Commentary on Political Economy

Sunday 2 May 2021


A Backlash Against Bad History

GOP Senators warn Cardona about pushing the ‘1619 Project.’

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona at the White House in March. PHOTO: ANDREW HARNIK/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Education in America is still mainly a state and local enterprise, and thank heaven for that. Look no further than the Biden Administration’s plan to use federal grants to urge states and local schools to teach bad American history like the New York Times “1619 Project” in classrooms.

Opinion: Potomac Watch

Thirty-nine GOP Senators led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Thursday expressing “grave concern” with his “effort to reorient the bipartisan American History and Civics Education programs” from “their intended purposes toward a politicized and divisive agenda.”

This includes the destructive 1619 Project, which seeks to replace 1776 with the year slaves first arrived in North America as the country’s true founding. Prominent historians, including many on the political left, have criticized the 1619 Project’s many mistakes, not least its claim that preserving slavery was the driving force behind the American revolution.

The Cardona effort is bound to roil the culture wars and is the opposite of President Biden’s pledge to unify the country. Mr. Cardona should take the McConnell letter as good advice to cashier his history project. The backlash he’s courting will do no one any good.

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