Leon Lemmer: The New York Times se proslawe- en proswart-projek (Deel 2)

Deel op

Ek het reeds ‘n algemene karakterisering van The New York Times (hierna die Times) se 1619-projek verskaf, asook Phillip Magness se kommentaar daarop (Praag 5.12.2020). Hierdie rubriek handel oor Peter W Wood (gebore in 1953) se beter en veel meer omvattende boek oor dieselfde onderwerp: 1620: A critical response to the 1619 Project (New York: Encounter Books, 2020, 272p, $18,00). “My real agenda is to illuminate what the 1619 Project means for America” (Kindle 3091).

Ek veronderstel dat lesers kennis geneem het van wat ek in my vorige rubriek geskryf het. Soos sy kollega en vriend, Stanley Kurtz (Praag 8.08.2020), is Wood ‘n sosiale of kulturele antropoloog (656). Albei is behoudend; iets wat uitsonderlik in daardie geledere is. Wood noem sy benadering “conservative and traditionalist” (121). Wood is reeds ‘n dekade lank die president van die Amerikaanse National Association of Scholars (379), met as missie “to sustain the tradition of reasoned scholarship and civil debate in American colleges and universities” – iets wat baie nodig is, al sou ‘n mens geneig wees om te dink dat universiteite vanselfsprekend sodanig moet wees.

Om propagandistiese redes verhef die Times 1619 tot die aanvangsjaar van Amerika se geskiedenis. Dit is toe die eerste slawe daar voet aan wal gesit het. Dit is die 2019-voortsetting van hierdie koerant se “The Truth Is Worth It”-veldtog waarmee in 2017 begin is (785). Historici is egter geneig om eerder 1620 (die aankoms van die Mayflower met die Pelgrims in Plymouth), 1630 (die aankoms van die Puriteine in Salem, ‘n gemeenskap wat volgens John Winthrop “a city upon a hill”* sou wees – 2432) of 1776 (die verklaring van onafhanklikheid van Brittanje, met as regte “equality, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” – 1676) as die eintlike beginjaar van Amerika se kenmerkende geskiedenis te beskou. “The Mayflower Compact** … pointed the way toward America’s self-government” (159). Dit is waarom die hooftitel van die boek 1620 is – ‘n ontkenning van die deurslaggewende belang van die slawe in die vorming van die wesenlike aard van die Amerikaanse samelewing. Die 1619-projek stel die Amerikaanse geskiedenis voor as vier eeue van rassistiese onderdrukking terwyl Wood meen dat dit eerder om vryheid (“liberty”) en geregtigheid (“justice”) vir almal gegaan het. “America was never a ‘slavocracy'” (159).

[* “n Stad wat op ‘n berg lê, kan nie weggesteek word nie” (Matteus 5:14).

** Kyk hier onder. Die Mayflower Compact gee, volgens Wood, “the first glimmer of the American republic” (394).]

In die voorwerk verwys Kurtz na “the 1619 Project’s mendacity” en noem dit ‘n “exercise in manipulation” (2). William Allen bestempel Wood se boek “as the most comprehensive response to the ill-fated 1619 Project,” onder meer “pinpointing its consistent resort to misrepresentation that cannot be dismissed as merely different interpretations … The 1619 Project failed … Its purpose was cultural shakedown” (11). Mary Grabar noem dat Wood die Times se herskrywing/transformasie (“reframing”) van Amerika se geskiedenis ontbloot as “the jumble of lies, half-lies, logical fallacies, bad history, and bad faith of a project motivated by greed and hatred of America” (19).* Magness het ook Wood se boek verwelkom (23). Wat Wood volgens Robert Paquette doen, is “to clear away the dangerous rubbish put forth by the 1619 Project” (31). Dit is die soort kritiek wat ook teen Patric Tariq Mellet se boek, The lie of 1652 (Praag 10.10.2020), geopper kan word. In Mellet se geval is die hoofmotivering skynbaar om afkeer, indien nie haat nie, teen Suid-Afrika se blankes, veral Afrikaners, te saai.

