An important lesson about guns

The lie at the heart of the 1619 Project

The project’s leader admits to an error that destroys its central premise.

March 19, 2020

ITEM #1: What inspired America’s founding?
According to the authors of the “1619 Project,” a collection of essays published by The New York Times, it was primarily a commitment to preserving the institution of slavery.

The Times itself describes the project as “an ongoing initiative” that “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.” Readers are further informed that, “Out of slavery — and the anti-black racism it required — grew nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional.”

The series has been met with significant backlash, including from conservatives who have objected — rightly — to this characterization of our nation’s history. As evil an institution as slavery is, and as real and tragic a role as it has played in the story of our nation, to cast it as so fundamental to the founding of America is not only misguided, but an ugly smear as well.

As the Goldwater Institute's Timothy Sandefur notes:

“Where the 1619 articles go wrong is in a persistent and off‐​key theme: an effort to prove that slavery ‘is the country’s very origin,’ that slavery is the source of ‘nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional,’ and that, in [Project leader Nikole] Hannah‐​Jones’s words, the founders ‘used’ ‘racist ideology’ ‘at the nation’s founding.’ In this, the Times steps beyond history and into political polemic — one based on a falsehood and that in an essential way, repudiates the work of countless people of all races, including those Hannah‐​Jones celebrates, who have believed that what makes America ‘exceptional’ is the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Most significantly, Sandefur goes on to point out that “it would be more accurate to say that what makes America unique isn’t slavery but the effort to abolish it.”

The Times’ smear campaign is more than simply obnoxious. It’s also dangerous. That’s because, as the Reason Foundation has reported, the 1619 Project, despite its lies, is being taught in public schools — as though students weren’t already subjected to enough anti-American indoctrination.

Which just makes the latest development in this controversy all the more infuriating.

As the Washington Examiner reports, the project’s point person has now admitted to a major error regarding the project’s central argument:

“The head of the New York Times’s much-hyped 1619 Project concedes she got it wrong when she reported that ‘one of the primary reasons’ the colonists revolted against England was to preserve the institution of slavery.

“Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones claims now that she meant to say ‘some of’ the colonists fought to preserve slavery, not all of them.

“The admission comes seven months after her faulty assertion first appeared in the New York Times’s package of essays arguing that America’s founding is defined by chattel slavery. The admission also comes after Hannah-Jones mocked and debased the many academics who directed mild and good-faith criticisms at her bogus statement.”

The idea that some of the country’s founders wanted to preserve slavery is no secret. Everybody knows that. But it’s a major and unsupportable leap from that fact to the premise the 1619 Project was built on — a leap those behind the effort were nonetheless willing to take.

It is of course nice that Hannah-Jones is now admitting to promulgating this vicious lie. But somehow, we don’t expect her admission will receive anywhere near the media attention that was lavished on the dishonest 1619 Project itself.

ITEM #2: Will Nevada’s political left ever accept responsibility for the failures of our education system?

Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Victor Joecks wrote a terrific and illuminating piece recently exposing how advocates for massive spending increases on education have repeatedly succeeded in getting their way — only to acknowledge later, even if only implicitly, that their own prescribed approach to improving education has utterly failed.

Joecks writes:

“On Wednesday, Educate Nevada Now sued the state over what it argues is a lack of school funding. The group wants the courts to rule that the state doesn’t provide enough money to produce a minimally acceptable level of education. The lead plaintiff in the case is Caryne Shea, who is vice president of the education advocacy group HOPE for Nevada.

“It’s not news that Nevada’s education system is doing poorly. What’s noteworthy is that both ENN and Shea have spent the past five years praising the steps Nevada politicians have taken on education.

“In 2015, then-Gov. Brian Sandoval proposed the largest tax hike in Nevada history, specifically to fund education. Shea signed a statement supporting Sandoval’s ‘education initiatives’ and tax increase. After Sandoval muscled his spending plan and taxes through the Legislature, HOPE put out a celebratory newsletter.”

In other words, the left got, and has been getting repeatedly, exactly what it wanted on education policy. Yet here we are, years later, and those who have essentially been calling the shots are still bemoaning the poor quality of our system.

And rather than do the intellectually honest thing — which would be to admit they were wrong and apologize for wasting so much of the public’s resources on a failed approach — they have the audacity to actually sue others over the failure they’ve helped produce. 

Joecks concludes with an always-helpful reminder of a fundamental truth about the question of education funding: “How the money is spent and who spends it matters more than how much is spent.”

The left’s inability — or refusal — to recognize that truth is shameful. And it’s an ongoing tragedy for Nevada’s children.

ITEM #3: So Joe Biden seems well on his way to wrapping up the nomination for President, with Democrats turning to him as the “moderate” — i.e. more electable — option among their candidates.

But don’t let the spin fool you.

Here are some of the positions held by this supposedly “moderate” candidate:

  • He favors repealing the President Trump tax cuts ― also known as supporting a tax increase — with the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimating his tax plan would raise taxes by $4 trillion over the coming decade.
  • He has said he wants to get rid of fossil fuels and ban fracking, and supports a carbon tax.
  • His climate plan embraces the principles and framework of the Green New Deal.
  • He supports bringing back the Obamacare individual mandate.
  • He is in favor of banning plastic bags.
  • He has expressed support for gun confiscation.
  • He has said he supports a government health care plan that would provide coverage for illegal immigrants.
  • He supports repealing the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortions.

And that’s just for starters.

Joe Biden is no moderate. He may be less radical than Bernie Sanders, his top competitor for the nomination. But not being as far to the left as a self-described socialist is hardly enough to warrant the “moderate” label.

ITEM #4: The Washington Times reports that Sen. Rand Paul is “calling on the IRS to move our tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, and to waive any interest and fees for late payment. This will allow those who owe money not to have to send it during our current situation.”

Sounds like a good idea to us.

ITEM #5: Matt Wolking, Deputy Director of Communications for the Trump 2020 campaign, explains the game Democrats have been playing for the past few weeks:

1. Democrats politicize the coronavirus

2. President Trump responds

3. Democrats' allies in the media attack Trump and claim he's politicizing public health 

And the hypocrisy continues.

ITEM #6: “No, Donald Trump can't cancel the 2020 general election,” blares a CNN headline.

The author of the story, Chris Cillizza, goes on to explain in painstaking detail that, for numerous reasons, the President lacks the authority to do away with the election this November.

As though anyone serious were contemplating such a thing.

It’s a particularly ridiculous example of one of the liberal media’s favorite ploys: Set up a straw man, then knock it down … all in service to continuing to tell their base that President Trump is a “dictator.” 



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