“The most effective way to destroy a people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”—George Orwell
According to The New York Times, the true founding of the United States of America did not begin with the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Rather, the Times informs us, the founding occurred in 1619, the year 20 or so African slaves were brought to Jamestown, Virginia. The American Revolution occurred, the Times says, primarily because of Americans’ desire to keep their slaves. Consequently, “America is irrevocably and forever rooted in injustice and racism.”
My guests Robert Woodson and Kenneth Blackwell emphatically do not agree, and Woodson has launched the 1776 Project to refute the Times’ claims in its 1619 Project.
“I was particularly outraged that The New York Times would exploit America’s birth defect of slavery and weaponize race and use the conditions of the black community as a bludgeon against this country’s character, almost defining it as if it’s a criminal organization,” Woodson says. “What they are doing is insulting by implying that all blacks are victims and should be pitied.”
Blackwell says: “The 1619 Project is nothing but a group of apologists for the expansion of the welfare state. What we should be doing, and what Bob’s 1776 Project is about, is the creation of opportunities and individual empowerment in society. As Frederick Douglass said, we all have to be agents of our own well-being.”
Join me as we dig into the competing narratives of the 1619 vs 1776 projects. As my guests make clear, the side that wins this debate likely will steer the future course of America. Watch now.