The New York Times’ 1619 Project has received ample criticism for distorting American history. Now, after spreading disinformation for seven months, the creator of the Times’ project has admitted she got a significant portion of the history wrong.
Nikole Hannah-Jones is the creator and founder of the 1619 Project. For months, she claimed in an essay she wrote that one of the primary reasons for the American Revolution was to protect the institution of chattel slavery. Now, she’s walked back that audacious claim and has added an editor’s note to her essay. The note acknowledges that protecting slavery was only “some of” the reason for the Revolutionary War.
Leslie Harris, a professor at Northwestern University, helped The New York Times fact-check their 1619 Project. The problem is that after fact-checking Hannah-Jones’ claim that slavery was the reason for the Revolution, her expertise and advice were ignored. Despite her protests, The Times’ continued with its disinformation campaign and repeatedly cited slavery as one of the primary reasons for the Revolution.
According to The Washington Examiner, Hannah-Jones “admitted she got it wrong only after Harris published an op-ed revealing she explicitly advised the paper against printing the erroneous claim that the American Revolution was fought primarily to preserve slavery.”
Harris’ op-ed, which appeared in Politico, was titled, “I Helped Fact-Check the 1619 Project. The Times Ignored Me.”
In a new hard-hitting piece, The New York Post’s Editorial Board has accused Hannah-Jones of lying.
“Preserving slavery was not a major motive for declaring independence, and next to no one fought in the war for that reason,” The Post writes. “The ideas behind the revolution also spurred anti-slavery sentiment. Many delegates condemned the practice on the floor of the Constitutional Convention, with New York’s own Gouverneur Morris calling it ‘a nefarious institution’ and ‘the curse of heaven on the States where it prevailed.’”
It’s good Hannah-Jones and The Times’ have corrected their mistake, though it’s regrettable that a correction was needed since reputable historians attempted to correct the record prior to publication.
One can’t help but wonder whether the mistake was completely intentional.
The Daily Citizen has previously written on the historical fallacies of the 1619 Project.
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