda taught in the schools, but nothing seems to change. Although Trump, with the help of Betsy DeVos, might finally make some progress. It just seems to take so long to turn the ship around!

    Suzy,

    Trump has had a lot on his plate plus the psycho-Democrats Russia/Impeach/25th amend lunacy. However, this would be a great 2nd term high priority. With a stronger court that may give us some real Free Exercise rulings, some major social sexual issue rulings, we may finally be ready for the major cultural push back.

    As far as the election, sorry for this quote from Vince Lombardy (a guy thing) but Vince has it right.

    “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):

    Not giving into them frustrates and confuses them. They are ever so much more entertainng when they are frustrated and confused.

    My parents probably should have bought me more toys when I was a kid.

    Oh, I love to laugh! Thanks, Percival. But I have to admit when I see people at a loss at those rare times when I share my ideas to those who don’t like them, there is a sort of sick satisfaction to watching them struggle!

    • #14
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    It is not too late.

    I hope you’re right, Jim. It’s just that we all keep complaining about the propaganda taught in the schools, but nothing seems to change. Although Trump, with the help of Betsy DeVos, might finally make some progress. It just seems to take so long to turn the ship around!

    Suzy,

    Trump has had a lot on his plate plus the psycho-Democrats Russia/Impeach/25th amend lunacy. However, this would be a great 2nd term high priority. With a stronger court that may give us some real Free Exercise rulings, some major social sexual issue rulings, we may finally be ready for the major cultural push back.

    As far as the election, sorry for this quote from Vince Lombardy (a guy thing) but Vince has it right.

    “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”

    Regards,

    Jim

    Vince was right! (I used to be a pro football fan.) It’s just that we’ve had so many battles to fight on multiple fronts, that I get overwhelmed at times. But I like the sound of “cultural pushback” including education!

    • #15
  16. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    I cannot imagine ever giving up. I think my position is right and my mind won’t let me give that up. I do sometimes wonder if there is a very significant genetic component at work in those who are ideologically steadfast in their positions and we spend all our time trying to sway those who don’t possess those same genes set combinations.

    Well, I’m the eternal optimist, Bob, so although I get discouraged, I anticipate that I will fight on. I don’t know if I’m prepared to try to convince others that I’m right, though. They are so zealous about their agenda!

    I have never quite thought of myself as an eternal optimist, but I have never been depressed or discouraged with my life. I consider the United States of America to be the nation with the greatest governing concept ever employed and will continue to contest those who try to give us something that has failed whenever tried including current examples in our world.

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    To offset the effects of this Project, Hillsdale College offers a free course on American History taught by the eminent historian William McClay based on his book, Land of Hope. I’ve read the book and its excellent, as it describes both the positive and negative stories of America. Hillsdale’s online courses are also very well done; you can find the course here.  

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The spread of this propaganda is worse than I thought:

    Since its publication in August, the 1619 Project has been adopted in more than 3,500 classrooms in all 50 states, according to the 2019 annual report of the Pulitzer Center, which has partnered with the Times on the project. Five school systems, including Chicago and Washington, D.C., have adopted it district-wide. It is mostly being used as supplemental, optional classroom teaching material. By and large, school systems are adopting the project by administrative fiat, not through a public textbook review process.

    The entire article for this quotation is here .

    • #18
  19. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    To offset the effects of this Project, Hillsdale College offers a free course on American History taught by the eminent historian William McClay based on his book, Land of Hope. I’ve read the book and its excellent, as it describes both the positive and negative stories of America. Hillsdale’s online courses are also very well done; you can find the course here.

    Suzy,

    If parents discover their child is getting a Howard Zinn’s History of America curriculum they should immediately demand that the Hillsdale course be taught with equal time given. I mean this literally. If their local school district doesn’t want to do it, SUE THE BASTARDS.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #19
  20. A-Squared Coolidge
    A-Squared
    @ASquared

    Won’t happen.  They carefully thought about retracting Duranty’s prize, and decided against it.

    https://www.pulitzer.org/news/statement-walter-duranty

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    A-Squared (View Comment):

    Won’t happen. They carefully thought about retracting Duranty’s prize, and decided against it.

    https://www.pulitzer.org/news/statement-walter-duranty

    I didn’t expect it would happen, @asquared, but I was inspired that 21 eminent historians spoke out. The Board may not care, but I do.

