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Trump’s 1776 Project Dents the New York Times ‘1619 Project’

Sept. 28, 2020 (EIRNS)—In August 2019, the New York Times initiated its “1619 Project,” declaring that it “aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619”—when 20 slaves were brought to Jamestown, Virginia—“as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.” The head of the project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, declared: “I argue that 1619 is our true founding. Also, look at the banner pic in my profile.” The banner picture simply has “July 4, 1776” with a line through it, and beneath it, “August 20, 1619.”

Among the “1619 Project” claims are:

1. At the moment that the first 20 slaves were sold in America, “America was not yet America, but this was the moment it began.”

2. The preservation of slavery was a major cause of the American Revolution.

3. July 4, 1776 covers up America’s original sin. “What if, however, we were to tell you that this fact, which is taught in our schools and unanimously celebrated every Fourth of July, is wrong, and that the country’s true birth date, the moment that its defining contradictions first came into the world, was in late August of 1619?... This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the country’s very origin.”

President Donald Trump took the occasion of Constitution Day on Sept. 17 to re-assert that the Constitution:

“was the fulfillment of a thousand years of Western civilization.... No political document has done more to advance the human condition or propel the engine of progress.... The left has warped, distorted, and defiled the American story with deceptions, falsehoods, and lies. There is no better example than the New York Times’ totally discredited 1619 Project. This project rewrites American history to teach our children that we were founded on the principle of oppression, not freedom.”

Trump launched the “1776 Project” to revive the better angels of our nature, calling out the hypocrisy of the “1619 Project.” His initiative provoked CNN to put Hannah-Jones on to attempt to prove Trump wrong, denying that she ever claimed that America was really founded in 1619 and not 1776, or that it was founded to protect and prolong slavery. Jones retreated to sophistry: “The 1619 Project ... challenges us to reframe history by marking the year when the first enslaved Africans arrived on Virginia soil as our nation’s foundational date.” Get it? She didn’t yell “Fire!” but simply challenged us to think there was a fire. Then Hannah-Jones resorted to simple lying: “The wording in question [‘1619 as our true founding’] never appeared in the 1619 Project text. It appears nowhere in the printed copy.... It didn’t appear in my essay nor any of the actual journalism we produced.” Then she tried a tweet: “It did appear at some point in some ancillary digital promotion copy, which you know is not journalism and changing promotional copy does not require an editor’s note.” Shortly afterwards, she deleted her complete Twitter history! Hannah-Jones, who proclaims herself “the Beyonce of journalism,” may possibly be referring to her ability to dance away from what she has written and said. Meanwhile, the New York Times, too, has been altering the “1619 Project” material without any admission of a mistake or any of the customary notations that a correction has been made.

In a separate, but possibly related, action, the “What We Believe” statement has been deleted from Black Lives Matter’s website, also with no notice. This included: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable.” The statement has been replaced with “Sorry, but the page you were trying to view does not exist.”

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