House Republicans Introduce Bill Banning Federal Funds for Teaching America Founded on Slavery

Ken Buck CO. APChris Schneider
AP/Chris Schneider

House Republican Reps. Ken Buck (CO) and Rick Allen (GA) introduced a bill Thursday that would ban federal funds for teaching the New York Times’s revisionist “1619 Project,” which claims America was founded on slavery.

The bill, titled the Saving American History Act of 2020, is a companion piece of legislation to one introduced in the Senate by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) in July. Buck said in a statement:

The 1619 Project teaches children a historically inaccurate account of our nation’s history. Federal funding should not go towards schools that teach a flawed and inaccurate curriculum in classrooms. We should be able to acknowledge the stains on our nation’s history while still continuing to celebrate the good our country has done.

Thousands of schools throughout the country have already adopted the 1619 Project curriculum, which Cotton referred to in July as “left-wing garbage.”

President Donald Trump said last week the Department of Education is looking into public schools that use the 1619 Project as part of their curricula.

In a presentation this week at a virtual conference of the National Association of Scholars (NAS), Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said the 1619 Project is “one of the most significant attempts to propagandize history” he has seen in his lifetime.

The principal author of the 1619 Project is Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones, who wrote in June, “If true justice and equality are ever to be achieved in the United States, the country must finally take seriously what it owes black Americans.”

In her “project,” Hannah-Jones has attempted to revise American history by changing its start from 1776 to 1619, the year the first slaves arrived in what was then the colonies. In her view, anything that happened in America after that date relates to slavery.

Kirsanow, an attorney and chair of the board of directors of the Center for New Black Leadership, detailed his deep concerns about the adoption of the 1619 Project by so many school districts:

[T]his is something that’s being introduced into curriculum, K through 12. It’s one thing when you do it in college, and maybe with somebody who already had an established foundation, where a student has to adequately interpret what they’re being told. But, when fresh young minds are exposed to this, that’s something completely different. So, as with other progressive revisionism, it’s likely then when you start at K through 12, that this will become the story of the American founding or the story of America within a generation, unless there’s significant pushback. And, again, that means all hands on deck.

The Washington Times editorial board wrote about Hannah-Jones’s distortion:

Mrs. Hannah-Jones applies her argument to Revolution, claiming that the colonists fought for independence on the grounds that an America untethered from Britain would allow the institution of slavery to flourish. This assertion is so wrong, so factually inaccurate, that leading historians (Mrs. Hannah-Jones is a journalist) of both conservative and liberal persuasions, systematically went through her research and found no evidence supporting her contention. (They did, however, find a trove of historical inaccuracies and distortions.)

Allen, the senior Republican on the House Education and Labor, K-12 Subcommittee, said in a statement the goal of the 1619 Project “is to indoctrinate the idea in our nation’s young people that America is an evil country – which is far from the truth.”

“Though our history is not perfect, we have overcome our challenges to create a land of opportunity for all,” Allen continued. “If we want to fight injustice and work toward a more perfect union, we must learn from our past and teach our students to do better – not teach false history. This legislation will ensure federal education funding is going towards truthful and historically accurate curriculum.”

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