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DISPATCHES FROM THE DEVIL’S PLEASURE PALACE: The New York Times’ 1619 Project Reeks Of Herbert Marcuse’s Divisive Ideology.

(Classical reference in headline.)

WAS MICHAEL BELLESILES INVOLVED? What ‘The Times’ 1619 Project Got Wrong About Slavery in America.

Related: Reclaiming 1619.

WHAT DID THE NEW YORK TIMES GET WRONG ABOUT SLAVERY IN ITS “1619 PROJECT”?:  A lot.

AND AGAIN: Exclusive — Another New York Times Editor Made Racist, Anti-Semitic Comments.

Jazmine Hughes, an associate editor of the New York Times Magazine, has made a series of racist and antisemitic comments on social media over a multi-year span. A number of the tweets came from Hughes’s personal account, which is associated with her Times email, after she was hired by the outlet in April 2015 and continued well into 2017.

* * * * * * * *

Since joining the Times, she has occasionally written pieces centered on the intersection of race and culture. Her most recent project for the Times’ magazine was the 1619 Project, a comprehensive series of articles and essays arguing that slavery was the institution that fundamentally shaped the modern United States.

The newspaper made a massive investment in the 1619 Project, through which it aimed to redefine America’s understanding of the history of slavery. Hughes was no small part of the newspaper’s work on this, as she was on the byline of one of two major feature pieces on the broadsheet print edition of the special.

“The broadsheet special section has two components: A reported essay by Nikita Stewart, a reporter on The Times’s Metro desk, examining why Americans are so poorly educated on slavery, followed by a history of slavery written by Mary Elliott, curator of American slavery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Jazmine Hughes, a writer and editor at The Times Magazine,” the Times wrote about how its 1619 Project feature came together, highlighting the critical role that Hughes played in its publication.

It is unclear if the Times knew of Hughes’s prior controversial tweets before allowing her to undertake a project of such means. Representatives for the paper did not return requests for comment.

Read the whole thing, which, alongside the other recent examples of racism and anti-Semitism on display from her fellow Timespeople, does much to illustrate the punitive leftism and identity politics driving much of the Times’ recent material, not least of which, their “1619 Project.” QED:

Earlier: The New York Times’ Disastrous Summer of Fake News and Public Meltdowns.

1619 AND ALL THAT:

The America the liberal elite sees now in 2019 has been a monstrosity from the beginning—from before the beginning, in fact. Wilfred McClay takes up this act of historical revisionism in his cover article this month. The New York Times’ “1619 Project” exploring American history cunningly dates itself not only to the forced arrival on these shores of indentured Africans but to the year before the arrival of the Mayflower. Why is this cunning? Because it begins the American narrative in slavery rather than in the quest for freedom—the pilgrims having set sail in 1620 so that they could practice their faith without persecution.

So the American experiment is not a story about freedom but a story about unfreedom. It is not about a quest for justice but about making excuses for injustice. It is not about good things. It is about bad things. It is not even about the struggle between the good and the bad. It is about original sin without redemption. We were evil before we began.

That’s the highfalutin take. The more prosaic take is that America is not about the story of Barack Obama but about the story of Donald Trump. That is what the 1619 Project is all about; it is an excuse to hate America because you don’t like the political turn it’s taken.

Love of country is something akin to the love for another person Shakespeare diagnosed negatively: “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.” You don’t love America only when the election comes out your way. If that’s your view, it only means you didn’t really love America in the first place.

Punitive liberalism, to coin a phrase.

TRUST US, WE’RE ABOVE-THE-FRAY INTELLECTUALS: He questioned the accuracy of the ‘1619 Project.’ A history professor responded with ‘your mom.’

HOW THE NEW YORK TIMES DISTORTS AMERICAN HISTORY: Commentary Magazine relies on logic and facts to resist the NYT‘s distorted “1619 Project.”

Considered strictly as an exercise in historical understanding, and in deepening the public’s understanding of a profound issue in our national past, the Project represents a giant missed opportunity. It passes over the complex truth in favor of an exaggeration bordering on travesty. And if it has any influence, that influence will be as likely as not to damage the nation and distort its self-understanding in truly harmful ways—ways that will perhaps be most harmful of all to Americans of African descent, who do not need to be supplied with yet another reason to feel cut off from the promise of American life.

