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Nikole Hannah-Jones Claims A First Amendment Right To Teach 1619 Project in Schools

Nikole Hannah-Jones Claims A First Amendment Right To Teach 1619 Project in Schools

“This is not about the facts of history — it’s about trying to prohibit the teaching of ideas they don’t like”

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has sent a letter to the Department of Education, objecting to the implementation of the 1619 Project in American schools.

The project’s author, Nikole Hannah-Jones recently appeared on CNN to object, and laughably framed this as a free speech issue. Hannah-Jones herself has admitted that the 1619 Project is really all about controlling the narrative.

Here’s an excerpt from McConnell’s letter, via the New York Post:

Dear Secretary Cardona:

We write to express grave concern with the Department’s effort to reorient the bipartisan American History and Civics Education programs, including the Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History and Civics and the National Activities programs, away from their intended purposes toward a politicized and divisive agenda…

This is a time to strengthen the teaching of civics and American history in our schools. Instead, your Proposed Priorities double down on divisive, radical, and historically-dubious buzzwords and propaganda…

Families did not ask for this divisive nonsense. Voters did not vote for it. Americans never decided our children should be taught that our country is inherently evil. If your Administration had proposed actual legislation instead of trying to do this quietly through the Federal Register, that legislation would not pass Congress.

Say whatever you like about Mitch McConnell. He is absolutely correct in this. The people of America did not ask for this, the left is trying to force it on them.

The response from Hannah-Jones is ridiculous. She claims that this is a free speech issue. It is not. If I write a book claiming that Germany and Japan won World War II, my free speech rights are not being infringed if schools decline to rewrite history on my behalf.

Of course, CNN gave Hannah-Jones an unchallenged opportunity to make her case.

From the HuffPost:

In a Monday CNN interview, Hannah-Jones corrected McConnell and reiterated the 2019 project’s intent as outlined in her introductory essay.

“In fact, what I say is that despite everything this country has done to Black Americans — that Black Americans have seen the worst of America, and yet still believe in its best,” she said.

Hannah-Jones said McConnell’s effort to censor her project is a “freedom of speech issue,” and she said she was surprised more free speech advocates weren’t denouncing the effort.

“This is not about the facts of history — it’s about trying to prohibit the teaching of ideas they don’t like,” she said.

See the video below:

Over the weekend, people in Texas pushed back against the far left and took over a school board in Dallas.

Let’s hope that was just the beginning.


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It’s the job that constrains her, not the constitution.

It also would be a good idea not to teach that status-seeking, getting into fights and defying authority are the path to success in life, in urban schools.

    CaptTee in reply to rhhardin. | May 5, 2021 at 9:58 am

    Correct! Curriculum is determined by Legislatures and School Boards, not teachers.
    Teachers have First Amendment Rights outside the classroom, but they have not right to spread propaganda in the classroom against the wishes of the parents represented by the School Board and Legislature!

      CaptTee in reply to CaptTee. | May 5, 2021 at 10:00 am

      “have not right” should be “have no right”

      When do we get an edit function?

        SueR in reply to CaptTee. | May 5, 2021 at 2:23 pm

        And I have a right to actually teach the board approved curriculum, namely, the US Constitution and US history. Then, after our students have a grasp of the Constitution and US history, then let’s have a discussion about the 1619 project and how the US came about and listen to both points of view.

It could be taught as fiction or fantasy. Or perhaps as an example of political propaganda.

It cannot be taught as factual history. Because it is not true. It is filled with falsities and untruths. It’s a Big Lie.

    henrybowman in reply to JHogan. | May 4, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    I believes I shall stand with my back against the corridor wall, as hordes of phrenologists, fundamentalist evolutionary activists, and Flat Earthers rush to exercise their newfound First Amendment Right to teach their pet theories in public schools.

Antifundamentalist | May 4, 2021 at 12:15 pm

She has the right to say what she wants to say, but she does not have the right to compel anyone else to participate in her religion. I do believe the courts have already settled that argument.

I’m Critical of her Race Theory.

The 1619 Project is as usable for the classroom as all of those Ancient Astronauts theories.
I’m not saying it’s Aliens, but it’s Aliens

Ok. How about offering this 1619 nonsense as an elective survey course? Plenty of Universities.

For HS and lower though? Many actual historical events are ignored due to the press of time to get through two semesters of US History. That isn’t a free speech issue. It’s a priorities issue. There simply isn’t time.

Alternatively, maybe some sort of BLM private schools could be founded using the funds raised? If parents truly want their children to learn this nonsense then they can volunteer to send their children.

That would give us another ally of convenience in pushing for Federal, State and local education funds to follow the student.

