Project 1619: 7 Disturbing Facts

New York Times Managing Editor Dean Baquet

The New York Times launched Project 1619 in August 2019. The goal of Project 1619 is “to reframe American history by considering . . . 1619 as our nation’s birth year” (New York Times Magazine, December 20, 2019).

The brainchild of Project 1619 is the executive editor of the New York Times, Dean Baquet. Baquet admitted that their coverage of President Trump focused on collusion with Russia. When that proved false, however, Baquet acknowledged they were caught “flat-footed.” Baquet announced that everything patriotic and Trump be “reframed” into white racism. (https://www.breitbart.com/the-media/2019/08/16/nolte-new-york-times-admits-we-built-our-newsroom-around-russia-collusion-hoax/)

First, Project 1619 blames 400 years of slavery on white Americans.

American slavery began on August 1619 when Jamestown settlers bought 20-30 Africans from English pirates. (Nikole Hannah-Jones, New York Times Magazine, August 14, 2019)

Second, Project 1619 asserts that black slavery built American economic prosperity.

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke parroted this lie:

We can mark the creation of this country not at the 4th of July 1776, but August 20, 1619, when the first kidnapped African was brought to this country against his will. And in bondage, and as a slave, built the greatness and the success and the wealth that neither he nor his descendants would ever be able to fully participate in and enjoy. https://www.newsweek.com/beto-orouke-trump-white

Third, Project 1619 alleges that we are committing “educational malpractice.”

According to the New York Times, we commit educational malpractice when we do not teach history as represented by Project 1619.

(See https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/19/magazine/slavery-american-schools.html)

What is their reason for this malpractice? Nikita Stewart once again blames white Americans:

“About 80 percent of this country’s 3.7 million teachers are white, and white educators.”

The historical inaccuracies of Project 1619 are too numerous to detail. David Horowitz accurately summarized:

[These] historically illiterate—and racist—lies . . . might be understandable if they had been put together by the psychological warfare unit of an enemy power. But assembled by the editorial board of America’s premier newspaper, they were a disturbing indication of the derangement of the times. (David Horowitz, Blitz, pg 77)

Fourth, Project 1619 inaccurately blames slavery on white American citizens.

Project 1619 ignores that the term “America” applies to South, Central, and North America since 1507. American slavery dates back thousands of years among the Incas, Aztecs, and native American Indians.

Also, to blame white Europeans and Americans for the slave trade is false. Europeans and Americans were latecomers to the slave trade. Historian John Gleissner stated that Arabs traded African slaves for 13 centuries, “compared to the three centuries of the Atlantic slave trade.” (https://www.startribune.com/the-new-york-times-1619-project-revisited/565907662/)

Fifth, Americans did not buy the first African slaves in 1619.

It was the English colonists who bought the first African slaves. The “America” targeted by the New York Times did not exist in 1619. The founding of America was 150 years later. In that context, slavery existed in America for only 76 years, not 400. Then the Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Sixth, Project 1619 conveniently excludes an uncomfortable fact that Africans sold Africans into slavery.

According to a September 2019 article in the Wall Street Journal:

“Buying and selling human beings had been part of many African cultures … long before the first white people landed” on their shores. “Africans kept more slaves for themselves than they sent to the Americas.”

When President Bill Clinton apologized for slavery during a visit to Africa, Uganda’s president replied, “African chiefs were the ones waging war on each other and capturing their own people and selling them. If anyone should apologize, it should be the African chiefs.”

https://www.americanexperiment.org/2019/12/the-new-york-times-1619-project-revisited/

Seventh, Project 1619 erroneously ignores the fact that whites were not the only slaveholders in America.

Even blacks owned slaves in Louisiana, Virginia, and South Carolina. (https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/african-american-odyssey/free-blacks-in-the-antebellum-period.html) Cherokee Indians also owned thousands of black slaves. (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-native-american-slaveholders-complicate-trail-tears-narrative-180968339)

Finally, Project 1619 conveniently ignores the sacrifices of 350,000 white Unionists who died to secure freedom for slaves. Most of these Unionists never owned slaves. While many blacks were working for abolition, the vast majority of abolitionists were white Americans. Since the Civil War, America has led the fight to abolish slavery and freedom of all people. In contrast, slavery still exists in Africa, 156 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Project 1619, however, fails to acknowledge that other blacks enslave blacks in Africa.

Conclusion

No one disputes the fact that slavery is wrong. Nor does anyone dispute that America is blameless. But that is a far cry from stating that America is racist to its core.

Project 1619 is a gross example of revisionist history at best. At worst, it is racist. It distorts the facts, lies, incites more racism, and violence. It is hate speech.

Katherine Kersten accurately summarizes:

Our nation does not need race-based shaming for whites and condescending “victim” talk for blacks. It needs inspiring examples of the beliefs and actions that enable individuals to take full advantage of the priceless benefits of living here. . . . Only in Western civilization has the worldwide institution of slavery been questioned and reformed.

America has faults and has a lot of work to do. We need to build on the progress and momentum we have to make America better, not bitter. Project 1619 and the New York Times are dividing our nation, not improving it.

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