MORE:

…what we are to make of the New York Times’ decision to take on this project in the way that it has. Is it the proper role of a journalistic organization, especially one as powerful as the Times, to promote and advocate for a particular interpretation of American history? Do such actions constitute responsible journalism? Do they contribute to the solution of our current problems through the introduction of honest, unflinching, and fair-minded consideration of the issues raised by the American experience with slavery?

Or are they doing something far less creditable, less balanced, and more polemical, using a distorted and one-sided account of our history to intervene in our current political wars, in ways that can only broaden and deepen those conflicts, and turn them into far worse forms of warfare?

MORE:

It seems fairly clear that, to the extent that the Times’ assessment draws upon slavery scholarship, its sources have been scholars associated with the so-called new history of capitalism. They seek to link the alleged productivity of slavery to the triumph of capitalism in America—and thereby seek to transfer the stain of slavery to every malady of present-day American life, from income inequality to climate change to the decline of unions to the Great Recession of 2008.

Far from downplaying the effects of the legacy, these scholars play it up, finding it to be massive and all-determinative. In the process, as economic historian Philip Magness has brilliantly pointed out, they have virtually rehabilitated the claims of antebellum Southern planters that “Cotton is king,” and that slavery was the true source of the bulk of the nation’s wealth. For example, Cornell historian Edward Baptist’s 2014 book The Half Has Never Been Told argues that the wealth piled up by the minutely managed institutions of slavery was the source of all subsequent American wealth. Baptist asserts that almost half of the economic activity of the United States by the year 1836 was a product of slavery. That stunning statistic was cited recently by the journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates in his testimony before Congress, in favor of reparations for slavery.

The only problem is that Baptist’s statistic is demonstrably wrong…

The article, written by Wilfred M. McClay (a professor at Oklahoma University), absolutely eviscerates the NYT‘s 1619 Project. At one point McClay says the it is part of the “Times’ journalistic battlefield preparation for the 2020 election.” So perhaps we should call it the Desperate Democrats’ 2020 Political Propaganda Project?

NOW, I KNOW ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS DON’T NEED TO HAVE CERTAIN NUMBERS OF COLUMN INCHES, BUT HOW MUCH CAN YOU WRITE, WHEN THE ANSWER IS “EVERYTHING?”  What the 1619 Project Gets Wrong about Slavery and Economics.

PETER WOOD ON THE NYT’S 1619 PROJECT:  Teaching that America Is Hopelessly Racist.

WE’VE DESCENDED INTO SOME SORT OF BIZARRE HELL-WORLD IN WHICH ANDREW SULLIVAN IS A VOICE OF SANITY: With the “1619 Project” the New York Times Has Abandoned Liberalism for Activism.

But the NYT chose a neo-Marxist rather than liberal path to make a very specific claim: that slavery is not one of many things that describe America’s founding and culture, it is the definitive one. Arguing that the “true founding” was the arrival of African slaves on the continent, period, is a bitter rebuke to the actual founders and Lincoln. America is not a messy, evolving, multicultural, religiously infused, Enlightenment-based, racist, liberating, wealth-generating kaleidoscope of a society. It’s white supremacy, which started in 1619, and that’s the key to understand all of it. America’s only virtue, in this telling, belongs to those who have attempted and still attempt to end this malign manifestation of white supremacy.

I don’t believe most African-Americans believe this, outside the elites. They’re much less doctrinaire than elite white leftists on a whole range of subjects. I don’t buy it either — alongside, I suspect, most immigrants, including most immigrants of color. Who would ever want to immigrate to such a vile and oppressive place? But it is extremely telling that this is not merely aired in the paper of record (as it should be), but that it is aggressively presented as objective reality. That’s propaganda, directed, as we now know, from the very top — and now being marched through the entire educational system to achieve a specific end. To present a truth as the truth is, in fact, a deception. And it is hard to trust a paper engaged in trying to deceive its readers in order for its radical reporters and weak editors to transform the world.

