If you haven’t heard of the New York Times sponsored “The 1619 Project,” you aren’t missing out on much – at least not in terms of something you need to know about to make your life better.
However, I recommend learning at least a bit about it, if for no other reason than to understand the ridiculous notions that some people are pushing our children to learn in schools.
But don’t just take my word that it’s something to be abolished and unworthy of your child’s time. Instead, I give you wise insight of world-renowned civil rights leader Robert Woodson.
Woodson has been around for decades, constantly fighting for the plight of those less fortunate and making sure that even the most seemingly oppressed of us have a voice, know their rights, and are given every opportunity to succeed.
Why might you ask? Well, because he’s lived it.
He knows what it means to come from nothing and be on the wrong side of tracks. Growing up fatherless in a low-income black Philadelphia neighborhood taught him some of life’s most horrible lessons, namely that racism does exist, and it can be all-encompassing to those who choose to focus on it.
However, rather than wallow in his self-pity and count himself as yet another victim of so-called white supremacy and oppression, Woodson chose to rise above it all and make something of himself.
In the 60s, he became heavily involved in the civil rights movement and put himself through an Ivy League education, earning a master’s degree despite never graduating high school.
That taught him that it doesn’t matter where you came from, what people say you are, or what the color of your skin is. If you choose to make something of yourself, no one can stop you.
The 1619 Project, on the other hand, teaches the exact opposite.
Created by NYT writer Nikole Hannah-Jones, the collection of essays focuses on the horrors black communities have faced over the years in America, which Woodson says is crucial to understand.
Things like slavery, the abdominal Jim Crow laws in the South, and even the teaching of slavery as “a benign institution in which happy and carefree bondsmen were grateful recipients of free food and housing” in as late as the 1970s.
However, the lessons to be learned are far different than those Hannah-Jones implies.
As Woodson wrote in an article for the Daily Mail, the real problem with the controversial project is that “the story of blacks in America as told in American classrooms is too often the tale of what has been done to us, not what we have done in response.”
Rather than focusing on all the wrongs that have been done and how white Americans should “owe” us, Woodson says we should instead look at how even during those terrible times, individuals rose above it all to succeed despite the odds.
Instead, let’s look to the heroes of our history rather than become the Negative Nancy’s that Hannah-Jones would love for you to become.
Besides, as Woodson says, her collection doesn’t exactly get all the facts right.
For example, Hannah-Jones claims that the American Revolution – you know, the war that gave our nation our independence from the tyranny of England – was really all about preserving slavery in the then-13 colonies. However, she seems to forget to mention things like the Stamp Act, taxation without representation, etc.
And this has led those like Woodson to have even more reason to refuse the project as a complete load of crap.
As he says, it “proves itself untrustworthy, and in some cases just as guilty of revisionism as the false histories it seeks to correct.”
So if Hannah-Jones’ version of history is just as bad, if not worse than what many schools are teaching about black and minority histories, what should be taught?
Woodson suggests something like the Woodson Center’s 1776 Unites curriculum, which “tells the stories of ordinary black Americans who suffered under slavery and segregation but triumphed and achieved remarkable things.”
Instead of focusing on the problems of the past, the lessons give nonpartisan facts about our history and then teach solutions to those issues that reject “victimhood culture, and showcase the millions of black Americans who have prospered by embracing the founding ideals of America” and not abandoning them.
And isn’t what American history should be teaching?