by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The lead writer of The New York Times’ anti-American “1619 Project” suffered a meltdown last week when a colleague at her paper offered fair criticism of its revisionist and inaccurate account of history.
On Oct. 9, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens published a more than 3,000-word essay outlining the project’s blunders that have led the academics with the National Association of Scholars (NAS) to call on the Pulitzer Prize Board to revoke its award to the project’s chief essayist, Nikole Hannah-Jones.
“Journalists are, most often, in the business of writing the first rough draft of history, not trying to have the last word on it,” Stephens wrote. “We are best when we try to tell truths with a lowercase t, following evidence in directions unseen, not the capital-T truth of a pre-established narrative in which inconvenient facts get discarded. And we’re supposed to report and comment on the political issues of the day, not become the issue itself.”
Under this model, Stephens writes, “for all of its virtues, buzz, spinoffs and a Pulitzer Prize – the 1619 Project has failed.”
At the heart of his criticism is the project’s central thesis to revise the date of America’s “true founding” to the year 1619, when the first African slaves found their way to the colonies (Native American tribes had kept slaves on the continent for centuries by then). …
… The criticism sent the architect of the project into a rage, according to the Washington Post, predictably calling the fair-minded critiques of her deceptive scholarship racist.
“Hannah-Jones, though, was livid, and let Kingsbury and Stephens know it in emails ahead of publication,” the Post reported. “One the day the NAS called for the revocation of her Pulitzer, she tweeted that efforts to discredit her work ‘put me in a long tradition of [Black women] who failed to know their places.’”