Opinion | Kim McGahey: What version of history is being taught in our schools?
Conservative Common Sense
Parents beware of The 1619 Project entering your kids’ curriculum. Along with the diversity, equity and inclusion policy being discussed by the Summit School District Board of Education, this revisionist U.S. history is creeping into classrooms across the country.
Mary Grabar, author of the upcoming book “Debunking The 1619 Project: Exposing the Plan to Divide America,” says The 1619 Project distorts American history for divisive political ends. The 1619 Project attempts to make the Atlantic slave trade in the 1600s the dominant factor in the founding of America instead of the true founding principles of individual liberty and natural rights established in our 1776 Declaration of Independence and 1789 U.S. Constitution.
The 1619 Project maintains that the American Revolution was fought to preserve the institution of slavery instead of seeking independence from the oppressive rule of King George of England. Further, proponents of The 1619 Project say that because American independence and our subsequent growth as a nation was achieved on the backs of slave labor, the year 1619, when African slaves were first brought to America, should be our founding date rather than 1776.
The 1619 Project was created by Nikole Hannah-Jones in a New York Times essay where she argues that the desire to continue owning slaves was the primary reason for America’s founders to seek independence. This is contrary to historical fact that even though slavery was prevalent and profitable in the British empire at the time, the American Revolution was all about fighting tyranny and seeking God-given individual freedoms — not the extension of the institution of slavery.
In fact, in the mid-1700s, the abolitionist movement was well underway in Britain and was one of the basic aspirational objectives of the new American governance. So much so that the movement was completed by 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, officially ending slavery.
The 1619 Project tries to connect America’s historic economic and social dependence on slavery to the claim by proponents of critical race theory that we are an inherently racist society based on white supremacy and in need of a complete tear down of our capitalistic system to be replaced by a new socialist world order. That’s why numerous state legislatures have banned critical race theory and are pushing back legislatively against The 1619 Project.
But there is another all-American alternative called the 1776 Commission, which was authorized by President Donald Trump, written by Dr. Larry Arnn of Hillsdale College and has congressional endorsement.
The 1776 Commission is the curriculum we need. Ask your teachers and administrators if they are teaching The 1619 Project or the 1776 Commission. Our students need accurate, historical education, not leftist indoctrination.
Kim McGahey’s column “Conservative Common Sense” publishes Tuesdays in the Summit Daily News. McGahey is a real estate broker, tea party activist and former Republican candidate. He has lived in Breckenridge since 1978. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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