[* Grabar se boek, Debunking the 1619 Project, is geskeduleer om op 7 September 2021 te verskyn (Kindle $17,24).]

Wood begin sy voorwoord met verwysing na Christopher Columbus, wat tradisioneel as die ontdekker, in 1492, van die Nuwe Wêreld, die Amerikas, erken word. Toe het slawerny reeds eeue lank – “from time immemorial” (293) – in die Amerikas bestaan. Die aankoms van slawe in Jamestown in 1619 behoort dus nie opgeblaas te word asof dit van hemelskuddende belang is nie. “The year 1492 changed the world, but not by introducing slavery to the Americas” (306). Vóór die aankoms van die blankes was die inheemse bevolking onderhewig aan baie erger dinge as gedwonge arbeid. “Captured people fed the almost industrial level of human sacrifice at the center of the Aztec Empire” (296), insluitende kannibalisme. Setlaars van Britse oorsprong was ook nie die eerste blanke eienaars van swart Afrika-slawe in Amerika nie. “Some of the African slaves were sent to Spanish settlements along what is now the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. In 1526, Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón established a settlement on the coast of Georgia, San Miguel de Gualdape, supplied by African slaves. Enslaved African men were frequently assigned to oversee native American slaves … [They] were infamous for the brutality with which they treated them” (318).

Die 1619-projek dank sy benaming aan die meer as 20 slawe wat in 1619 aan boord van die White Lion in Jamestown, Virginia, aangekom het. Wat die Times na bewering wil doen, is: “On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is finally time to tell our story truthfully” (329). Die teenwoordigheid van hierdie slawe, volgens die Times,”inaugurated a barbaric system of chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years [until 1865]. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the country’s very origin” (333).

Daardie “slawe” was in werklikheid nie amptelik slawe nie “because [in 1619] slavery was not recognized by English common law” (524). “In Virginia, the records show that many of the captives were, after a term of indenture, set free. None were recorded as slaves” (527). “When the records of this time refer to ‘slaves’, they generally mean Englishmen who had been convicted of crimes and who were punished by a period of involuntary servitude” (538). “The best term for the condition of the involuntary immigrants of 1619 is ‘servitude’ … The transition to slavery lay years into the future” (550).

“The Times’ sloppiness about historical facts is one reason to approach with caution its claims about 1619 as the decisive moment in America’s descent into racial despotism” (585). Die besware van vyf gesaghebbende historici teen die 1619-projek is op 29 Desember 2019 in die Times gepubliseer (601). “Refusing to correct any of the inaccuracies he [Jake Silverstein, the magazine editor] explains: “Historical understanding is not fixed … differing views exist” (604). Die onderliggende euwel hier het ‘n naam, naamlik postmodernisme. Daarvolgens is feite nie meer deurslagggewend nie. Dit gaan by uitstek om vrye vertolking, dus om te maak soos jy wil. ‘n Feit word verwring tot ‘n aanname (951). “Postmodernism favors the stories told by the ‘oppressed’. It divides society into two parts, the privileged and those whom the privileged exploit” (955). “The poor and oppressed … enjoy a special kind of truth-telling” (958).

Silverstein skryf: “What we hoped our project would do: expand the reader’s sense of the American past” (612). Wood noem dit “mythology” (616), “pseudohistory” (808) en “fake history” (612) – dus “deliberate misinformation” (2974). Dit is “a new way of looking at our history through the lens of racial oppression” (623). “The 1619 Project aims to unseat white supremacy” (962). Sedert 1994 ervaar ons in Suid-Afrika blatante swart heerssugtigheid, maar het u al ooit die frase “black supremacy” as ‘n verwyt gehoor? Nee, daar is net “white supremacy” en natuurlik ook uitsluitlik blanke “rassisme”. Daar is “appeal[s] to black pride” (966) wanneer die geskiedenis en werklikheid gebuig/getransformeer word. Daarteenoor is daar verguising van die blankes. In die byderwetse politiek is daar blykbaar niks waarop die blankes met reg trots kan of mag wees nie.