To be fair, it’s been “Gray Lady Down” for quite some time now.

TO BE HONEST, THAT STARTED AT LEAST AS FAR BACK AS HOWELL RAINES’ QUIXOTIC ATTACKS ON AUGUSTA NATIONAL: Andrew Sullivan: The New York Times Has Abandoned Liberalism for Activism.

In a NYT town hall recently leaked to the press, a reporter asked the executive editor, Dean Baquet, why the Times doesn’t integrate the message of the 1619 Project into every single subject the paper covers: “I’m wondering to what extent you think that the fact of racism and white supremacy being sort of the foundation of this country should play into our reporting … I just feel like racism is in everything. It should be considered in our science reporting, in our culture reporting, in our national reporting. And so, to me, it’s less about the individual instances of racism, and sort of how we’re thinking about racism and white supremacy as the foundation of all of the systems in the country.”

It’s a good point, isn’t it? If you don’t believe in a liberal view of the world, if you hold the doctrines of critical race theory, and believe that “all of the systems in the country” whatever they may be, are defined by a belief in the sub-humanity of black Americans, why isn’t every issue covered that way? Baquet had no answer to this contradiction, except to say that the 1619 Project was a good start: “One reason we all signed off on the 1619 Project and made it so ambitious and expansive was to teach our readers to think a little bit more like that.” In other words, the objective was to get liberal readers to think a little bit more like neo-Marxists.

The New York Times, by its executive editor’s own admission, is increasingly engaged in a project of reporting everything through the prism of white supremacy and critical race theory, in order to “teach” its readers to think in these crudely reductionist and racial terms. That’s why this issue wasn’t called, say, “special issue”, but a “project”. It’s as much activism as journalism. And that’s the reason I’m dwelling on this a few weeks later. I’m constantly told that critical race theory is secluded on college campuses, and has no impact outside of them … and yet the newspaper of record, in a dizzyingly short space of time, is now captive to it. Its magazine covers the legacy of slavery not with a variety of scholars, or a diversity of views, but with critical race theory, espoused almost exclusively by black writers, as its sole interpretative mechanism.

They’re vicious, somewhat crazy, hacks, doing their best to expand the Gramscian Damage.

ALL THIS AND WORLD WAR II: First the New York Times decides to rewrite the founding of the country to “own the cons,” as the kids say these days. And now WWII: Bret Stephens has a new column on ‘Jews as bedbugs’ and it looks like he totally effed it up. “As you can see if you click on the bottom right photo, Stephens didn’t bother reading the footnote for his quote on the burning of Warsaw’s Jewish ghetto, ‘The bedbugs are on fire. The Germans are doing a great job.’ You see, at the time, there really was a bedbug epidemic in Warsaw and the author of the book from where Stephens got that quote said it should be taken literally.”

Layers and layers of fact checkers and editors.

THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS: The Media’s no good, very bad week (and what’s coming next).

I think this week is a harbinger of things to come. Why? Because the Mueller report didn’t work out as Democrats and the media hoped. There’s no public appetite for impeachment. Progressives are getting nervous and the NY Times has signaled privately and publicly, through its 1619 Project, that the 2020 election will be all about racism because that’s the best chance Democrats have to activate their base.

So what’s coming next? A lot more careless mistakes by the usual suspects looking to drag Trump and the GOP down. What this week demonstrates is that many of them care less about their credibility than ensuring the desired outcome. This isn’t really new of course. In fact, some version of this happens every four years. See dog-abusing-vampire-capitalist-with-80s-foreign-policy Mitt Romney for a previous example.

Which dovetails well with Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel’s look at how things went this week with the Democratic Party operatives without bylines, aka the politicians: Crackup in the Democratic Party.

