Left’s lauded 1619 Project largely ignores at least one hugely significant historical fact

The New York Times traditional slogan of “all the news that’s fit to print” might perhaps be more appropriately replaced by “all the news that fits our agenda, we print” in the context of a major omission from the 1619 Project.

The basic premise by the authors of the much-hyped, politicized material is that 1619, when slaves first arrived on our shores, rather than 1776, was the year of America’s founding.

The collection of essays in the 1619 Project focusing on racial injustice won a Pulitzer Prize for the very liberal New York Times Magazine despite its historical inaccuracies identified by scholars across the ideological spectrum.

It is a dreary, woke analog to divisive critical race theory, the latter of which has gained currency in the education, corporate, and military sectors, and has also prompted a grassroots pushback.

A little detail is missing, however, from the Times material that was subsequently transformed into a K-12 classroom study guide.

“[T]he New York Times’ 1619 Project…virtually ignores the Democrat Party’s role in advancing and sustaining racism in the United States,” which includes enforcing “Jim Crow-style apartheid in the Old South,” a lengthy report by Mark Hemingway in Real Clear Investigations claims.

It would be difficult to overstate the Democratic Party’s enduring and baleful role in slavery and racism…The Democratic southern states, such as Georgia, specifically criticized the anti-slavery policies of President Lincoln’s Republican Party in their declarations of succession in the Civil War. Even after the war, [historian Jay] Cost notes, the Democratic Party’s “central purpose in the second half of the 19th century was specifically to prevent civil rights legislation from being implemented.”

In response to black Republicans being elected in Southern states during Reconstruction, it was Democrats who enacted poll taxes and literacy tests to suppress the black vote.

A Democratic president, Woodrow Wilson, resegregated the federal work force in Washington and hosted a White House screening of D.W. Griffith’s egregiously racist, white supremacist “Birth of a Nation.” As late as 1952, the running mate of Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson, John Sparkman, was an open segregationist.

A significantly higher percentage of congressional Republicans voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act than did congressional Democrats, and segregationists such as George Wallace were major figures in the Democratic Party until  the 1970s..The absence of Democratic Party critiques is all the more conspicuous when you consider that the 1619 Project doesn’t shy away from critiquing the GOP….

Parenthetically, in yet another form of projection or cognitive dissonance, Democrats claim that voter integrity laws are Jim Crow 2.0.

“Democrats who advanced a bill in June to remove statues of white supremacists from the U.S. Capitol ignored a central fact about those figures: All of them had been icons of their party,” Hemingway asserted about the lefts’ obsession with empty symbolism.

Hemingway also noted that the late Robert Byrd “was one of the most powerful Democrats in the Senate” as recently as the Obama administration.

Joe Biden (who has a sketchy track record in the context of race-relations issues) and Hillary Clinton were apparently pals with Sen. Byrd (D-WVa.), a past leader of a local KKK chapter, who later filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Biden gave the eulogy for Byrd at the latter’s funeral in early July 2010. At the time of Byrd’s passing, Clinton similarly described him in glowing terms as her “friend and mentor.”

Hemingway implies that the 1619 Project seeks to avoid the Democrats’ legacy because they have control, albeit narrowly, of the congressional agenda.

For critics of the 1619 Project, the virtual omission of any discussion of the Democratic Party is not only galling but revealing. In their view, the goal of the 1619 Project is neither historical nor educational – it’s thoroughly political. “[1619 Project editor] Nikole Hannah-Jones has been explicit about saying that the point of her essay and the point of the 1619 Project more broadly is to get a reparations bill passed. So that’s a partisan objective,” says Lucas Morel, a professor at Washington and Lee University who has authored books on Abraham Lincoln and Ralph Ellison…

An honest accounting would acknowledge that contemporary racial issues have a complicated history that implicates both major parties. The problem, illustrated by the 1619 Project, is that the media and other increasingly left-leaning institutions are invested in historical narratives that help achieve specific political ends,” he added.

Hemingway also cites a scholar who claimed that the anti-Trump New York Times published the 1619 Project soon after the Mueller Russia-collusion investigation flopped to give a boost to Biden and the Democrats.

As an aside, the late New York City talk show host Bob Grant, who pioneered conservative radio before it was cool and before syndication — let alone streaming — was a thing, often said that when it comes to matters of race, liberals are the ultimate hypocrites.

Robert Jonathan

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