I’ve read the 1619 Project; also Jill Lepore’s "These Truths" and Timothy Snyder’s "On Tyranny." I’m convinced that the Black hole in what passes for American history — where slavery is non-existent or was a relationship between "master" and enslaved people, benign and beneficial to both parties, is grotesque and in dire need of a reality check.
The momentum built by the Black Lives Matter movement needs to continue unobstructed. Rep. Skyler Wheeler’s bill to ban the 1619 Project in schools is a travesty. In last week's article on the bill, Rep. Ras Smith of Waterloo gets it just right. "Fact: George Washington was a founding father; Fact: George Washington was a slave owner. That’s the complexity of America. How do we move further past these divisive times if we’re not even willing to acknowledge one truth, one fact?"
Not unlike the well-meant but poorly worded "defund the police” concept (reallocate some monies to mental health and other preventative entities), adding data from the 1619 Project to a whitewashed curriculum could help raise a generation knowledgeable of the facts of America’s founding and its long, pervasive and continuing disenfranchisement of Black Americans. When "We the People" grasp the facts, we can begin to rid ourselves of the disease of racism.
The folks that stormed the Capitol were steeped in the mythology of a white America, shining in smug exclusiveness, on some spot-lit hill. Hats off to native Iowan Nikole Hannah-Jones for a much-needed revisitation of our collective past — all of it.