‘n Interessante opmerking is dat Amerikaanse slawe vyf en ‘n halwe dag per week gewerk het (670). In my jeug het die meeste werknemers so ‘n werkweek gehad. In die meeste gevalle het die halfdag se werk op Saterdae later weggeval. Deesdae is ‘n vyfdag-werkweek ‘n algemene verskynsel. Michael le Cordeur het al herhaaldelik beweer dat slawe aan die Kaap net een dag in die jaar vry gehad het. Byvoorbeeld: “Destyds moes die slawe elke dag werk. Hulle het een dag in die jaar af gehad: die dag ná Nuwejaar” (WAM Carstens en Michael le Cordeur, reds, Ons kom van vêr, Tygervallei: Naledi, 2016, p 264). Dit is glo die rede waarom die Klopse Kaapstad tradisioneel jaarliks op 2 Januarie op horings geneem het. Daar is volgens Le Cordeur “‘n ryk en hartseer geskiedenis” agter daardie “uitbundigheid” (258). Die vraag is of hy, soos die Times, nie doelbewus lieg ter bevordering van sy pro-nieblanke en anti-blanke gesindheid nie. Historici kan gerus uitspraak oor Le Cordeur se bewering lewer.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, die Times-joernalis en hoofaktivis van die 1619-projek, bevorder die slawe- en swartsaak deur die destydse gebeure soos volg te verwoord: “Those men and women who came ashore on that August [1619] day were the beginning of American slavery. They were among the 12.5 million Africans who would be kidnapped from their homes and brought in chains across the Atlantic Ocean in the largest forced migration in human history until the Second World War” (686). Sy noem nie dat die swart slawe deur mede-swartes gevange geneem is nie. Nog minder verwys sy na slawerny binne Afrika wat baie langer as die trans-Atlantiese slawerny geduur het en veel groter afmetings aangeneem het. Arabiere het ook ‘n baie groter rol as blankes in slawerny gespeel, maar hulle word nie naasteby in dieselfde mate daarvoor verkwalik nie. Wood skryf: “Untold millions of Africans had been trafficked by Arabs and others for perhaps a thousand years before the Atlantic slave trade began. While a heartbreaking 12.5 million Africans were transported across the Atantic, the number shipped to North America was only 388 000. Hannah-Jones fires her indignation at British North America, but she loads her weapon with numbers from Mexico, the Caribbean, and Brazil” (690).

Wood skryf: “The slaves who landed in Virginia were the first we know of who were brought to an English colony on the North American mainland. That indeed is something, but is it the country’s ‘very origin’?” (341). Wood vra: “If the project succceeds in making slavery the distinguishing aspect of American history, what are the likely consequences for the nation?” (364) en “On whose intellectual authority did the Times make the audacious claims that are the substance of the 1619 Project?” (368). “The 1619 Project came from somewhere, and I suspect it came mostly out of our universities, in which radical identitarian politics and theories of racial oppression have long been taking shape. The way American history is taught in colleges and universities has some bearing on how the Times now believes American history should be taught in grade schools and high schools across the country” (383).