Imagine you’re Biden’s political director, sitting offstage. All of a sudden, Biden wanders into the unscripted territory and says, “Imagine the assassination of Obama.” This is not an attack on Biden, but he’s not going to be the nominee. So the actual race comes down to Warren’s and Sanders’ competing visions of how to achieve the same socialist fantasy. Warren is promising reparations based on skin color. That’s popular. Sanders wants a government takeover of the entire energy sector. They will be working to out-crazy each other for the next six months. That is a dynamic guaranteed to produce even more extremism. And it has some Democratic leaders worried. The Democratic National Committee voted on a proposal to hold a debate focused exclusively on climate change. Why wouldn’t they? Well, because the solutions the candidates would promise live on television are insane: spend $16 trillion, ban airplanes, seize control of the entire U.S. economy.

The Trustafarians love stuff like that. Normal people find it terrifying. Even the party hacks here in D.C. don’t like it, and that’s probably a compliment. Do you really think Nancy Pelosi believes climate change is an existential crisis? Of course, she doesn’t think that. Plus, she flies private. Obama can say whatever he wants about carbon emissions. He can shake his chin and be concerned, but when you’re spending 15 million of your own dollars on a beachfront estate on Martha’s Vineyard, you’re not too worried about the oceans rising. But the Democratic base doesn’t get the joke. Democratic primary voters believe the talking points. And very soon, they will be powerful enough to nominate their own presidential candidate. And when that happens, it’s going to be a very different party.

Nobody should be getting cocky in this election cycle.

Classical reference in headline, from a time when the left still viewed satire as a weapon, before the revolution devoured its own.

JULIETTE OCHIENG: The Real Purpose of the 1619 Project.

THE ‘1619 PROJECT’ IS WHAT THE GENIUSES AT THE NEW YORK TIMES CAME UP WITH: Ken Braun of the Capital Research Center (CRC) does a deep dive into the influence of the MacArthur Foundation in the Times’ newsroom. Lots of MacArthur “genius” grant winners led the way.

And speaking of the 1619 Project, The Federalist Publisher Ben Domenech responds and includes links to five superb pieces that have appeared on his site about the Times’ work.

WHAT SCHOLARSHIP? IT’S PULLED FROM AIR TO FIT THE NARRATIVE. THE LEFT ISN’T EVEN PRETENDING ANYMORE:  The 1619 Project: Scholarship Or Race Hustling? (Updated).

WELL, THE NEW YORK TIMES IS A WELL KNOWN SATIRE WEBSITE. THEY’RE JUST NOT GOOD AT IT. ALSO PEOPLE INSIST ON PRETENDING THEY’RE A REAL NEWSPAPER:  The 1619 Project Says We Fought American Revolution In Order To Keep Slavery Intact.

I mean if people were so deeply insane as to propagate this sort of America-hating idiocy and expect it to be taken seriously we’d have to deport them or something. Would make them happier, right?

NOT SO FAST! NYT Sr. Staff Editor Thomas Wright-Piersanti deletes anti-Semitic and racist tweets after being outed (we got ’em!).

More here: ‘Crappy Jew Year’: New York Times Editor’s Antisemitism, Racism Exposed.

Between Wright-Piersanti and Sarah Jeong’s racism, no wonder the Times recently embarked on its “1619 Project” — it’s pure projectionism. Or as Andrew Sullivan, astonishingly enough, wrote last year, “I don’t think the New York Times should fire [Jeong] — in part because they largely share her views on race, gender, and oppression. Their entire hiring and editorial process is based on them.”

“AS USUAL IN AMERICAN JOURNALISM, WHERE THE TIMES LEADS, ITS ACOLYTES AROUND THE COUNTRY WILL FOLLOW:”

JOHN KASS: Robert Mueller crushed their dreams, so Democrats pivot to race.

They had invested so much in their fantasy that President Donald Trump was a treasonous agent of Russian boss Vladimir Putin. But when special counsel Robert Mueller’s report came out, and there was no collusion, no crime charged, their fantasy collapsed.

And so, after a brief spasm of despair, the left pivoted to their default position: race.

Race. Race. Race. Race. Race.

With Americans working and with money in their pockets again, with the 2020 election approaching, Democrats are reaching for the race card the way a sick man reaches for the waters of Lourdes. Desperately. Their allies in media followed suit, with Trump called everything from a white supremacist, to a Nazi, and on and on.

Meanwhile, the New York Times embarks on an ambitious new series, the 1619 Project — marking the 400th anniversary of the first slave ships to our shores.

