On Friday, the Department of Education (DOE) dropped its support for The New York Times‘ “1619 Project” and the Smithsonian’s temporary endorsement of Marxist critical race theory (CRT) in a grant application invitation. Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly celebrated the move, but “1619 Project” founder Nikole Hannah-Jones attacked her for it. Kelly clapped back, excoriating Hannah-Jones for her lies and manipulation of history.
“This is great!” Megyn Kelly said of the DOE’s change. “The [people] pushed back against the feds rewarding schools that teach [“anti-racism” founder Ibram X.] Kendi & the 1619 project and it worked! Remember: the loudest voices on Twitter (which is far-Left)/the news (which is ‘woke’) do not represent the majority of Americans. Your voice matters.”
This is great! The ppl pushed back against the feds rewarding schools that teach Kendi & the 1619 project and it worked! Remember: the loudest voices on Twitter (which is far-Left)/the news (which is “woke”) do not represent the majority of Americans. Your voice matters. https://t.co/1GeJ5oUlJr
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) July 17, 2021
Hannah-Jones did not take kindly to Megyn Kelly celebrating a loss for The 1619 Project.
“I guess it’s good you no longer pretend to be a journalist anymore,” Hannah-Jones quipped. “Be well.”
The 1619 Project founder picked a fight with Megyn Kelly. Big mistake.
“Says the woman who quietly tried to cleanse her dishonest ‘reporting’ without even having the spine to own her shameful errors,” Kelly shot back. “This is why scholars from the [Left] and [Right] have panned your work as anti-historical & dangerous. It belongs nowhere near K-12 education.”
Hannah-Jones didn’t respond to the accusation, but she did mock Kelly for a segment she did on Fox about a decade ago.
“If only I’d done penetrating journalism like, Special Report: Santa is White.”
Kelly, unfazed, noted, “I see you’re not denying the charge. (Because you can’t.) No matter, we all know what you did.”
It seems rather telling that Hannah-Jones had to go back to December 2013 to try to get a jab in at Megyn Kelly. Kelly had indeed dedicated a segment to the discussion of St. Nicholas’ skin color — after Slate’s Aisha Harris said that the depiction of Santa as an old white man inspired “insecurity and shame” among black people (yes, seriously). Kelly responded that “just because it makes you feel uncomfortable it doesn’t mean it has to change.”
“Jesus was a white man, too. It’s like we have, he’s a historical figure that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa, I just want kids to know that. How do you revise it in the middle of the legacy in the story and change Santa from white to black?” Kelly asked.
Jesus’ skin color is far more debatable than the skin color of Santa Claus. The fictional Santa can be traced back to a very real monk named St. Nicholas who lived in what is today Turkey, according to the History Channel. At the time, most people who lived in Turkey were Greek — so while “White Anglo-Saxon Protestants” might not have considered his skin lily-white enough, Aisha Harris almost certainly would call him white.
While the debate over Santa’s skin color seems rather silly, it is indeed the height of journalistic integrity when compared to Hannah-Jones’ record.
Hannah-Jones recently turned down a tenure offer from her alma mater, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, after Walter Hussman, the namesake of the journalism school that offered her a job, objected to her distortion of the historical record. Specifically, he faulted her for arguing that “one of the primary reasons” the American colonists revolted against Britain in 1776 was to preserve the institution of slavery.
This claim led The New York Times to make an embarrassing correction shortly after launching the project. Slavery was not one of the motivating factors of the revolution, which itself disrupted slavery. Despite this fact, Hannah-Jones recently claimed that she will be able to back up this false contention in her forthcoming book.
The 1619 Project twists American history along the lines of Marxist critical race theory, reframing many aspects of American life as rooted in race-based slavery and oppression, including capitalism, the consumption of sugar, and America’s rejection of 100 percent government-funded health care. The project goes right to the heart of America, featuring graphics crossing out “July 4, 1776” and replacing the founding date with “August 20, 1619.”
Until September 2020, the 1619 Project website had announced that the project “aims 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 our national narrative.” In September, the Times stealth-edited the website to remove the claim about 1619 being America’s “true founding” and Hannah-Jones told CNN that the project “does not argue that 1776 was not the founding of the country.” Psyche!
Historians have criticized the project for twisting the truth. For instance, there were black slaves, and black freedmen, in America for about a century before 1619. Whoops!
The Smithsonian Magazine disputed the 1619 Project, explaining that the Spanish brought slaves to present-day South Carolina in 1526.
“In 1526, enslaved Africans were part of a Spanish expedition to establish an outpost on the North American coast in present-day South Carolina. Those Africans launched a rebellion in November of that year and effectively destroyed the Spanish settlers’ ability to sustain the settlement, which they abandoned a year later. Nearly 100 years before Jamestown, African actors enabled American colonies to survive, and they were equally able to destroy European colonial ventures,” the magazine reported.
Ignoring these and other pre-1619 slaves “effectively erases the memory of many more African peoples than it memorializes,” the Smithsonian Magazine article argued. Therefore, the New York Times project “silences the memory of the more than 500,000 African men, women, and children who had already crossed the Atlantic against their will, aided and abetted Europeans in their endeavors, provided expertise and guidance in a range of enterprises, suffered, died, and – most importantly – endured.”
Citing these and other errors, scholars have demanded that the Pulitzer Prize board revoke the prize awarded to Hannah-Jones and the 1619 Project.
Of course, the 1619 Project is also false in a much deeper sense. Its narrative delegitimizes the very real benefits of American freedom and prosperity by claiming that racist oppression is the central truth behind the country’s ideals, while in truth the country was founded in pursuit of freedom and equality. Although the Founders allowed slavery to persist, they laid the groundwork to defeat it eventually.
Marxist critical race theory inspired much of the destruction of the Black Lives Matter and antifa riots over the summer. While protesters rightly expressed outrage at the treatment of George Floyd, many of the protests devolved into looting, vandalism, and arson in which lawless thugs — acting in the name of fighting racism — destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments.
When vandals toppled a statue of George Washington in Portland, they spray-painted “1619” on it. When Claremont’s Charles Kesler wrote in The New York Post, “Call them the 1619 riots,” Hannah-Jones responded (in a since-deleted tweet) that “it would be an honor” to claim responsibility for the destructive riots.
Due to these and other reasons, lawmakers across the country are pushing back against the 1619 Project. Republican lawmakers have filed bills to stop the 1619 Project from invading schools in Arkansas (H.B. 1231), Iowa (H.F. 222), Mississippi (S.B. 2538), Missouri (H.B. 952), and South Dakota (H.B. 1158). These bills would cut funding to K-12 schools and colleges that use a curriculum based on the 1619 Project.
As PJ Media’s Stacey Lennox noted, the DOE rightly dropped its pro-1619 Project recommendations from an invitation to apply for grants for projects on American history. Even the Biden administration appears to be learning just how nuclear CRT is. Hannah-Jones seems unwilling to take criticism, as ever. She has repeatedly attributed attacks on the 1619 Project to racism and sexism, as if her twisting of history were not an issue. Megyn Kelly will not stand for this gaslighting.