1619 Project Creator: America is Not an “Exceptional Nation”
In comments that probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, 1619 Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones, who has made her loathing of America well known over the last couple of years, said in a speech this week that she doesn’t believe that there is anything exceptional about the United States. Speaking to Mount Holyoke College as part of their Common Read event, Hannah-Jones said that the Founding Fathers didn’t even “believe in democracy.”
Hannah-Jones is the journalist behind the highly controversial New York Times initiative, the 1619 Project, which reimagines American history as having begun when the first slave ship arrived on this country’s shores. From there, the Project argues, the story of America has been one of abject racism – the story of white supremacists exploiting black people from Day One all the way to the present moment.
“I don’t think we’re an exceptional nation,” she said at the event. “I think that’s ludicrous for any nation to make that claim, and we certainly cannot make that claim. We’re a nation founded on genocide, and chattel slavery, and classism, and gender discrimination. We’re not. We had exceptional ideas but we’re not an exceptional nation. But if you believe that, then your country can certainly withstand scrutiny.”
Hannah-Jones went on to tell the audience that schools are failing to teach children the truth about American history. Instead, she insisted, teachers are feeding students a version of history that serves a political agenda.
“It’s not about truth, it’s about giving us a shared sense of American exceptionalism and American identity and because of that you had to downplay genocide, you had to downplay what happened with chattel slavery, you had to downplay what happened to most marginalized groups,” she said.
Of course, Hannah-Jones herself has eased back from referring to her 1619 Project as “history,” given that it has come under intense criticism from actual historians. Caught with little more than a handful of sand that she had presented to readers as fact, she used a bunch of buzzwords on Twitter to avoid saying, Yeah, we just made up a bunch of woke crap and sold it to the public as history.
“The fight over the 1619 Project is not about history. It is about memory,” she tweeted last month. “I’ve always said that the 1619 Project is not a history. It is a work of journalism that explicitly seeks to challenge the national narrative and, therefore, the national memory. The project has always been as much about the present as it is the past.
“The crazy thing is, the 1619 Project is using history and reporting to make an argument,” she continued. “It never pretended to be a history. We explicitly state our aims and produced a series of essays. Critique was always expected, but the need to discredit it speaks to something else.”
Not really. When you’re casting America’s history as a story of racial oppression and little else, that deserves to be discredited. And when you’re trying to get this crap into our schools, it deserves to be nuked from space.
Why are we handing the reins of our country over to people who so clearly despise it?