The newspaper said it hopes “to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

NYT editor Dean Baquet, a former colleague of mine at the Chicago Tribune, a thoughtful man now with his newsroom in turmoil, expressed the pivot in a different way.

In terms of Mueller.

In a transcript of a newsroom meeting with his liberal staff that made its way to Slate, Baquet said this:

“The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened,” Baquet said. “Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, ‘Holy s—, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.’ And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about started to emerge like six or seven weeks ago. We’re a little tiny bit flat-footed. I mean, that’s what happens when a story looks a certain way for two years. Right?”

So the Times pivoted.

The story of slavery in America is compelling and worthy of such attention. But reducing the whole of America to the sin of slavery and racism that America has tried so hard to reject — by shedding blood in the Civil War, by passing the Civil Rights Act, by twice electing Barack Obama to the White House — is absurd. But revealing.

They are awful people who don’t care what damage they do, so long as they regain power — or at least manage to feel superior to their countrymen.

WHY ARE YOU TAKING THIS SERIOUSLY? DEAN BAQUET OPENLY SAID THEY’RE JUST GOING TO YAMMER ABOUT RACISM FOR THE NEXT YEAR IN THE HOPES OF BEATING TRUMP. THAT’S LITERALLY ALL THIS IS. The Atoning Sacrifice of the Union Soldiers Means Nothing to the New York Times’ 1619 Project.

WHEN YOU’VE LOST THE WEEK: The New York Times surrenders to the left on race. “There’s no denying that the much-lauded ‘1619 Project’ at The New York Times is a remarkable achievement. Whether it’s an achievement that the paper and its staff should be proud of is another matter.”

THE GHOST OF JOHN C. CALHOUN HAUNTS TODAY’S AMERICAN LEFT: The irony of the New York Times’ 1619 Project is that it embraces the critique of the American Founding espoused by the leading defender of Southern slavery, Sen. John C. Calhoun.

As Victor Davis Hanson has written, that’s also true of the left’s see-no-evil view of illegal immigration:

The apparent principle of sanctuary cities is akin to roulette. The odds suggest that most illegal aliens detained by officials are not career felons and thus supposedly need not be turned over to ICE for deportation. On the chance that some of their 10,000 released criminals will go on to commit further crimes in the manner of Juan Lopez-Sanchez, officials then shrug that the public outcry will be episodic and quickly die down, or will at least not pose political problems as great as would come from deporting aliens.

Yet the idea of a sanctuary city is Confederate to the core, reminiscent of antebellum Southern states picking and choosing which federal statutes they would abide by or reject. Even before the Civil War, the Nullification Crisis of 1832-33 pitted South Carolina against a fellow southerner, President Andrew Jackson, as the state declared that federal tariff laws were not applicable within its confines. Jackson understood the threat to the union, and promised to send in federal troops before South Carolina backed down.

Why are coastal Democrats partying like it’s 1859?

WHY IS THE FAR LEFT SUCH A CESSPIT OF RACIALISM? The New York Times surrenders to the left on race.

Related: What The 1619 Project Leaves Out of Black History in America.

You’re gonna need a much bigger blog.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Yale & The Crisis Of American Elites.

Inoue is the director of the UW-Tacoma Writing Center and has explained that “White language supremacy is perpetuated in college classrooms despite the better intentions of faculty, particularly through the practices of grading writing.” It appears that grading on writing ability is one of those acts of white supremacy. He has insisted that professors who use a single neutral standard for all students are perpetuating racism: “[using] single standard to grade your students’ languaging, you engage in racism. You actively promote white language supremacy, which is the handmaiden to white bias in the world.”

