Call Trump’s Attacks On The 1619 Project What They Are — Censorship of American HistoryBreaking News
tags: racism, censorship, Tom Cotton, Donald Trump, 1619 Project
On Sunday morning, President Trump tweeted an attack on the 1619 Project, threatening to withhold funding from California schools teaching the popular journalism project focused on the rise and impact of slavery in the United States. With his newest tweet, the President’s actions raise a troubling question:
Why is the Trump administration threatening to censor the way schools teach about the history of slavery and racism in the United States?
The President’s assertion came in response to a tweet from an unverified account stating that California schools were teaching the 1619 Project curriculum. In response, Trump tweeted: “Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded!”
The 1619 Project is a long-form journalism and multimedia initiative of The New York Times Magazine, started in August of 2019, 400 years after African slaves first landed on the shores of America. In its own words, the project “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.” Recently, the 1619 Project teamed up with the Pulitzer Center to develop school curriculum to use 1619 Project content in classrooms.
Trump’s Sunday morning tweet continues a trend of his administration’s provocative actions regarding educational approaches to racial injustice in America.
Despite the timing, Trump’s tweet isn’t the first instance the Trump administration and its allies targeted the 1619 Project. In July, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced congressional legislation, titled the “Saving American History Act of 2020,” with the stated purpose of “preventing federal funds from being made available to teach the 1619 Project curriculum in elementary schools and secondary schools.”
The proposed legislation claims that “an activist movement is now gaining momentum to deny or obfuscate this history by claiming that America was not founded on the ideals of the Declaration [of Independence] but rather on slavery and oppression.” It goes on to state that “the 1619 Project is a racially divisive and revisionist account of history that threatens the integrity of the Union by denying the true principles on which it was founded.”
Both Trump’s tweet, as well as Cotton’s proposed legislation, beg a troubling question: why are Republican leaders trying to censor the teaching about the history of slavery and racism in the United States, and why now?
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