President Trump tweeted that the Department of Education was assessing the state of California’s implementation of the “1619 Project” – a controversial reframing of American history – as curriculum in public schools, and warned if found to be true, those institutions would lose federal funding.
The “1619 Project,” which won a 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, is a reimagining of the country’s past based on the premise that American history began in 1619 when the first African slaves were brought to the new world, rather than when the U.S. was founded 1776.
The project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones for The New York Times, proposes that the preservation of slavery was the Founding Fathers’ primary motivation for the Revolutionary War against the British.
Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded! https://t.co/dHsw6Y6Y3M
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2020
The project has come under heavy scrutiny from historians and politicians alike. In multiple letters to the Times, prominent historians said, “The 1619 Project offers a historically-limited view of slavery,” and accused the authors of “displacement of historical understanding by ideology.”
While Democratic Vice President nominee Kamala Harris tweeted “The #1619Project is a powerful and necessary reckoning of our history. Newt Gingrich strongly disagreed in an opinion piece, “We do not need left-wing propaganda masquerading as ‘the truth.’”
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton called the project “a racially divisive, revisionist account of history that denies the noble principles of freedom and equality on which our nation was founded.” In July, he introduced a bill that would prevent schools from utilizing the “1619 Project” and deny federal funding to the teaching institutions that include it in their curriculum.