Wood beskryf die Mayflower Compact, die gelofte wat die Pelgrim-setlaars in 1620 aan boord van die skip afgelê het, as ‘n “agreement on how they would conduct themselves once they got on shore” (408). Sodanige onderneming was nodig omdat hulle in Plymouth aanvanklik nie in die Britse kolonie by Jamestown en dus onderhewig aan Britse wette was nie (412). “By penning the Compact … they planted a seed. The document sketched, for the first time in European settlement of the New World, an ideal of self-government based on justice” (422). Die Pelgrims se ideaal was “our better ordering and preservation [as a community] … for the general good” (433). “[The Compact] had a sense of common identity, a ‘we’ that spoke for ‘us'” (2428). “The colonists agreed to a form of democracy” (1708). Die Compact was ‘n gelofte aan God, “the most unbreakable promise of all” (436). Gestel die ANC het, voordat hy in 1994 die politieke mag oorgeneem het, die Amerikaanse Pelgrims se voorbeeld nagevolg en ‘n etiese kode opgestel waaraan die ANC-regime sou voldoen. As dit vir hulle erns was, hoeveel beter kon die Nuwe Suid-Afrika nie gewees het nie? Nou steek Suid-Afrika baie sleg by Amerika en ander Westerse lande af. Die staatskas word rot en kaal gesteel. In 1996 is daar wel ‘n etiese kode vir alle parlementslede daargestel, maar die toepassing is klaarblyklik gebrekkig.

Wood vra: “Was the arrival of the White Lion at Jamestown [in 1619] really the founding event of what would become the American republic? No. It was something but not that – a minor incident that casts light on a small-scale society that as yet had no firm boundaries or abiding sense of purpose” (704). Hoekom kom Hannah-Jones weg met oordrywing en die verkondiging van onwaarhede? Omdat sy deur die Times se dubbele standaarde bevoordeel word. “Hannah-Jones had achieved a position of some authority at the newspaper and was in many respects exempt from ordinary forms of accountability” (823). “[She] had been challenged on what might be called matters of journalistic integrity” (827). Maar die Times verkies om kritiek te ignoreer “and to create a bubble in which everyone appears to agree with their views” (848).

Hannah-Jones “knew in advance that ‘almost every aspect of American life’ has ‘to do with slavery’: this judgment precedes the ‘rigorous scholarship’ she says was undertaken” (855). “Mostly, Hannah-Jones goes in search of hidden racism” (884). Sy is selfs gunstig beïndruk met die onrus wat daar na die dood van die swart George Floyd – die nek-episode – in Mei 2020 uitgebreek het en noem dit “the 1619 Riots” (904). Sy het hierdie oproer geregverdig “as an appropriate response to black oppression” (1461). Sy het selfs beweer: “Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence” (1465) en “I think I would not describe looting as violence. Looting is property damage” (1469). “Often, the Negro does not even want what he takes. He wants the experience of taking. Negroes have committed crimes, but they are the derivative crimes, and they are born of the greater crimes of the white society” (1473). In Suid-Afrika is daar baie swartes wat “the experience of taking” het. Maar daar is ook baie wat nog nie gesteel het nie. Hoe sou die land lyk as almal van hulle daardie ervaring opdoen? Dit is gewoon irrasioneel en dwaas om te beweer dat die vernietiging van bv skole en biblioteke, asook die stroping van winkels, nie geweld is nie maar bloot die beskadiging van vervangbare eiendom.

Die 1619-projek in sy geheel geniet voorspelbaar die ondersteuning van Oprah Winfrey (908, 1501). Waaraan mense soos Hannah-Jones en Winfrey ly, is historiese ongeletterdheid (936). Hulle ken nie , of stel nie belang in, die outentieke geskiedenis nie en verkies om dit volgens hulle wense te herskryf. Daardie getransformeerde geskiedenis vind al hoe meer neerslag in skole en aan universiteite, ook in Suid-Afrika. “Much of American education has privoted from teaching to messaging” (944). Dit is eintlik blatante linkse propaganda. Dit gebeur nie net in die vak geskiedenis nie, maar in die geval van universiteite by uitstek in al die humaniora en sosiale wetenskappe. Hierdie akademies-wetenskaplike verval is onlangs gesaghebbend geboekstaaf in Helen Pluckmore en James Lindsay se boek, Critical theories: How universities made everything about race, gender, and identity – and why this harms everybody (2020, Kindle $25,86).

