90 Miles From Tyranny : These Historians Challenge New York Times’ Dubious 1619 Project

Thursday, December 26, 2019

These Historians Challenge New York Times’ Dubious 1619 Project

What makes America exceptional?

Undoubtedly, most Americans would say our long-term commitment to self-government and the rule of law, and our extraordinary embrace of liberty.

Not so, according to The New York Times’ 1619 Project—named for the year in which African slaves were first brought to the English colonies in North America. The various New York Times authors apparently believe America’s unique quality is slavery.

The 1619 Project defines itself as an effort to “reframe” America’s history to define the nation’s “true founding” as one rooted—at its heart—in slavery rather than liberty.

It’s 1619 pitted against 1776.

America, according to this narrative, has been and always will be exceptionally and perhaps irredeemably racist.

As I wrote in my book, “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past,” this is a deeply misleading description of our history, but one that is becoming all too common in both popular culture and in American classrooms.

Yes, there was slavery and racism in our country’s history, and certainly the American people and our leaders have not always done the right thing. That’s something we should acknowledge and learn from, today and in the future.

And yet, America is still worth celebrating and taking pride in.

You don’t just have to take my word for it.

Historians from across the political spectrum have come out against the 1619 Project as bad history wrapped in a destructive ideology.

Allen Guelzo, a renowned historian and professor at Gettysburg College, called the 1619 Project a “conspiracy theory” based in part on the drive to “tarnish capitalism.”

In a recent appearance at The Heritage Foundation’s annual President’s Club meeting, Guelzo explained that the 1619 Project aims at rewriting the narrative of American slavery:
Not as an unwilling inheritance of British colonialism, but as the love object of American capitalism from its very origins. Not as a blemish, which the Founders grudgingly tolerated with the understanding that it must soon evaporate, but as the prize the Constitution went out of its way to secure and protect. Not as a regrettable chapter in the distant American past, but the living, breathing pattern upon which all American social life is based, world without end.

Guelzo is hardly alone in his criticism.

Two of the most prominent critics are Gordon Wood, a famed historian of the American Revolution, and James McPherson, a highly respected Civil War historian.

Both criticized the 1619 Project in...

Read More HERE

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