    • #21
  22. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    A-Squared (View Comment):

    Won’t happen. They carefully thought about retracting Duranty’s prize, and decided against it.

    https://www.pulitzer.org/news/statement-walter-duranty

    I didn’t expect it would happen, @asquared, but I was inspired that 21 eminent historians spoke out. The Board may not care, but I do.

    What could we expect. We have a Congress filled by members who take an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution with no intention of doing so. This is the movement they actually support.

    • #22
  23. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    A-Squared (View Comment):

    Won’t happen. They carefully thought about retracting Duranty’s prize, and decided against it.

    https://www.pulitzer.org/news/statement-walter-duranty

    Exactly what I was thinking . . .

    • #23
  24. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    There’s a lot of ignorance and laziness around, it may ultimately lead to stupid voting but there’s a lot underneath it too.

    I was paying my water/sewer/etc bill today, by phone.

    The girl said “Okay that’s $80 plus we add 3% for using a credit card.”

    I said “So that will be $82.40.”

    She said “How did you do that?”

    • #24
  25. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    A-Squared (View Comment):

    Won’t happen. They carefully thought about retracting Duranty’s prize, and decided against it.

    https://www.pulitzer.org/news/statement-walter-duranty

    You have to have integrity to meaningfully defend you integrity.

    • #25
  26. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    This is a local school or school district fight.  Parents will have to take the lead in this.  Perhaps in some states sympathetic legislative action can be taken.  If Trump loses look for no help at the federal level. 

    • #26
  27. MichaelKennedy Member
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I’m going to elaborate on my last comment. It probably takes a while for a good/conservative school to develop a reputation that would encourage parents to sign up their kids. Do we know that those schools have not been infiltrated with a progressive agenda? How long would it take to discover if that’s happened? And then how difficult would it be to change the curriculum to conservative values? It very much concerns me.

    My daughter was in 8th grade and had just graduated from a private school in Rancho Santa Marguerita, CA when I learned, from other parents, that the school had hired a new Headmaster who was an  advocate for “Outcomes Based Education.”  The short version of this is “everybody gets to win.”  The parents also learned that he had been let go by his previous east coast school on the same issue.  A group of parents contacted the Board of this private school and were told by a Board member, “If you don’t like it you can find another school for your child next year.”

    I was not involved after that as my daughter had graduated and was in high school next year.  I learned that the school, by September, was advertising for students in the local shopping throwaway.  That, of course, was a private school.  They can get just as arrogant.

    • #27
  28. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Susan Quinn:

    Maybe President Trump will begin the process of holding the schools accountable for teaching the truth.

    Or is it too late to make a difference?

     

     

    It is never too late to stop feeding poison to children.  

    • #28
  29. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I’m going to elaborate on my last comment. It probably takes a while for a good/conservative school to develop a reputation that would encourage parents to sign up their kids. Do we know that those schools have not been infiltrated with a progressive agenda? How long would it take to discover if that’s happened? And then how difficult would it be to change the curriculum to conservative values? It very much concerns me.

    My daughter was in 8th grade and had just graduated from a private school in Rancho Santa Marguerita, CA when I learned, from other parents, that the school had hired a new Headmaster who was an advocate for “Outcomes Based Education.” The short version of this is “everybody gets to win.” The parents also learned that he had been let go by his previous east coast school on the same issue. A group of parents contacted the Board of this private school and were told by a Board member, “If you don’t like it you can find another school for your child next year.”

    I was not involved after that as my daughter had graduated and was in high school next year. I learned that the school, by September, was advertising for students in the local shopping throwaway. That, of course, was a private school. They can get just as arrogant.

    Evidently they can’t get just as arrogant or they end up “advertising for students in the local shopping throwaway”.

    • #29
  30. MISTER BITCOIN Member
    MISTER BITCOIN
    @MISTERBITCOIN

    Once I heard about Walter Duranty, I ignored Pulitzer Prize winners

    NY Times got Pulitzer for Russia Collusion hoax.

    They received a Pulitzer for fake news!

     

    • #30