At the National Archives, the building that houses the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, President Donald Trump announced the 1776 Commission, which looks to create a new ‘patriotic’ American history curriculum. He hopes that this will restore young people’s pride in America and its history.
Gathering to commemorate Constitution Day, President Trump launched the first White House Conference on American History. During the event, several historians and educators from across the country gathered to address the anti-American, anti-historical history that is currently being pushed through the education system.
“Our history is what gives us our identity. And our identity is upon which our beliefs are built,” Ben Carson, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said in his opening remarks at the conference. “If you destroy these things, you make it very easy to deceive people. We’re not perfect, we don’t have a perfect history. But wise people learn from the past. Unwise people try to bury the past. We get to decide which one we want to be. So, thank you again everyone for gathering here today, to bring attention to the history of this great American experiment.”
Among those in attendance were Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College; Dr. Mary Grabar, author of Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation against America; Dr. Peter Wood, the president of the National Association of Scholars; Dr. Allen Guelzo, senior research scholar in the Council of the Humanities; Victoria Spiotto, an education student at UVA; Wilfred M. McClay, chair of the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma; Theodore Rebarber, CEO of the educational organizations AccountabilityWorks and AAT; Dr. Robert Jackson, chief academic officer of Great Hearts Academies; and Jordan Adams, a former history teacher who now assists with curriculum at Hillsdale College.
In his remarks after the conference, President Trump said, “Our mission is to defend the legacy of America’s founding, the virtue of America’s heroes, and the nobility of the American character. We must clear away the twisted web of lies in our schools and classrooms and teach our children the magnificent truth about our country. We want our sons and daughters to know that they are the citizens of the most exceptional nation in the history of the world.”
The president particularly criticized the 1619 Project, which has been roundly criticized by many prominent historians for its inaccuracies and blatant biases.
“The left has warped, distorted, and defiled the American story with deceptions, falsehoods, and lies,” President Trump said. “There is no better example than The New York Times’ totally discredited 1619 Project. This project rewrites American history to teach our children that we were founded on the principle of oppression, not freedom. Nothing could be further from the truth. America’s founding set in motion the unstoppable chain of events that abolished slavery, secured civil rights, defeated communism and fascism, and built the most fair, equal, and prosperous nation in human history.”
He went on to say, “Critical race theory, the 1619 Project, and the crusade against American history is toxic propaganda, ideological poison that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together. It will destroy our country.”
One of the main points of contention in the 1619 Project is its assertion that the Revolutionary War started because the colonies wanted to preserve slavery, and that the real start date for the country should be considered 1619 when the first slaves arrived. While slavery did play a part in the American Revolution, it is a profoundly simplistic and ideological assertion. Sadly, this deeply flawed project has now invaded history curriculum in schools across the country.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, who led the 1619 Project, tweeted in response to the 1776 Commission, “One thing in which the right has been tremendously successful is getting the media to frame stories in their language and through their lens. The #1619Project does not argue that 1619 is our true founding. We know this nation marks its founding at 1776… What the #1619Project *does* do is invite the reader/listener to contemplate what it would *mean* to consider 1619 and the beginning of American slavery as our founding, as it argues that 1619 is as foundational to the American story as 1776.”
It appears like the divide between the right’s belief in American patriotism and exceptionalism and the left’s belief that America is a racist and terrible country will not be mended any time soon. Though, there is hope for those who still believe in America’s legacy of freedom, liberty and democracy.
In his concluding remarks, President Trump said, “From Washington to Lincoln, from Jefferson to King, America has been home to some of the most incredible people who have ever lived. With the help of everyone here today, the legacy of 1776 will never be erased. Our heroes will never be forgotten. Our youth will be taught to love America with all of their heart and all of their soul.”
Photo from The White House
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