Appearing Friday on CNN, New York Times writer and “1619 Project” creator Nikole Hannah-Jones accused President Donald Trump of attempting to stoke racial division after the president announced the “1776 Commission,” which will encourage teachers to educate students about the “miracle” of U.S. history.
The 1619 Project "does not argue that 1776 was not the founding of the country, but what it does argue for is that we have largely treated slavery as an asterisk to the American story,” creator @nhannahjones says as President Trump has railed against it. https://t.co/2qsfDPKiV2 pic.twitter.com/2AR3Xqlvj0
— CNN (@CNN) September 18, 2020
A partial transcript is as follows:
BRIANNA KEILAR: Why do you think the president — and look, millions agree with him — are so resistant to this examination of what slavery has meant to this nation, even when you look at present day and it’s right before you? You can see the fallout from slavery very much today. Why is there this resistance?
NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES: This is a very challenging history, of course. We are raised to believe that America was founded on these ideas of liberty and freedom, and so to have to grapple the fact that we were also founded on slavery, it’s very difficult, but that is the truth, and it’s very ironic that President Trump would be saying that he needs to vindicate true American history by actually attempting to cover it up. We have to be able to grapple with both the good and the bad of this country, and American school children and American educators are able to understand a complex history about this country and its founding.
We know that this is really Trump’s effort to bring 1619 into the culture wars. He’s clearly running on a nationalistic campaign that’s trying to stoke racial division and he sees this as a tool in that arsenal.