In hoofstuk 4 reduseer Wood die kern van die 1619-projek tot vyf stellings of kwessies: [1] “The American Revolution was fought to protect American slave owners from the threat of abolition by the British authorities” (983). [2] Matthew Desmond se standpunt “that plantation slavery was the foundation of American capitalism” (990). [3] “The nation’s history is best understood as a struggle by American blacks against white supremacy” (990). [4] Abraham Lincoln “was a racist whose primary intent was to keep blacks and whites separate” (987). [5] “For the most part, black Americans fought back alone” (987). Aan elk van [1] tot [4] wy Wood ‘n hoofstuk. In my vorige rubriek is hulle ook bespreek.

[5] het so min substansie dat Wood dit dadelik afhandel. Dit is blankes, in Brittanje en Amerika, wat die leiding in die vrystelling van die slawe geneem het (990), “an antislavery crusade that was unique in the history of the world” (1056). Dit is blankes wat ná die Burgeroorlog die Grondwet aangepas het – die vrystelling van die slawe in 1865; ook in bv die 1960’s weens die burgerregtebeweging (994). Op die ondersteuning van linkse blankes kon die Amerikaanse swartes altyd reken. In Suid-Afrika het die swartes ook nie alleen hulle “bevrydingstryd” gestry nie. In deurslaggewende opsigte het Jode, ander blankes, insluitende verloopte Afrikaners, asook Indiërs, vir ANC-swartes die weg aangedui en hulle in ander opsigte gehelp. Let op Hannah-Jones se uiters radikale siening van slawerny: “Enslaved people were not recognized as human beings but as property that could be mortgaged, traded, bought, sold, used as collateral, given as a gift and disposed of violently” (1031).

Wat Wood nuut oor [1] sê, is dat ‘n swart historikus, Leslie M Harris, bekend gemaak het dat sy voor die publikasie van die 1619-projek deur die Times genader is oor die vraag of die onafhanklikheidsoorlog gevoer is om die voortsetting van slawerny te verseker. Sy het dit as ‘n feitefout uitgewys maar haar mening is geïgnoreer (1073). Wat gepubliseer is, is soos volg deur Hannah-Jones geformuleer: “We may never have revolted against Britain if the founders had not understood that slavery empowered them to do so; nor if they had not believed that independence was required in order to ensure that slavery would continue” (1142).

In werklikheid was die Britte in daardie stadium (18de eeu) nog nie “deeply conflicted” oor slawerny soos Hannah-Jones beweer nie. “They were complacent” (1164). “Britain had no interest in ending slavery in the colonies … No country in the world surpassed Great Britain in the eighteenth century in supplying the Americas with slaves” (1168). Dit was eerder in Amerika as in Brittanje wat daar toe reeds teenkanting teen slawerny was. “The Revolution unleased antislavery sentiments that led to the first abolition movements in the history of the world” (1207). In Virginia was die mening dat hulle “already had more slaves than they needed” (1348). ‘n Britse verbod op slawehandel sou boerdery nie ontwrig nie. Die mening van vyf en later nog twaalf historici (1404) kan soos volg saamgevat word: “Hannah-Jones’s ideological zeal outran her fidelity to the truth” (1415).

Wat [2] hier bo betref, herhaal Wood grootliks die kritiek wat Magness op Desmond se uitlatings gelewer het. Wood noem Magness “Desmond’s most trenchant critic” (1868). Sterk kritiek is ook deur ander kenners gelewer. “For [Leslie] Harris, Southern slavery impoverished the surrounding society; for [Robert] Paquette, slavery retarded economic development. Neither scholar accepts the idea that the antebellum economy centered on slavery as a form of capitalism” (1898). “This critique of slavery as economically ruinous comes up over and over again among the scholars who have peered into the NHC [New History of Capitalism] writings” (1918). Die NHC-kritici het bevind “that exports constituted a small share of American GDP (typically less than 10 percent) and that the total value of cotton was therefore small by comparison with the overall American economy (less than 5 percent, lower than the value of corn)” (1934).

