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The 1619 Project

The first publication(57) introducing The 1619 Project was in the New York Times (NYT) Magazine of August 2019. This time-frame coincided with the 400th anniversary of the first African slaves that entered America in the colony of Virginia. The project included a curriculum developed for use in educational programs. In the same time frame President Donald Trump was addressing an educational program dealing with the original principles of America. A President’s Advisory 1776 Commission(58) was formed to document the actions in the founding of the United States. This action was taken to address and educate a rising generation as to the history and principles developed for America. The commission by executive order was disbanded(59) by President Joe Biden in 2021. In spite of the action, “The 1776 Report” was completed in 2021 and was considered a treatise on America. In this period, The 1619 Project received serious opposition to its content and as to what should be taught in schools. Many flaws in the curriculum were noted, most notably the interpretation of the institution of slavery. Americans, meaning both progressives and conservatives, are deeply divided about the country, its foundlings, its history and how it should be governed. The controversy remains as both political groups battle to enforce their positions. Although America has had problems throughout its history it surpasses all other countries in the world in the terms embracing freedom.

 

Conservatives: Many of the conservative groups support The 1776 Commission Report due to their strong support of the basic principles established in the founding of the United States. Conservatives believe educational institutions from elementary school to the college level have not fostered adequate civics courses related to our republic. Instead, progressive groups have promoted socialistic principles and have in essence “brainwashed” the youth of America.

 

  • The educational system, as viewed by conservatives is considered neglectful in explaining the founding of America, its principles and its beliefs. Desiring freedom from England’s rule of the colonies, the founders rebelled and established a true democracy in the form of a republic. The 1776 Commission focused on establishing a program to encourage educators to enhance the educational system defining America.

 

  • The educational system must be based on truth and honesty with the opportunity to debate(60) its content. Conservatives believe in the free exchange of opinions to enable individuals the freedom to make up their own minds. Educational curriculum should include the source of resources to promote student interest in seeking their own position on discussion topics.

 

  • The educational system, particularly the college level, is filled with progressive educators who dominate in addressing curriculum. Conservative elements are abused by faculty and students, who have absorbed the political left’s view that America is an inferior country. Freedom of speech is questioned from the universities down to the elementary school level. America can only survive if the socialist/Marxist focus is replaced with educational freedom.

 

Progressives: The progressive movement is directed at dividing the country rather than engaging in cooperative dialogue to foster the development of the republic. This is evident in the focus on race as the avenue to dividing the country.

 

  • The release of The 1619 Project by the NYT had many critical reviews by historians about errors related to its content. Its main commitment is to address America’s history of slavery as viewed by the progressive movement. Many historians have viewed the content to be inaccurate(31), in many cases encouraging the NYT to rescind or withdraw erroneous content.

 

  • Elements of slavery as depicted in The 1619 Project are used to divide the races. Action to promote the project in educational curriculum has been challenged by parents. The teachings are viewed as biased and presenting an erroneous history of America; particularly with elementary school children.

 

  • Progressive groups have demanded that the government provide restitution for the period of slavery where the slaves were not adequately remunerated for their toils under white supremacists. Remuneration should be provided to the direct descendants of slaves. This is based on the lack of opportunity for descendants of slaves to receive adequate support in achieving opportunities in America. Progressive states have advocated restitution concepts and many have legislative action underway.

 

Commentary: Do you support the 1776 movement or the 1619 Project?

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