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1776 Initiative Counters New York Times’ 1619 Project

The New York Times‘ reframing of American history through its 1619 Project has been criticized for its inaccuracies by many leading scholars and historians. (My colleague Katherine Kersten wrote an excellent article critiquing the project as well, pointing out the half-truths, distortions and falsehoods the Times uses in the project’s essays to promote its narrative.)

But the most significant challenge yet to the controversial 1619 Project, called the 1776 initiative, has recently been launched by a group of predominantly African-American academics, journalists, entrepreneurs, and community activists, reports The Washington Free Beacon.

According to its website, “1776” has written a series of essays and educational resources that

uphold our country’s authentic founding virtues and values and challenge those who assert America is forever defined by its past failures, such as slavery. We seek to offer alternative perspectives that celebrate the progress America has made on delivering its promise of equality and opportunity, and highlight the resilience of its people. Our focus is on solving problems. We do this in the spirit of 1776, the date of America’s true founding.

Bob Woodson, a leading scholar of the 1776 initiative, believes the 1619 Project’s narrative is “lethal” because it “perpetuates a culture of victimhood in the African-American community,” he told The Washington Free Beacon.

“This garbage that is coming down from the scholars and writers from 1619 is most hypocritical because they don’t live in communities [that are] suffering,” he continued. “They are advocating something they don’t have to pay the penalty for.”

Glenn Loury, another contributor to the 1776 initiative, calls the 1619 project “an affront.”

“The idea that the specter of slavery still determines the character of life among African Americans is an affront to me,” Loury said… “We have shown, and will continue to show, that we are not merely bobbles at the end of a historical string, being pushed this way and that by forces beyond our control.”

“I believe in America, and I believe in black people,” Loury added. “Something tells me when I read that document that the 1619 Project authors don’t. They don’t believe in America … and I’m sorry to have to report, I get the impression they don’t believe in black people.”

Through its essays published by the Washington Examiner, 1776 has challenged the messages of the 1619 Project and has offered “forward-looking solutions” to counter the 1619 Project’s focus on the past.

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