President Trump issued a strong warning on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 6, saying the Education Department is looking closely at Project 1619 from the The New York Times Magazine and said educational institutions that teach this alternative narrative to official U.S. history could stop receiving federal funds.
Project 1619 starts with the premise that the history of the United States did not begin in 1776 as told by official history, but that it should be re-established in 1619, the date when African slaves arrived in Virginia. It also suggests that everything that follows that milestone should be observed and analyzed from the perspective of racism.
The particular program was published by opinion writer Nikole Hannah-Jones and gained popularity when it was selected for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for its commentary. However, it was heavily criticized by a large number of historians who considered the project to be riddled with inaccuracies, including the claim that the Revolutionary War was an effort by the colonists to preserve slavery, rather than to declare independence from the British monarchy as the official history relates.
The Pulitzer Center published a project-based curriculum to be implemented on a large scale in school institutions. The state of California recently tweeted that it is implementing it in its schools, prompting outrage from President Trump, who quickly responded to the message: “Department of Education is looking at this,” Trump said. “If so, they will not be funded!”
Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded! https://t.co/dHsw6Y6Y3M
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2020
President Trump’s tweet is in tune with a bill that Sen.Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), introduced in July, according to Fox News. Cotton’s bill proposed to deny funding to any school that uses Project 1619 in its curriculum. At that time, schools in areas like Chicago and Washington had already modified their history curriculums to include the methods suggested by the Pulitzer Center’s proposed program.
At the same time, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Russell Vought, announced Friday that President Trump had expressly ordered him to ensure that federal institutions no longer included the controversial “critical theory of race” in their curriculum. A leftist academic theory that aims to break the historical foundation established to impose a reversal of the facts from a racial perspective. The theory received strong, well-founded criticism from a large section of traditional academics.
In addition, Vought reported that President Trump had ordered him to ensure that federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer money to fund any form of anti-American education that includes unfounded assumptions of white privilege or any type of propaganda that teaches that America is an inherently racist country.