Mitch doing what the GOPe does best: sending sternly worded letters. More failure theater from the king of it.

TheOldZombie | May 4, 2021 at 12:31 pm

“This is not about the facts of history — it’s about trying to prohibit the teaching of ideas they don’t like,”

It’s precisely about facts of history. The 1619 project is devoid of those facts which is why it must never be taught in schools.

If she claims a First Amendment right to shove her nonsense down our collective throats, then we can claim the right to teach The Bible in our schools.
Maybe we should start doing so.

Sometimes teachers are wrong about facts. Sometimes that is because we are taught incorrect facts and repeat them because we lack the expertise to check those facts. It blows my mind that anybody is okay with INTENTIONALLY lying to children. That seems like a whole different thing.

2smartforlibs | May 4, 2021 at 12:49 pm

So now the 1st means something the left has been shutting us down.

This is just more of an ongoing trend. Math teachers in several states have been told that requiring the right answer is racist. So 2+2 can equal 5, depending on the race of the student.

Lucifer Morningstar | May 4, 2021 at 1:08 pm

Great Maker, instead of sending a strongly worded letter to the Secretary of the Dept. of Education McConnell should be getting legislation introduced in both the Senate and the House to disband the illegal, constitutionally unsanctioned Federal Dept, of Education and return the authority to educate the country’s children/youth to the states where it really belongs. Only then will we be assured that this kind of critical race theory nonsense won’t be creeping into the educational curriculum.

    the illegal, constitutionally unsanctioned Federal Dept, of Education

    What the actual **** are you talking about? The department may be useless and a bad idea, but it is absolutely legal and constitutional, and claiming otherwise is nothing but a LIE. Either you know you are lying, or you are so ignorant and delusional that you should not comment on such matters.

    Have you ever even bothered to read the constitution, before pronouncing on it? It expressly authorizes congress to establish whatever departments it pleases, and it has pleased congress to establish this one and to continue to fund it. If the DOE is unconstitutional then so is every other federal department, since they were all established the exact same way.

      gibbie in reply to Milhouse. | May 4, 2021 at 5:02 pm

      Milhouse, you’re correct, as usual, but in a harshly literal kind of way.

      Perhaps what LM is getting at is that running education via a federal government bureaucracy – as well as state and local government bureaucracies – is so clearly harmful to the continued understanding and existence of the Constitution that it could be called “unconstitutional” in a wider sense.

        Lucifer Morningstar in reply to gibbie. | May 4, 2021 at 10:08 pm

        No, what I’m getting at is that most (but not all) of the 15 currently existing executive departments that the federal government has created are unauthorized by the Constitution of the United States and are an overstep of the federal government’s authority and are therefore illegal. They usurp the rights of the states as guaranteed by the Constitution. They violate the letter of the 9th and 10th Amendments. And since they have no constitutional reason to exist they should be abolished and those rights returned to the 50 states.

      GWB in reply to Milhouse. | May 4, 2021 at 5:13 pm

      expressly authorizes congress to establish whatever departments it pleases
      WTAF?! No, it authorizes them within the confines of the actual enumerated powers of the Executive branch. And, unless you take the “general welfare” clause as most progressives do – a wide open, Get Out Of Constitution Free card – “education” is NOT an enumerated power of the federal gov’t.

      As gibbie says, it’s also a violation of the enshrined federalism of the Constitution.

      Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Milhouse. | May 4, 2021 at 5:16 pm

      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

      The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people

      So tell me Milhouse, where in the Constitution does it give the federal government the right to regulate public education in the 50 states. Where is that right given to the federal government. It doesn’t. Therefore the Dept. of Education was established illegally and un-constitutionally in 1979 as an Executive Department of the federal government.

      Oh, and no. Just because the Dept. of Education was illegally and unconstitutionally established doesn’t mean every other Department is also illegal and unconstitutional

      Dept. of Defense – Constitution gives fed government duties to protect and defend United States. States do not have that right.

      Dept. of Treasury – Constitution gives fed government the right to coin money. States do not have that right.

      Dept. of State – Constitution gives fed government the sole right to negotiate and deal with foreign countries. States do not have that right.

      But for the life of me I cannot find in the Constitution any statements/clauses that give the federal government the right to establish a “Dept. of Education” and regulate public education in the 50 states. And the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution are quite clear where those rights lay if there are not prohibited to the states or given over to the federal government.

      And no amount of disingenuous court decisions illegally expanding the scope of the federal governments powers over the states is going to change that simple fact.

        Why, it’s in the Commerce Clause, that infinitely stretchable schmoo the allows the Fed to whatever it damned well pleases. THAT needs to be addressed, Oh, and the 17th amendment – that is if the States still value their sovereignty and do not want to become one a number of districts to serve Panem.

