Memorial Day is intended to honor the sacrifices of soldiers who fought and died for American values like freedom and equality.
But the new race narrative being promulgated by the New York Times’ The 1619 Project effectively rejects this concept with respect to the Revolutionary War.
The Biden administration is promoting the teaching of The 1619 Project, which claims America’s real founding year was 1619, the year African slaves arrived in Virginia, instead of 1776, the year the Declaration of Independence was signed.
The central tenet of the project, which is being distributed in curriculum form by the Pulitzer Center at Columbia University to schools around the country, is that Americans fought the Revolutionary War to protect slavery and slavery has been at the heart of everything America has done since then.
It seems to matter not that Gordon Wood, the premier historian of the American Revolution; James McPherson, the dean of Civil War historians; and Sean Wilentz of Princeton University say there is absolutely no evidence that slavery was a factor in the Revolutionary War. “I don’t know of any colonist who said that they wanted independence in order to preserve their slaves,” said Wood.
The 1619 Project was published last year by the New York Times to “reframe” American history by placing slavery at its central driving core.
However, the deeply flawed project is making history in another context – it is bringing together opponents from the right and left who contend the project was a deliberate mischaracterization of American history.
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative group that promotes traditional American values, and the International Committee of World Socialists, which fights for economic equality of the working class, are pushing back against a free The 1619 Project curriculum being distributed by the NYT and The Pulitzer Center to schools around the country.
(Yes, despite central gaping errors and significant retrenchment by the NYT, both public and in secret, the series won a Pulitzer Prize, heretofore a crowning achievement in journalism.)
In the forward of a new book, David North, chair of the Socialist Party in the U.S., calls The 1619 Project “unprincipled,” “a grotesque distortion” and “a combination of shoddy journalism, careless and dishonest research, and a false, politically-motivated narrative.”
North says the project undermines the “unity of the broad mass of Americans in their common struggle against conditions of social inequality and exploitation.”