Donald Trump announced that he will be working to implement a “pro-American” curriculum that teaches “patriotic education,” as a direct attack on New York Times’s “The 1619 Project,” which aims to provide an undiluted take on Black American history and the true birth of our nation.
You know, how we only get dang-near one chapter of Black American history in school, but the rest of the history book is about the contributions of white people? The 1619 Project is a movement dedicated to teaching a more elaborate and accurate telling of Black American history, and Trump isn’t having it.
The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative by The New York Times that “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of [the United States’] national narrative.” Black American journalist Nikole Hannah Jones created the project, and it now offers a curriculum for schools. The 1619 Project was named after the year when the first enslaved Black people came to Virginia. It’s currently being taught in serval high schools and colleges across the country – more than 3,500 classrooms.
However, this didn’t sit too well with #Trump and his other conservative friends, so he decided to create a commission to promote “patriotic education” and said there is a “twisted web of lies” that is being taught in schools and universities that “America is a wicked and racist nation,” referring to The 1619 project. While speaking at the White House Conference on American History on Thursday, he made these comments, calling the 1619 Project “totally discredited and arguing against “critical race theory.”
Instead, Trump said he will be pushing for the “1776 Commission” as an executive order to encourage educators to teach people about the “the miracle of American history” and to make plans to honor the 250th anniversary of America’s founding. Trump’s interest in the project came shortly after Education Secretary #BetsyDeVos at another venue praised the “1776 Unites Curriculum,” which is being promoted by well-known conservatives. The project was named after the date that British colonies signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He also mentioned a grant that was awarded earlier this year by the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the creation of a “pro-American curriculum that celebrates the truth about our nation’s great history.”
“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,” he said. “It will destroy our country. That is why I recently banned trainings in this prejudiced ideology from the federal government and banned it in the strongest manner possible.” Not long ago, Trump threatened to cut funding for California schools that teach The 1619 Project, and his administration also issued a government-wide directive to stop what it called “un-American propaganda training sessions” about race.
“The only path to national unity is through our shared identity as Americans,” Trump said. “That is why it is so urgent that we finally restore patriotic education to our schools.” Trump says the “1776 Unites” project is the opportunity to learn “a more complete and inspiring story of the history of African-Americans in the United States” and is a direct response to the 1619 Project.
However, the federal law blocks the Education Department from mandating the curriculum. “The federal government, the Department of Education, does not have a role in a national curriculum. Curriculum is best left to the states and local districts at local education agencies, but we can talk about curriculum that actually honors and respects our history and embraces all of the parts of our history and continues to build on that,” Devos said on Thursday. “Because we know that if we do not know and understand history, we are bound to repeat it.”