The Historian Who Won’t Be Bullied

Americans should applaud Dr. Gordon S. Wood, perhaps the leading scholar of the founding of America.

Dr. Wood is one of a few historians who had the courage in 2019 to stand up and object when the NYT’s 1619 Project hijacked American history by claiming “nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional” flows from “slavery and the anti-black racism it required.”

Dr. Wood recently received the Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education from The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of academic excellence, academic freedom and accountability at America’s colleges and universities.

Dr. Wood argues that slavery was not a cause of the American Revolution, which was fought to advance principles like liberty, equality and the well-being of ordinary people. These principles, he adds, are “really the only things that hold us Americans together and make us a single people.”

ACTA lauded Dr. Wood’s six decades of scholarship on America’s founding that is “renowned for its meticulous accuracy and groundbreaking insight.”

Historically Inaccurate

In remarks accepting the ACTA award, Dr. Wood rejects the 1619 Project’s premise that colonists fought the American Revolution because Britain was threatening to abolish slavery.

Continue reading “The Historian Who Won’t Be Bullied”

The New York Times ‘1619 Project’ Vilified By The Right And Left

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.”

Continue reading “The New York Times ‘1619 Project’ Vilified By The Right And Left”

In Addition to U.S. History, Re-Examine Kindergarten?

With storefronts boarded up around the country in anticipation of post-election mayhem, it seems pretty clear that many Americans have forgotten lessons once taught in kindergarten.

President Donald J. Trump this week signed an executive order establishing the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission, which will work to improve the understanding and teaching of the history and principles of the founding of the United States.

It also might be fruitful to re-examine what is being taught in kindergarten.

Clearly, many Americans on both sides of the political aisle either were not taught the “rules” or have forgotten them.

Hence, boarded up storefronts, trucks carrying Trump supporters with flags that surrounded Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign bus, young people assaulting older people who are wearing Trump MAGA hats, and so-called civil rights protesters shouting at outdoor diners until they raised their fists in solidarity.

Continue reading “In Addition to U.S. History, Re-Examine Kindergarten?”

Journalism Ethics Group Silent About Biggest Controversy in Years

What does The Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at Poynter Institute for Media Studies, founded in 2019 to advance ethical standards in the media, have to say about the on-going controversy regarding The 1619 Project?

It has been silent, even though this is the single biggest controversy involving journalism ethics in many years.

The center on Wednesday ran a story on its web site that promised a “deeper look” into the controversy surrounding The 1619 Project. The story regurgitated some clashing viewpoints without taking the obvious step of interpreting the issues in the context of journalism ethics. The Poynter Institute earlier ran a story lauding The 1619 Project as a “phenomenal piece of journalism.”

Historians and journalists have criticized falsehoods and apparent ethical lapses in the NYT series, which commemorated the 400th anniversary of slaves arriving in America. Among other things:

  • The series is based on the demonstrably false premise that a primary reason America fought the Revolutionary War was to perpetuate slavery. This, after the NYT’s own expert argued vigorously the proposition was false.
  • The NYT refused to make corrections, instead issuing a begrudging “clarification” that “some” columnists primarily fought to defend slavery, without supporting that claim.
  • Quillette disclosed the NYT made stealth edits to the project in response to fierce criticism. The series claimed that 1619, not 1776, was America’s “true founding.” That passage has disappeared without announcement or correction.
  • The series editor, Nikole Hannah Jones, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary by a seven-member jury panel that included a NYT editorial writer and despite the fact a major premise of her essay was incorrect.
Continue reading “Journalism Ethics Group Silent About Biggest Controversy in Years”

NYU Flap Highlights The Absurd State of Today’s Media

Almost the entire staff of a New York University student newspaper resigned recently after their advisor said they couldn’t use the term “murder” to describe the police shooting of Breonna Taylor.

Abby Hofstetter, 21, the managing editor of Washington Square News, quit in protest, followed by 43 other staff members. In a statement, they said the advisor, Prof. Kenna Griffin, an expert on student publications, was insensitive to black students.

According to the statement: “An editor stood up to Dr. Griffin’s demands and refused to edit out the word ‘murder’ from our article about Breonna Taylor’s murder at the hands of Louisville cops. Dr. Griffin demanded the Managing Editor discipline them, as she ‘didn’t want to have a full deal publicly.’”

The situation is ludicrous but it is no wonder at a time when supposedly respectable newspapers blur the line between the editorial page and the opinion section. A case in point is the New York Times’ 1619 Project; overwhelming evidence shows the series falsely asserts that America fought the Revolutionary War to protect slavery. Yet, it won a Pulitzer Prize.

Murder is a Legal Term

What the NYU students apparently fail to grasp is that “murder” is a legal term defined by state statute. Generally, a person is guilty of murder when s/he has been convicted in a court of law for intentionally causing  the death of another person. Intent is established through admission or evidence and decided by a jury.


A newspaper could be sued for libel for publishing an article calling someone a murderer who has not met the condition precedent – conviction of the crime in a court of law.

The most sacred principle in America’s criminal jurisprudence is that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

Continue reading “NYU Flap Highlights The Absurd State of Today’s Media”