“These deletions are not mere wording changes. The ‘true founding’ claim was the core element of the Project’s assertion that all of American history is rooted in and defined by white racial hatred of blacks.”
Back in July, the 1619 Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones admitted that it was really more about controlling the narrative than an honest representation of history.
Now we are learning that Hannah-Jones and the New York Times are scrubbing some of the central claims of the project. What a surprise.
The folks at the World Socialist Website don’t seem too pleased about this:
The New York Times and Nikole Hannah-Jones abandon key claims of the 1619 Project
The New York Times, without announcement or explanation, has abandoned the central claim of the 1619 Project: that 1619, the year the first slaves were brought to Colonial Virginia—and not 1776—was the “true founding” of the United States.
The initial introduction to the Project, when it was rolled out in August 2019, stated that
The 1619 Project is a major initiative from the New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and 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.
The revised text now reads:
The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.
This is kind of a big deal. As the WSWS points out, it changes the entire meaning behind the project:
It is not entirely clear when the Times deleted its “true founding” claim, but an examination of old cached versions of the 1619 Project text indicates that it probably took place on December 18, 2019.
These deletions are not mere wording changes. The “true founding” claim was the core element of the Project’s assertion that all of American history is rooted in and defined by white racial hatred of blacks. According to this narrative, trumpeted by Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones, the American Revolution was a preemptive racial counterrevolution waged by white people in North America to defend slavery against British plans to abolish it.
Becket Adams of the Washington Examiner is even using the ‘F’ word. (No, not that one.):
The 1619 Project is a fraud
New York Times Magazine editors have quietly removed controversial language from the online version of Hannah-Jones’s 1619 Project, a package of essays that argue chattel slavery defines America’s founding. Hannah-Jones herself also asserts now that the project’s core thesis is not what she and everyone else involved originally said it was.
It “does not argue that 1619 is our true founding,” she said on Friday. She declared elsewhere in July that it “doesn’t argue, for obvious reasons, that 1619 is our true founding.”
Adams points out the same changes noted above and goes on:
The Pulitzer Center, which is an “education partner” for the 1619 Project, describes the initiative thus: “The 1619 Project … challenges us to reframe U.S. history by marking the year when the first enslaved Africans arrived on Virginia soil as our nation’s foundational date.”
In other words, even those who support the project most firmly understand its core thesis to be that 1619 is the date of America’s true founding because America was founded on slavery. Yet the New York Times Magazine is no longer willing to stand by that idea. It has quietly amended the language of the online version, and its founder claims now, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, that she and her brainchild did not say what they very clearly said.
The fact that this was done so quietly speaks volumes, doesn’t it?
Can the @nytimes's #1619project get any more dishonest? They appear to have edited their own website to remove the claim that 1619 was America's "true founding" some time between August 2019 and @nhannahjones's denial today that she ever intended to claim that. pic.twitter.com/3oQtLJDcQd
— Phil Magness (@PhilWMagness) September 18, 2020
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