Volgens [3] hier bo is die essensie van Amerika se geskiedenis die swartes se stryd teen blanke heerssugtigheid. Hannah-Jones geniet dit blykbaar om die geskiedenis volgens haar wense te plooi. Kritiek op haar standpunt is reeds in ruime mate in my vorige en hierdie rubriek uitgespreek. Sy noem plantasies nie plantasies nie maar eerder “forced-labor camps” (2146, 2943). Sy het later erken “that seeking reparations was her true purpose” (2439): “My ultimate goal is that there will be a reparations bill passed” (2442). “Such reparations, she says, are not just for slavery but for the one hundred years after slavery [that is, until the successful civil rights movement in the 1960s], and they will have to consist of cash payments to every black American who has a slave ancestor. Their purpose will not be to erase racism, bring about racial harmony, or fully pay what whites owe blacks; they will simply be a form of ‘restitution’ for what has been wrongfully taken away from blacks” (2442).

Dus: “She freely admits that such payments will do nothing to improve race relations and won’t expunge any moral debt. They are simply ‘what is owed’. There is no gratitude to be found in the 1619 Project, only bitterness and anger” (2454). Groter vermetelheid is kwalik moontlik. Wood skryf sagkens van “lack of intellectual modesty” (2955), maar is andersins uitgesproke: “Our history is being disassembled, falsified, and woven into a new fabric in the name of some sort of compensatory justice” (2524). “The Times, a news organization, … assigned journalists rather than historians to write history (2931). “The 1619 Project is … not legitimate journalism, and it isn’t legitimate history either. It is mainly an assemblage of poorly sourced assertions – an extended opinion piece” (2608). “The 1619 Project is, arguably, part of a larger effort to destroy America by people who find our nation unbearably bad” (3149). Allen Guelzo skryf: “The 1619 Project is not history; it is ignorance” (2291).

Wat [4] hier bo betref, probeer Wood om Abraham Lincoln in die gebruiklike “goeie” hedendaagse polities “korrekte” lig te stel. Phillip Magness het my oortuig dat Lincoln geensins die toets van polities byderwetsheid kan slaag nie (Praag 17.10.2020). Vir my is die teleurstellendste aspek van Wood se boek dat hy in hierdie konteks glad nie na Magness se standpunt verwys nie, terwyl hy wel op uitgebreide skaal oor Magness se fundamentele kritiek op Desmond berig. Dit is duidelik dat Wood ‘n Noorderling is wat kant teen die Suide kies. Daarom het hy simpatie met die vertolking dat dit in die Burgeroorlog om die vrystelling van die slawe gegaan het. Byvoorbeeld, een van Wood se besware is: “If these students had studied the 1619 Project they would have learned that slavery was not the cause of the Civil War” (2856). Wood oordryf ook heel moontlik die mate waarin Amerikaners van vroeg af teen slawerny gekant was. Die Suiderlinge en hulle ondersteuners, daarenteen, dink dat Lincoln die onverkwiklike Burgeroorlog aangepak het omdat hy ten alle koste die eenheid van die Unie wou bewaar. Lincoln het immers in 1862 geskryf: “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery” (2214).

“The 1619 Project aims to transform American education, if not all of American society” (2943). Ek kom nou by moontlik die ernstigste gevolg wat die 1619-projek inhou, naamlik die toepassing daarvan in skole. Die kurrikulum van die 1619-projek word gekarakteriseer as: “slavery-is-the-foundation-of-everything-in-this-vile-white-supremacist-society” (3102). “The Pulitzer Center has taken the lead in getting the 1619 Project curriculum into schools, which appears to be the primary goal of the whole project” (1509), dus “turning the 1619 Project from a journalistic stunt into an educational reality” (1567). In skole is die leermateriaal glo geskik vir gebruik in al die grade (2915) en dus vir kinders van alle ouderdomme (3014).

