“The 1619 Project consists of an effort to destroy America by teaching children that America never really existed, except as a lie told by white people in an effort to control black people. It eradicates American history and American values in one sweep.”
The person who wrote these words about “The 1619 Project” is Peter Wood, Ph.D., and president of the National Association of Scholars. He is the author of a new book, “1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project,” which serves to debunk the theory that America only exists to perpetuate the racist exploitation of black people.
So, what is this infamous 1619 Project?
It is the figment of history that was published and promoted by the New York Times that characterizes America as a slavocracy. The false narrative posits that the founding of America didn’t occur in 1620 with the signing of the Mayflower Compact, but the year before when some slaves were off-loaded in Virginia. That is, the author of the 1619 Project believes that the one and only seminal event that mattered was the alleged onset of slavery in 1619, and nothing of import has changed since.
Hence, we are to believe that the heroism and sacrifice of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., among others — along with all the people who lost their lives in the American Revolution, the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, not to mention the Great Wars and the Cold War — meant nothing?
What Professor Wood and many other scholars establish blows the author of the 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, out of the water, similar to what a pirate ship would do to its enemy, quite literally. How so? As it turns out, in 1619, there was no delivery of slaves to our shores that fomented a perpetual saga of entrenched institutionalized slavery and racism.
The truth is, a pirate ship, the White Lion, robbed a slave ship in 1619 and afterward stopped at Jamestown to trade the 20 slaves they had captured for food. However, Jamestown did not receive or treat the captives as slaves. Instead, the Africans were treated as indentured servants and soon released as free persons. Some of these former indentured servants ended up becoming quite wealthy!
Whereas, slavery did exist to some degree at that time in parts of the New World, slavery as an institution wouldn’t take root for more than 50 years later. And, of course, we know that the Civil War put an end to institutionalized slavery less than 100 years after our nation gained its independence from Britain, just as the Civil Rights Act put an end to the remnants of systemic racism 100 years after the Civil War.
Professor Wood rightly points out that America is best characterized by what happened here in 1620 with the signing of the Mayflower Compact. It was, after all, Plymouth, not Jamestown that became the model of American independence, self-government, self-reliance and ordered liberty. The signers of the Mayflower Compact formed a moral community based on equality. Both masters and servants signed the same document!
Finally, as Professor Wood states, Nikole Hannah-Jones and company characterized the orgy of destruction, murder and mayhem that was triggered by the death of George Floyd as the “1619 Riots.” That is, Professor Wood argues that this fake history is perhaps worse than fake news as it seeks to foment a permanent divide between blacks and whites in America by way of revitalizing racial antagonism in both directions.
Moreover, it infantilizes black Americans by teaching them that nothing they have ever done has changed their oppressed status one bit.
As a result, America is unraveling at the seams of E Pluribus Unum as we countenance demands for more affirmative action, reparations and racial separations.