Both The New York Times and presidential candidates seem to be singing off the same song sheet as they propose an alternative history for the United States. The newspaper has its “1619 Project,” arguing that the nation didn’t begin with the Declaration in 1776 nor with the Constitution in 1787. It began in 1619 when the first slave arrived at the Jamestown settlement.
Beto O’Rourke has picked up on this theme, proclaiming, “Racism in America is endemic. It is foundational. We can mark the creation of this country not at the Fourth of July, 1776, but August 20, 1619, when the first kidnapped African was brought to this country.” Both the newspaper along with progressive professors and politicians want to rewrite American history.
In a recent column, Mackubin Thomas Owens provides some background. Back in the 1930s, Antonio Gramsci (the father of cultural Marxism) proposed that socialists and communists subvert Western culture from the inside. One of my radio guests reminded us of one activist who described this project as a “long march through the institutions.”
That is exactly what has been done in the classrooms of America. Many students were required to read Howard Zinn’s book, A People’s History of the United States. Owens refers to it as a “disgraceful work filled with outright falsehoods, omissions, distortions of evidence, logical fallacies, plagiarism, and dubious sources.”
We shouldn’t be surprised at what is being talked about today. The philosophy of the classroom in the last generation has become the philosophy of the media and government in this generation. Now, more than ever, we need to challenge this revisionist history being promoted in our culture.