Public schools that teach what critics say is a “revisionist account of history” will pay the price, President Donald Trump said Sunday.
Trump slammed the 1619 Project — an effort by The New York Times to link all of American history to the arrival of African slaves in the then-colony of Virginia in 1619.
The Pulitzer Center later released a curriculum based on the project, according to Fox News.
Responding to a tweet about California’s alleged use of the 1619 Project in its schools, Trump fired back: “Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded!”
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
Earlier this year, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas proposed a bill that would impose fiscal penalties on public school districts that use the 1619 Project curriculum.
“The New York Times’s 1619 Project is a racially divisive, revisionist account of history that denies the noble principles of freedom and equality on which our nation was founded. Not a single cent of federal funding should go to indoctrinate young Americans with this left-wing garbage,” Cotton said in a release on his website.
Cotton’s office said his bill came in response to schools in Chicago; Buffalo, New York; Newark, New Jersey; and Washington, D.C., that have said they plan to teach the 1619 Project.
The legislation pushes back against every premise of the 1619 Project.
“The true date of America’s founding is July 4, 1776, the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress. The self-evident truths set forth by that Declaration are the fundamental principles upon which America was founded,” Cotton’s bill said.
“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 but rather on slavery and oppression,” it added.
“This distortion of American history is being taught to children in public school classrooms via the New York Times’ ‘1619 Project’, which claims that ‘nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional’ grew ‘out of slavery’.”
“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,” the legislation said, adding that “The Federal Government has a strong interest in promoting an accurate account of the Nation’s history through public schools and forming young people into knowledgeable and patriotic citizens.”
The project and its concept has caused a stir on Twitter:
What is “uninformed” & “deeply troubling” is the view that “This country was founded upon racist ideas”.
The “facts” are America was founded in 1776 upon the idea that ‘all men are created equal’ but our history is stained by the failure to be true to those words. https://t.co/kXJlH4vO7I
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) September 1, 2020
Not one cent of taxpayer money should be used to brainwash our children with the 1619 Project’s lies.https://t.co/hviTZ3UP7o
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) September 6, 2020
The 1619 Project, which in part contends that the American Revolution was fought primarily to preserve slavery, has been labeled “so wrong in so many ways” by Gordon Wood, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian of the American Revolution, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Historian James McPherson, meanwhile, said the project offered an “unbalanced, one-sided account” that “left most of the history out.”
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