“The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting was founded in 2006 … Sometime later, it made ‘educational outreach’ part of its ‘core mision’. The outreach it had in mind was teaching aspiring journalists to see themselves as ‘engaged global citizens'” (1570) – soortgelyk aan Wim de Villiers se ideaal vir studente aan die nuwe Stellenbosch University. Wêreldburgerskap “signals disenchantment with the idea of the nationstate and with ‘citizenship’ as usually understood. Global citizens are, at least by disposition, loyal to no particular place, people, culture, or government. They are ‘postnational’ and see themselves as operating on a plane above the parochial attachments of ordinary people. Global citizenship is a self-conferred elite status” (1574). In De Villiers se geval is hy nie soseer teen burgerskap van die nuwe Suid-Afrika én Afrika gekant nie. Sy gramskap is teen burgerskap van blank Suid-Afrika en veral etnies-nasionalistiese gehegtheid aan die Afrikanerdom en Afrikaans.

‘n Belangrike deurbraak vir die 1619-projek was toe die National Education Association (NEA), die grootste onderwysersvakbond met meeras drie miljoen lede, sy steun toegesê het (1509); glo “to help give us a deeper understanding of systemic racism and its impact” (1512). Het u al ooit die ware stelling teëgekom dat die nuwe Suid-Afrika, soos dikwels oor die oue beweer is, onder sistemiese rassisme gebuk gaan? Die 1619-projek in skole vind aansluiting by die Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC – Praag 19.09.2020) se “Teaching Tolerance”-projek, asook Black Lives Matter at Schools (1512); ook die “Zinn Education Project, named for the late Howard Zinn [1922-2010], a radical Marxist historian best known for his book A people’s history of the United States” (1980, Kindle $6,12). Zinn se boek is deur Mary Grabar aan die kaak gestel: Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the fake history that turned a generation against America (2019, Kindle $14,94). Daar is ook Rethinking Schools en Teaching for Change “that aims to build ‘social justice starting in the classroom'” (1524). Hulle is almal pogings om ‘n beweerde fout in die Amerikaanse skoolstelsel reg te stel, naamlik “Slavery is not well taught” (1616).

Vir die Pulitzer Center gaan dit om “a reframing of this essential part of our national identity” (1616). Wood skryf: “With these groups, we are in the cultural Marxist, radical anti-American end of the pool, where the goal is to indoctrinate American children with a hatred of their country. A substantial portion of that indoctrination is the effort to instill racial animosity and the conviction among African Americans that they are now and have always been the victims of systemic racial oppression” (1551). Die titel van ‘n lesing wat Hannah-Jones vir gebruik in skole geskryf het, is: “Exploring the idea of America” (1602). Daarin staan: “The 1619 Project … challenges us to reframe US history by making the year when the first enslaved Africans arrived on Virginia soil as its foundational date” (2919). “Hannah-Jones provides an expansive essay on why ‘black Americans … are this nation’s true ‘founding fathers”‘ (2923). Wood skryf: “Tens of thousands of schoolteachers will parrot her nonsense, and millions of American schoolchildren will read and hear it from voices that ring with authority” (2308).

In 2019 het die Pulitzer Center daarop aanspraak gemaak dat sy studiemateriaal vir die 1619-projek reeds in 3 500 klaskamers is (2571) en ter beskikking van “tens of thousands of students in all 50 states” (2578). Wood: Vóór 2019 “few schools … have been teaching that America was a ‘slavocracy’; that slavery is our founding institution; and that every salient characteristic of America today is the result of slavery” (2618). Dit is Hannah-Jones wat geskryf het: “This nation was founded not as a democracy but as a slavocracy” (2938). “A new narrative of America as an oppressive state that exploited minorities and privileged a class of white supremacists could not be merged seamlessly with the old narrative” (2838). “The 1619 Project carries the reaction into the realm of radical overreaction” (2845).