You might be thinking, “OK, that’s nuts, but that kind of thing would never fly in STEM disciplines.” Let me introduce you to a peer-reviewed 2017 paper by feminist scholar Donna Riley, who in the same year became head of the Purdue University department of engineering education. Purdue is one of the top engineering schools in the country. Here’s the abstract:

Rigor is the aspirational quality academics apply to disciplinary standards of quality. Rigor’s particular role in engineering created conditions for its transfer and adaptation in the recently emergent discipline of engineering education research. ‘Rigorous engineering education research’ and the related ‘evidence-based’ research and practice movement in STEM education have resulted in a proliferation of boundary drawing exercises that mimic those in engineering disciplines, shaping the development of new knowledge and ‘improved’ practice in engineering education. Rigor accomplishes dirty deeds, however, serving three primary ends across engineering, engineering education, and engineering education research: disciplining, demarcating boundaries, and demonstrating white male heterosexual privilege. Understanding how rigor reproduces inequality, we cannot reinvent it but rather must relinquish it, looking to alternative conceptualizations for evaluating knowledge, welcoming diverse ways of knowing, doing, and being, and moving from compliance to engagement, from rigor to vigor.

In the paper, she writes:

One of rigor’s purposes is, to put it bluntly, a thinly veiled assertion of white male (hetero)sexuality” because rigor “has a historical lineage of being about hardness, stiffness, and erectness; its sexual connotations—and links to masculinity in particular—are undeniable.

Er, right. Here’s a tip for travelers: if you arrive at a bridge over a gorge, you’d better hope that it stands stiff and erect, and that one of Donna Riley’s rigorless students, with their diverse ways of knowing, didn’t have anything to do with engineering the thing.

See also: the 2018  Florida International University bridge collapse that killed six and injured eight, but whose engineers were praised beforehand for their environmentalism and gender equality.

Read the whole thing, which also explores the New York Times’ racialist “1619 Project” as well.

“THE 1619 PROJECT:” The New York Times Rewrites American History.

Earlier: Is The New York Times a Newspaper, Or the Oberlin Faculty Senate?

EMBRACE THE HEALING POWER OF “AND:” Is The New York Times a Newspaper, Or the Oberlin Faculty Senate?

If you keep your eye on media news, you know that The New York Times, the most important newspaper in America, has been roiled internally over whether or not a headline it published over a Trump story (about his post El Paso speech) exonerated the president from racism. The original headline read “Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism.” After a staff revolt, the headline was later changed to “Assailing Hate, But Not Guns”.

The paper’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, met with the staff about the headline, and the paper’s coverage of race. Slate published the transcript of a leaked recording. I encourage you to read it to get an idea of how the people who put out the most influential newspaper in the world think about this stuff. They go on and on and on, torturing Baquet over this one measly headline that accurately and neutrally described Trump’s speech.

Rod Dreher includes a link to a Times page that illustrates just how badly Oberlin-style identity politics have seeped into the Gray Lady’s product:

The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times memorializing that event on its 400th anniversary. The goal of the project is to deepen understanding of American history (and the American present) by proposing a new point of origin for our national story. In the days and weeks to come, we will publish essays demonstrating that nearly everything that has made America exceptional grew out of slavery.

As Dreher writes:

The importation of the first slave into the land that would become the United State is the “true founding” of America? That is a breathtaking — and breathtakingly ideological — claim. This is substantially different from claiming that slavery was a key part of this country’s identity — a claim that is indisputably true, and important to recognize. The Times — our newspaper of record — is on record now saying that the establishment of slavery was the Ur-event of American history. If you want to know how they managed to come to that conclusion, well, that transcript will give you an idea. A staffer who “feel[s] like racism is in everything” asks the executive editor why racism isn’t in every single story they write — and he responds not by challenging the premise of the question (if only from a professional journalism point of view), but rather by pointing him to the 1619 Project.

In the weeks and months after 9/11, then-editor Howell Raines dusted off Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals #13 to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it,” and aimed the massed reporting resources of his newspaper in the early days of the War on Terror on a target he deemed far more horrifying than Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein: the Augusta National Golf Club. In the era of Trump, current editor Dean Baquet has scaled Rule #13 up a bit to go after America itself as “the 1619 Project” and its identity politics-obsessed coverage of America’s first manned moon landing last month illustrate. Thankfully, we can still rely on the Times’ coolly objective look back at the Soviet Union to help balance things out.

(Curiously though, despite “the 1619 Project,” Ralph Northam remains entirely off the Times’ radar. Funny that.)

Read the whole thing.