November 30, 2021

THEY’LL KEEP TRYING OUT NEW LIES IN THE HOPE OF FINDING ONE THAT WORKS: The New York Times’ Jake Silverstein concocts “a new origin story” for the 1619 Project.

Silverstein has staked his reputation on the 1619 Project. This has gone badly for him. His name will forever be associated with the secretive manner through which the project invented its false and error-ridden historical interpretation, as well as the orchestration of the cover-up that has followed.

Specifically, Silverstein bears responsibility for the exclusion of leading scholars of American history—who would have objected to the 1619 Project’s central historical claims—and the intentional disregarding of objections made by the project’s own handpicked “fact-checkers.” Silverstein penned the devious reply to leading historians who pointed to the project’s errors. He then organized surreptitious changes to the already published 1619 Project, and, when exposed, claimed that it had all been a matter of word choice.

Silverstein’s 8,250-word essay is just the latest in this long line of underhanded journalism and bogus history. Once again, he fails to deal with any of the substantive historical criticism of the 1619 Project—in relationship to the origins of slavery, the nature of the American Revolution, the emergence of capitalism and the interracial character of past struggles for equality.

Instead of addressing any of this, and in keeping with the modus operandi of the 1619 Project, Silverstein’s essay piles new layers of falsification on old. If the original 1619 Project falsified American history, Silverstein’s latest essay falsifies the history of American history-writing—and it openly embraces a historical method that privileges “narrative” over “actual fact.”

The 1619 Project is the kind of false history that a conqueror would impose on a conquered nation to break its will.

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