The “1619 Project” from The New York Times received criticism due to inaccuracies. A fact-checker on the series even knocked on the paper after it ignored her expertise.

Facts don’t matter to Hollywood because Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate picked up the series to make it into a series of television shows and films.

To make it even more laughable, Nikole Hannah-Jones will work as a creative leader and producer.

Why is it laughable? She won a 2020 Pulitzer Prize for it, but, as I said, many found problems with the work.

This made me wonder how they will produce anything based on it. I figured we should revisit the criticism of the 1619 Project and the woman behind the mess.

Legit Criticism of the 1619 Project

Two Pulitzer Prize winners have denounced the project: Gordon Wood, American Revolution historian, and James McPherson, dean of Civil War historians.

Eliot Kaufman addressed their thoughts at the Wall Street Journal in December:

The “1619 Project” was launched in August with a 100-page spread in the Times’s Sunday magazine. It intends to “reframe the country’s history” by crossing out 1776 as America’s founding date and substituting 1619, the year 20 or so African slaves were brought to Jamestown, Va. The project has been celebrated up and down the liberal establishment, praised by Sen. Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

A September essay for the World Socialist Web Site called the project a “racialist falsification” of history. That didn’t get much attention, but in November the interviews with the historians went viral. “I wish my books would have this kind of reaction,” Mr. Wood says in an email. “It still strikes me as amazing why the NY Times would put its authority behind a project that has such weak scholarly support.” He adds that fellow historians have privately expressed their agreement. Mr. McPherson coolly describes the project’s “implicit position that there have never been any good white people, thereby ignoring white radicals and even liberals who have supported racial equality.”

Even, for once, the World Socialist Web Site, run by the Trotskyist Socialist Equality Party, spoke the truth:

“Ours is not a patriotic, flag-waving kind of perspective,” says Thomas Mackaman, the World Socialist Web Site’s interviewer and a history professor at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He simply recognizes that the arrival of 20 slaves in 1619 wasn’t a “world-altering event.” Slavery had existed across the world for millennia, and there were already slaves elsewhere in what would become the U.S. before 1619.

But “even if you want to make slavery the central story of American history,” he says, the Times gets it backward. The American Revolution didn’t found a “slavocracy,” as Ms. Hannah-Jones puts it. Instead, in Mr. Mackaman’s telling, it “brought slavery in for questioning in a way that had never been done before” by “raising universal human equality as a fundamental principle.” Nor was protecting slavery “one of the primary reasons” the colonists declared independence, as Ms. Hannah-Jones claims. It’s no coincidence the abolitionists rapidly won votes to end slavery in five of the original 13 states, along with Vermont and the new states of the Midwest.

Hannah-Jones cannot handle any criticism and never held back her hatred of white people because she shot back at these highly educated men in their history fields. The snobbish attitude blows me away:

The project’s creator, Nikole Hannah-Jones, is proud that it “decenters whiteness” and disdains its critics as “old, white male historians.” She tweeted of Mr. McPherson: “Who considers him preeminent? I don’t.” Her own qualifications are an undergraduate degree in history and African-American studies and a master’s in journalism. She says the project goes beyond Mr. McPherson’s expertise, the Civil War. “For the most part,” she writes in its lead essay, “black Americans fought back alone” against racism. No wonder she’d rather not talk about the Civil War.

To the Trotskyists, Ms. Hannah-Jones writes: “You all have truly revealed yourselves for the anti-black folks you really are.” She calls them “white men claiming to be socialists.” Perhaps they’re guilty of being white men, but they’re definitely socialists. Their faction, called the Workers League until 1995, was “one of the most strident and rigid Marxist groups in America” during the Cold War, says Harvey Klehr, a leading historian of American communism.

Kaufman wrote that Hannah-Jones is adamant that “anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country.” She does not believe the Founders believed all men are equal, even though abolitionists disagreed and Martin Luther King, Jr. Even Frederick Douglass asked, “’If the Constitution were intended to be, by its framers and adopters, a slave-holding instrument,’ how could it be that ‘neither slavery, slaveholding nor slave . . . be anywhere found in it?’”

Rich Lowry at The New York Post disputed the slavery in our DNA with other examples: Northwest Ordinance of 1787, Constitution prohibited the slave trade starting in 1808.

Now let’s get to Leslie M. Harris, a history professor at Northwestern University. She helped fact-check the “1619 Project” and explained how the NYT ignored her. Look the opening paragraph in her March 2020 op-ed in Politico:

On August 19 of last year I listened in stunned silence as Nikole Hannah-Jones, a reporter for the New York Times, repeated an idea that I had vigorously argued against with her fact-checker: that the patriots fought the American Revolution in large part to preserve slavery in North America.

An NYT editor asked Harris weeks before that interview with Hannah-Jones to verify if the colonists wanted independence mainly so they could keep slavery.

Harris said no. The editor asked for other information as well.

Did the NYT listen? No:

Despite my advice, the Times published the incorrect statement about the American Revolution anyway, in Hannah-Jones’ introductory essay. In addition, the paper’s characterizations of slavery in early America reflected laws and practices more common in the antebellum era than in Colonial times, and did not accurately illustrate the varied experiences of the first generation of enslaved people that arrived in Virginia in 1619.

Both sets of inaccuracies worried me, but the Revolutionary War statement made me especially anxious. Overall, the 1619 Project is a much-needed corrective to the blindly celebratory histories that once dominated our understanding of the past—histories that wrongly suggested racism and slavery were not a central part of U.S. history. I was concerned that critics would use the overstated claim to discredit the entire undertaking. So far, that’s exactly what has happened.

I encourage people to read Harris’s op-ed because she does not try to appease either side. She wants to make sure everyone has the historical truth. Not a liberal truth. Not a conservative truth. The actual truth.

Hannah-Jones Past

A few weeks ago, Nikole Hannah-Jones pushed a conspiracy theory on Twitter that the government gave fireworks to minority communities. This way, the minorities are used to the noise when the police use their artillery on the town.

Hannah-Jones deleted her tweet but did not apologize right away. She did so a day later after the National Review reached out for comment.

Then Fuzzy blogged about an old letter Hannah-Jones wrote to the editor of the Notre Dame student newspaper:

She alleged that white people “pump drugs and guns into the black community, pack black people into the squalor of segregated urban ghettos and continue to be bloodsuckers in our community.”

Hannah-Jones also said in the 1995 letter, which The Federalist published on Thursday, that “the white race is the biggest murderer, rapist, pillager, and thief of the modern world,” and described Christopher Columbus as “no different than Hitler:”

The NYT and Hannah-Jones do not care about facts because, in June, she published in the paper that it is time for the reparations. She wrote that “the country must finally take seriously what it owes black Americans.”

[Featured image via YouTube and YouTube]

 

 
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