September 23, 2020

WE’VE DESCENDED INTO SOME SORT OF BIZARRE HELL-WORLD IN WHICH – hang on, checking notes – THE WORLD SOCIALIST WEBSITE IS A VOICE OF SANITY: The New York Times and Nikole Hannah-Jones abandon key claims of the 1619 Project.

It is not entirely clear when the Times deleted its “true founding” claim, but an examination of old cached versions of the 1619 Project text indicates that it probably took place on December 18, 2019.

These deletions are not mere wording changes. The “true founding” claim was the core element of the Project’s assertion that all of American history is rooted in and defined by white racial hatred of blacks. According to this narrative, trumpeted by Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones, the American Revolution was a preemptive racial counterrevolution waged by white people in North America to defend slavery against British plans to abolish it. The fact that there is no historical evidence to support this claim did not deter the Times and Hannah-Jones from declaring that the historical identification of 1776 with the creation of a new nation is a myth, as is the claim that the Civil War was a progressive struggle aimed at the destruction of slavery. According to the New York Times and Hannah-Jones, the fight against slavery and all forms of oppression were struggles that black Americans always waged alone.

The Times’ “disappearing,” with a few secret keystrokes, of its central argument, without any explanation or announcement, is a stunning act of intellectual dishonesty and outright fraud. When it launched the 1619 Project in August 2019, the Times proclaimed that its aim was to radically change what and how students were taught about American history. With the aim of creating a new syllabus based on the 1619 Project, hundreds of thousands of copies of the original version of the narrative, as published in the New York Times Magazine, were printed and distributed to schools, museums and libraries all across the United States. A very large number of schools declared that they would align their curricula in accordance with the narrative supplied by the Times.

I agree with the conclusion, but it’s awfully rich coming from the source.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): A friend on Facebook comments: “In a way this is a good day for serious historians. A bunch of charlatans have been forced to back down. There are lessons to be learned more widely about pushing back against dishonesty and bad faith in academia. In years to come this might be seen as one of those turning points. And actually Trump deserves credit here too: he’s made a stink about this.”

Yes, don’t give the left a pass on its lies just because it’s easier to go along. As a famous man said, get in their face and punch back twice as hard.

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