The creator of the revisionist ‘1619 Project,’ Nikole Hannah-Jones, who has long argued that pretty much all complex modern issues – from obesity and traffic jams to capitalism itself – is the result of racism being at America’s core, apparently has yet to grasp the simple dates for the Civil War. With the recent release of the much anticipated book formed out of her popular essay series, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, academics and educators have hailed it as laying the groundwork for upending and transforming the way the United States’ foundational story of its beginnings as a nation is told, even down to impacting how elementary school teachers present America’s founders to school children.
The book assures us that “the inheritance of 1619” – that is slavery, racism and social injustice – “reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself.” Given her outsized influence as a New York Times writer, and now that she’s being held up in mainstream media and even establishment academia as an ‘expert’ on American history, it’s not too comforting to know that she doesn’t know the basic dates for the Civil War.
“…until 1865, when the North was reluctantly drawn into a war that ultimately ended slavery.” The woefully misinformed and ignorant of basic facts response which claimed the Civil War began in 1865 came during a Monday Twitter spat with William Hogeland, who himself is a widely published author of United States history.
A number of commenters were quick to point out in the wake of Hannah-Jones getting a basic fact which is taught to school children across the country wrong that the error is inexcusable. “Why would we expect you to know the correct year,” one quipped sarcastically.
Thursday, December 16 marks the 248th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party – a protest during which Massachusetts colonists, angered by Britain’s “taxation without representation,” dressed up as Mohawk Indians and dumped 342 chests of British tea into Boston harbor.
Throughout the 1760s, the British government imposed a number of taxes on American colonists in an effort to pay off the crown’s debts. According to History.com, in 1765, the Stamp Act taxed colonists on nearly every piece of printed paper, including playing cards, business licenses, newspapers and legal documents. Two years later, the British government passed the Townshend Acts of 1767, taxing other basic items like paint, paper, glass, lead and tea.
On March 5, 1770, a street brawl turned deadly riot on King Street in Boston inflamed already rising tensions between the colonists and British. The event that left five colonists dead and six others wounded would come to be known as the Boston Massacre.
Unjust laws will remain unjust until they are disobeyed by good people. Had brave individuals throughout history not risked imprisonment or worse to challenge tyrannical, racist, and immoral laws, society today, would be much less free — this rule is especially true for black people in America.
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks made history by disobeying an unjust law that required people of color to yield their seats on the bus to white people. When the bus driver told the entire row of black people to move to the back of the bus because a white man boarded, everyone complied, except for Parks.
Parks was arrested and convicted for failing to obey the driver’s seat assignments. The events following her arrest, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the federal ruling of Browder v. Gayle which ruled that segregated buses were unconstitutional, would be a turning point in segregated America.
While Rosa Parks is certainly a large part of American history, her idea to disobey the unjust bus law was not entirely original.
Can you name the first woman who wouldn’t give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama? The answer is not Rosa Parks.
Rosa Parks’ decision to disobey that fateful day was inspired and, in fact, modeled after a 15-year-old hero named Claudette Colvin.
Nine months before Parks was arrested for her choice not to give up her seat, on March 2, 1955, this brave child, without the support of the NAACP, or Civil Rights groups, took a stand on principle alone and refused to give up her seat.
On Oct. 13, the Roosevelt Institute awarded The New York Times’ Nikole Hannah-Jones the Freedom of Speech Award, one of their Four Freedoms Awards. In her acceptance speech, Hannah-Jones unknowingly revealed the truth about her ahistorical 1619 Project, as well as the Orwellian nature of the award she received.
Hannah-Jones has a way of letting slip her true goals. The 1619 Project was published in New York Times Magazine to commemorate the 400-year anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in Jamestown, where it “reframed” American history by replacing 1776 with the year 1619, when our real Founding — as a “slavocracy” — really began.
In her Oct. 13 remarks, she confirmed this project is actually advocacy journalism. She gave the game away when calling the project a “narrative.” She also noted “the narrative allows for policy.” The policy she was referring to was reparations.
The bestowal of the Roosevelt Institute award came only weeks after Hannah-Jones gave the annual Kops Freedom of the Press lecture at Cornell University and served as featured speaker at “Banned Books Week” events. The stream of accolades is astounding. But they have much to do with the image of persecuted speaker of truths Hannah-Jones has cultivated through social media and television appearances.
The performative ritual was put on display at the Oct.13 ceremony as Dorian Warren, president of the nonprofit Community Change and cohost of a Nation magazine podcast, interviewed Hannah-Jones in the fawning manner to which she has become accustomed. He marveled at her “resilience.” How are you “holding up?” he asked.
Hannah-Jones acted as if she were being hounded by the U.S. attorney general and the FBI — like the parents voicing objections at school board meetings to the kind of curricula she supports. It depends “on the day,” she sighed. She took the hostile reactions as a “testament” to the power of journalism.
Rowsell warned that Facebook censorship has consequences. “This will inevitably negatively impact my earnings but also my social life and that of my wife who uses that platform to stay in touch with her family in Sweden,” he said.
He offered a grim estimation of why he was censored:
“I think this has social implications since I am only posting about historical subjects and not the controversial topics of immigration and vaccines that normally get people banned. I may be the first person banned not for what [I] have said, but for what they suspect me to think. Obviously this isn’t as big a deal as when they banned the President, but can be seen as a next step in their steady decline into totalitarian censorship.”
His videos explored everything from Anglo-Saxon/Norse warriors to the roots of Indo-European pagan religions in India, England and Sweden.
Videos on his page also range from explorations into niche English rural folklore to speaking with Vedic guru Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya or even traveling to Bali to learn about Balinese Hinduism. He described himself as a YouTuber with “over 10 million views” and said he previously worked for a subsidiary of the World Health organization in Sweden. His academic writings include headlines such as “Gender Roles and Symbolic Meaning in Njáls Saga” and “Representation of Hakon sigurdsson in Viking Age literature,” indicating a clear scholarly background.