by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Maybe you missed the news that the august New York Times won yet another Pulitzer Prize, this one for its much-debunked “1619 Project.” If you didn’t, we have a question: Is there any better illustration for why Americans now hold the big media in such low esteem?
Nikole Hannah-Jones of the Times won the Pulitzer for Commentary on Monday, proving once again that the American media and its guiding institutions have continued to move far left, and that includes the Pulitzer Prize judges. …
… The 1619 Project is aptly titled. It’s not journalism so much as a twisted piece of progressive propaganda that even now is being imposed on thousands of grade-school students as part of our “education” curriculum. It would be funny if it weren’t so tragically true.
The truth is, the essential outlines of the 1619 Project have been knocked down like bowling pins. In its own words, the alternate history proposes “to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story.”
As the Times further elaborated, “Out of slavery – and the anti-black racism it required – grew nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional: its economic might, its industrial power. …”
Sorry, but this error-riddled narrative doesn’t deserve the Pulitzer. America’s founding was in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed, not 1619, the year that the first chattel slaves were brought into the colonies.
That date is important, since the entire 1619 project hinges on the initial claim that maintaining slavery was a “primary motivation” for later colonists to rebel against England. Unfortunately for the Times, that was immediately, and definitively, debunked by historians of both the left and the right.