“In January 2018, the SPLC released ‘Teaching hard history: American slavery’, a report that is part of its Teaching Tolerance program. The webpage presenting the report proclaims: ‘Schools are not adequately teaching the history of American slavery, educators are not sufficiently prepared to teach it, textbooks do not have enough material about it, and – as a result – students lack a basic knowledge of the important role it played in shaping the United States and the impact it continues to have on race relations in America” (1636). “The Family Research Council, which is a harsh critic of the SPLC … noted that the SPLC had been way ahead of the 1619 Project” (1645).

As teenvoeter vir die 1619-projek, het ‘n swart Amerikaner, Robert Woodson, in Februarie 2020 ‘n projek geloods “that … has come to be known simply as ‘1776’, or ‘1776 Unites'” (3018). “Woodson hit on the better name for an endeavor to remind Americans that our nation was founded on the pursuit of freedom, not on slavery and racism” (3022). Wood se samevatting ter afsluiting is: “The 1619 Project as a whole is myth-making aimed at intensifying identity politics and group grievance. It doesn’t aim, as it says, to tell ‘our story truthfully’. It aims to tell it with falsehoods and deceptions for the purpose of instilling resentment” (3087). Oor die toepassing: “The 1619 Project … consists of an effort to destroy America by teaching children that America never really existed, except as a lie told by white people in an effort to control black people” (3152).

Die Times beoog om onbepaald met hierdie projek voort te gaan (3156). Die redes hiervoor is: [1] “the appeasement of angry and aggressive members of the Times’ staff” (3156); [2] “the social-justice agenda of the Times management” (3159); [3] “the hope of energizing the Democratic electorate to oppose Trump in the 2020 election” (3159); [4] “the failure of the Mueller investigation to deliver the results that the Times eagerly anticipated” (3159); [5] “the desire to push government to pay reparations to blacks for slavery” (3163); [6] “postnationalism, that is, the idea that America is not exceptional and really shouldn’t exist at all, to which end borders should be abolished” (3163); [7] “the elevation of identity politics based on racial grievance to become the dominant or perhaps exclusive cultural construct bearing on the nation’s politics, economics, and morality” (3166).

In Julie 2020 Hannah-Jones in “a series of tweets … asserts that the 1619 Project was never intended to be ‘history'” (3193): “I’ve always said that the 1619 Project is not a history. It is a work of journalism that explicitly seeks to challenge the national narrative, and, therefore, the national memory. The project has always been as much about the present as it is the past … The 1619 Project is using history and reporting to make an argument. It never pretended to be a history” (3196). Wood skryf: “My guess is that she is doing a victory lap. At this point the popular success of the 1619 Project is so well established that she no longer needs to claim historical accuracy. She has moved on to something bigger: a narrative that is indeed reframing the whole idea of the American past. A false narrative that people believe is usually called a myth” (3211). “As I write this, Arkansas senator Tom Cotton has proposed legislation that would prohibit federal money from going to schools that teach the 1619 Project” (3225).

Neem deel aan die gesprek en lewer gerus hier onder kommentaar!

L.W. U gebruik die Disqus-kommentaarafdeling op eie risiko en PRAAG, die redaksie of enige verwante persone of entiteite aanvaar geen verantwoordelikheid vir u kommentaar en watter gevolge ook al daaruit mag voortspruit nie. Terselfdertyd vereis ons dat u ter wille van beskaafdheid, redelikheid en die gerief van ander gebruikers, u sal weerhou van kwetsende taalgebruik, vloekwoorde, persoonlike aanvalle op medegebruikers, twissoekery en algemene "trol"-gedrag. Enigeen wat só 'n laspos word, sal summier verbied word en sy IP-adres sal insgelyks versper word. Ons sal ook nie huiwer om, waar nodig, kriminele klagte aanhangig te maak teen individue wat hulle aan dreigemente, teistering of intimidasie skuldig maak nie.