It’s hilarious how the woman who thinks that the real founding of the country was 1619 when the first slave was brought to the English colonies (note it doesn’t matter that the first African slaves were brought to New Spain, including what is now the U.S. state of Florida, in the prior century) and that the country was founded on white supremacy is now demanding a 1st Amendment right to indoctrinate kids with her lies.

Doesn’t she know that concepts like free speech are pillars of the systemically racist system? And that the white “slave owners” who wrote the Constitution wrote it entirely to preserve their system of white supremacy?* But now all of a sudden she loves the Bill of Rights if it can help her destroy the Constitution.

No, honey, we have to protect you from such racist concepts.

*I’m of course not making any of this up.

    Ben Kent in reply to Arminius. | May 4, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Why is it only Black slaves that they care about ?

    Plenty of Whites came to America as indentured servants (essentially slaves). And that was well before 1619.

    It is purely racist to disregard White slaves.

      Arminius in reply to Ben Kent. | May 4, 2021 at 2:50 pm

      They’re not being hypocrites. They’re Marxists (in fact the co-founders of #BLM openly admit they’re trained Marxists). After WWI when the European communists were dismayed when the proletariat didn’t rise up in Western Europe against their Bourgeois oppressors where “scientific Marxism” taught the revolution would take place, but it happened in backward Russia, they couldn’t understand why. Because Marx and Engels taught that societies had to go through a capitalist stage of development before becoming communist, and Russia hadn’t. It turned out the proletariat not only didn’t hate the Bourgeoisie, they wanted to become one of them.

      So they figured out they simply had to replace the classical Marxist economic class terms Bourgeoisie with white straight males and proletariat with every other identity politics group identity. And then they could teach those formerly called the proletariat to really hate those our “education” system indoctrinates those they believe are their oppressors.

      They don’t care about former black slaves. The founders of #BLM don’t care about black lives. With leftists it’s never about what they claim to care about. The only thing they care about is the revolution.

    Dathurtz in reply to Arminius. | May 4, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    One time I had a student, during lunch, ask me what “white” culture is. It is crazy how ideas like private property, government by consent, freedom of religion, right to self-defense are “white.” All the really nice stuff you take for granted…that’s white culture.

      GWB in reply to Dathurtz. | May 4, 2021 at 5:10 pm

      They’re only “white” by virtue of having been grasped upon and vigorously pursued by a subsection of Judeo-Christian civilization.

      The bizarre part is the Progressive mindset says “Oh, you can’t colonize those poor people in Whateverland with your successful ways!” That’s an indicator of a crazy person when they talk that way.

      henrybowman in reply to Dathurtz. | May 4, 2021 at 8:54 pm

      The Smithsonian answered that exact question two years ago, in a big-thud poster. As you remark, the backlash was underwhelming. Other than a few cavils about the “bland food” and “win at any costs” line items, the general reaction was, “so exactly what is bad about any part of this worldview?” and, “Now tell us exactly which line items don’t appear or are negated in black culture, hispanic culture, Asian cultures, etc.?” They were so embarrassed that they scrubbed their website within the week.

healthguyfsu | May 4, 2021 at 1:29 pm

Tell that to facebook…anything deemed misinformation is not tolerated. This is demonstrably falsifiable, but I bet it will be allowed.

The advantage of Bible readings in school starting the day is that people unconsciously learn to correctly conjugate old-timey verbs. People today can’t do it.

    gibbie in reply to rhhardin. | May 4, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    In about 1992 my daughter’s government high school English teacher told me she was not allowed to teach grammar because it disadvantages certain people groups. As a result, she had students begging her to teach them grammar after school.

    Some of the inmates in the asylum know where their true advantage lies.

Who is funding Carrottop? Jeff Bezos? Bill Gates? Soros?

it’s about trying to prohibit the teaching of ideas they don’t like
Well, at least we know they’ve been listening to us. Of course, they have to twist it into its antithesis to make it work for them… but they’ve been listening to our arguments.

“This is not about the facts of history — it’s about trying to prohibit the teaching of ideas they don’t like,”
Well, yes, that’s sorta the point. It isn’t about facts (which is what history is supposed to teach), it’s you wanting to propagandize children with ideas (in contradiction to the facts).

By definition of your little project, you’re presenting those ideas as facts, though. So, you’re committing fraud. And that is not protected by the First Amendment.

A tale of sociopolitical myths. told for secular leverage, take a knee. That said, systemic diversity. inequity. and exclusion a la progressive South Africa, breeds adversity.

She definitely committed the crime of cultural appropriation with that color hair. For that she should spend at least the next 5 years banned from all media of any sort.

