By Ed Brodow:
The “1619 Project” is an effort by the New York Times allegedly to commemorate the 400th anniversary of slavery's beginning in America. It aims to "reframe the country's history, [understand] 1619 as our true founding, and [place] the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are." In other words, it is propaganda pandering to the new liberal playbook. Slavery was never the central issue in the founding and development of the United States. The experience of slavery was a major factor but not the defining one by any means.
The left-wing Times has pushed the false argument that the U.S. is characterized by systemic racism coming from a majority composed of white supremacists. Sorry liberals, the U.S. is not a white supremacist country and blacks are not the center of the American story. Blacks did not found the U.S.—Britain gets the credit for that, as well as the credit for introducing slavery to North America. Slavery was never the focus of U.S. population centers. And what about the prevalence of indentured servitude among the white settlers? Make no mistake about it, the 1619 Project is an attempt to re-write history as the Times kisses the butts of liberals who hate America. It reinforces "identity politics," the aim of which is to divide the country into warring camps based on color and ethnicity.
“The whole project is a lie,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. "Certainly if you're an African American, slavery is at the center of what you see at the American experience. But for most Americans, most of the time, there were a lot of other things going on." Gingrich tweeted that the Times should make its slogan, “All the Propaganda we want to brainwash you with.” Gingrich’s conclusion: “The New York Times’ editor, he basically said, look, we blew it on Russian collusion, didn’t work. Now we’re going to go to racism, that’s our new model. The next two years will be Trump and racism. This is a tragic decline of The New York Times into a propaganda paper worthy of Pravda or Izvestia in the Soviet Union.”
Echoing Gingrich’s point-of-view, conservative commentator Eric Erickson wrote on his blog: “The inmates have taken over the asylum and those inmates are re-writing American history to make everything about race, racism, and slavery.” A secret recording has exposed the Times’ intention to push its “Trump is a racist” angle. Dean Baquet—the first black American to serve as the Times’ executive editor—told his staff that, in light of the failure of the “Trump and the Russians” campaign, they should focus on Trump’s alleged racism. Baquet claimed that race “is going to be a huge part of the American story” and that the 1619 Project will “teach readers to think a little bit more like that.”
American Spectator, a conservative website, was quick to respond: “It’s hard to imagine America’s former leading newspaper recovering from what its executive editor admitted last week. Baquet says he ‘built our newsroom’ to cover a story which turns out to have been based on a hoax spread by Democrat Party operatives and used by a corrupt Obama administration to spy on innocent American citizens while attempting to prejudice a presidential election. Baquet now wants to spend the next two years forcing the ashes of that credibility down the collective throat of the American people by spreading non-stop the further hoax of the president’s racism.”
As a divisive tool, the 1619 Project is right up there with political correctness and the Green New Deal. If the Times gets away with this fiction, what if the next liberal wave is an argument that Latinos are the "very center" of the American story? After all, the Latino population now exceeds that of African Americans. Or will the next version of our history place Native Americans at the center? I can see the Times headline: “America's original sin was the genocide of Native Americans.”
“If the ownership of the Times had any integrity or business sense,” American Spectator concluded, “they would drop Dean Baquet like a radioactive turd this very day. I can’t think of anything more poisonous than a newspaper’s executive editor essentially publicly admitting his plan to stoke racial animosity in an effort to influence a presidential election when his charge is to present that publication as an objective deliverer of news. Fulfilling that mission is now impossible.”
The bottom line: The 1619 Project is all about ancient history. None of it contributes to healing the country in the present moment. This preoccupation with race only makes it worse. America may not be perfect, but it is as good as it gets. I am reminded of what Muhammad Ali is reported to have told a Soviet reporter: “To me, the U.S.A. is still the best country in the world.” When Ali returned from a trip to Africa, he remarked, “Thank God my granddaddy got on that boat.” I wonder what Ali would say about the 1619 project.
Ed Brodow is a political commentator, negotiation expert, and author of seven books including his latest, Tyranny of the Minority: How the Left is Destroying America. His articles appear regularly in Newsmax, Daily Caller, American Thinker, Townhall, LifeZette, Media Equalizer, and other online news magazines.