She needs to remember that Joe said that the rights in the amendments to the Constitution are not absolute

maxmillion | May 4, 2021 at 5:17 pm

That 15% IQ difference usually shows up in critical thinking deficiencies.

Lucifer Morningstar | May 4, 2021 at 5:26 pm

“This is not about the facts of history — it’s about trying to prohibit the teaching of ideas they don’t like”

But then we could make the same argument about creationism/intelligent design (remember those legal battles keeping it out of the public schools?), and we could make the same argument about teaching “abstinence” in sex ed, and why abortions are immoral and wrong, and the evils of transsexualism and homosexuality and on and on . . .

If Jones is going to make the claim that it’s all about “prohibiting the teaching of ideas that they (whomever they may be) don’t like” then you can justify the teaching of just about anything you’d like.

Jones better watch out what she wishes for. The consequences might not be to her, or liberals, liking.

    You forgot to account for the double standards.

    To them, its perfectly consistent to teach this garbage while keeping out things they don’t like.

    henrybowman in reply to Lucifer Morningstar. | May 4, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    Well, the creationism thing is a losing argument because the most famous case (Scopes) was in the other direction. The schools’ original default position was creationism, and the defendant was accused of teaching scientific evolution. That’s the side Hannah-Jones would pick up to argue.

      CaptTee in reply to henrybowman. | May 5, 2021 at 10:18 am

      Scopes lost his case in court. He was convicted of violating the law. The fact they you believe he won shows the power of the media.

        henrybowman in reply to CaptTee. | May 6, 2021 at 9:45 pm

        I realize he lost the battle, but “his side” won the war.
        I never understood how he lost his case, given that the (admittedly self-contradictory) state law also required him to teach from that text, and that material was all he taught.

If Mizz Jones has a first amendment right to fill schools with her fictional version of the “truth”, then I also have a first amendment right to teach American history in the same schools. If she believes, as she asserted, that she and others still “believe in America’s best”, then why rewrite history?
I am not saying that some things were not perfect. Far from it. Why does history need to be rewritten? Does her version include any critical race theory? I wonder what her sources are. Is this project part of the reason that grammar is now considered racist because it is proper English and not street language? What makes math racist? Is it because the answer is not up to interpretation?
If she and others who support rewriting and changing history, why do they believe in America’s best? It would seem to me that they want to change libraries so that the history section and the fiction section are completely interchangeable and that the 500 section should be obliterated completely. Sorry but I have a logical mind. It requires proof before it is accepting of such a radical rewriting of accepted thought. I’ll wait for the citations but will fight changing the curriculum until ALL scholars, from differing viewpoints, are accepting of such a radical revisionist theory. The world isn’t flat and it seems to me that this “project” is working awfully hard to prove that it is!

If Nicole Hanna-Jones can teach her version than others can teach their version including those that are absolutely racist and even justify slavery based on skin color and many other items banished long ago. If you find this trash being taught in your schools do something about it.

Government shall not impede my right to speech, but neither shall the government compel me to listen to anyone else’s speech, either. Department of Education has no right to force a curriculum onto anybody.

She is being paid to teach the curriculum period. She is not being paid to express her opinion under the 1st amendment or any other. There is a time and a place to make your own opinion known and the school board needs to make this very clear.

Headline: “Purple-Haired Race Grifter Who Hates ‘Racist’ Constitution and Bill of Rights…Invokes First Amendment.”

barbiegirl ny | May 5, 2021 at 1:52 pm

No matter what, ya gotta love when these country-hating commies hide behind our Constitution when it suits them.

I’ve commented before that what the left pretends to care about is never what they really care about. That the co-founders of #BLM openly admit they’re trained Marxists, and they obviously only chose the name “Black Lives Matter” not because they care about black lives, as their actions clearly don’t, but so they can call their opponents racists. Who are their opponents? Anyone who figures out what they’re really about, white or black (hence the propaganda neologism “multi-racial whiteness”).

They only care about the revolution.

So I’m going to link to an excellent article that explains it better than I could, or should in the comment section on someone else’s blog.

“Purging Whiteness to Purge Capitalism”

Marxist Critical Theory was invented long before Critical Race Theory.. Should anyone be surprised that the latter is simply the earlier theory restated in racial terms?

“Critical Theory, and now Critical Race Theory, are fully-loaded howitzers aimed at all the pillars of the system.”

Nikole Hannah-Jones is playing the old Marxist/Alinskyite game. She’s demanding that those of us who care about the Constitution, and for those of us who ever served and meant it when we swore an oath to protect and defend it, respect her Constitutional right to destroy what we care about.

No way. I didn’t swear to enter a suicide pact.

In her role as agent of the State, the first doesn’t protect her, it constrains her.