THE 1619 PROJECT

Trump’s White Privilege Revealed

There are times when the great, orange hype-master in the White House makes a gigantic stink about something hardly anyone knows about, and by rebuking it he creates not only a viral event but also makes more people aware of that very thing he wants them to ignore. Such goofy thinking!

We have had starts and stops with racial matters in America. There are times when we make some progress, then other times we fall back and trample our “better angels,” the ones President Lincoln turned to at times. One of the things I have learned is the more I study our presidents the less likely I’m inclined to hoist them onto a huge glory pedestal.

Thomas Jefferson

When we heard the recorded conversations of Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, their uncensored language about “Jews” and “colored people” was dreadful. I read some of the things Dwight Eisenhower said after he had a few drinks, I was stunned and saddened. It was nothing less than racist language and a continuation of “established” racist views held by many Americans. I’m sorry to burst any bubbles, but racism is the norm in America, not the exception.

When the New York Times launched their 1619 Project in August of 2019, I assumed it was a marketing ploy to increase readership. It commemorated the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of enslaved Africans at the English colonies of mainland North America in August of 1619, thus the name.

If you want to dive more deeply, you can learn more here. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have heard that these articles have been met with much controversy. The entire undertaking is not riddled with lies, but it is being challenged and maligned by historians of every ilk and political persuasion.

One of the most challenged premises in the 1619 Project is that American independence from Britain was a way for our new country to maintain slavery. In fact, the slave trade wasn’t outlawed in Great Britain by Royal Assent until March 25, 1807, but a man was freed by British Chief Justice Lord Mansfield. That ruling in 1772 stated that that “no master ever was allowed here (England) to take a slave by force to be sold abroad because he deserted from his service… therefore the man must be discharged.” And so James Somerset, a slave, won his freedom. The founding fathers knew that this only applied to England and not the 13 colonies, but they heard the footsteps of freedom. They worried that they would be next.

Remember we debated and concluded that we needed to break away from King George in 1776 over a long list of grievances clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence. You can read that legal document here.

Some people get hung up by certain aspects of our justice system, like the notion that someone who lied once means everything else they say is tainted. Ask Michael Cohen. If you write something, especially if it has the sheen of a scholarly work, someone will challenge you, if not in a letter to the editor then in a court of law.

Some choose to fight the battle based on an adoring viewpoint that our founding fathers were righteous and driven by the Magna Carta, rather than being money-oriented and goaded by wealth and profiteering. Don’t ignore human nature here, folks. Many historical accounts demonstrate that the white planters hyped a revolution because they wanted to make sure they kept their land. For example, a unique 215-foot-high rock formation in Rockbridge County, Virginia, along with 150 surrounding acres, were purchased from King George III of England by Thomas Jefferson on July 5, 1774. Jefferson knew the monument would have significant value (as a tourist trap) and he named it Natural Bridge.

When America was a colony of Britain, the settlers developed their own governments in each state, loosely based on what they knew from their motherland. Our founding fathers were still British citizens who believed their deeds, documents and demands of common law should not be abridged. King George brazenly decreed that none of those documents would be honored. This pissed off the landowners and founding fathers so, yes, it’s true that economics was very much a driver in the liberation of the 13 states.

One of the ways our rich, land-owning white forefathers kept the laborers and non-Blacks in line was taking away land from freed Black slaves or indentured servants and giving that land to white men. A bond that was massaged with Christianity, white privilege and pro-slavery kept everyone on the same page for a revolution. Could our founders have spread the word that if we didn’t break away from the mother country all our slaves would be released to burn down the suburbs? That is hard to know, even for the New York Times, and I hope I’m correct in thinking that stone has already been unearthed by at least one of our many newspapers and writers.

Did the early power brokers and self-proclaimed intellectuals know that Great Britain was going to outlaw the slave trade in 1807? How can one know the future? Maybe they had advice from people like Ben Franklin, who lived primarily in London until 1775. After Franklin completed his role in the Continental Congress, he moved to Paris. The things a man will do to get out of the house! Ben was supposed to keep France on our side and provide loans to keep this country solvent, and it wouldn’t have been beneath Franklin to spread some useful lies. France didn’t declare slavery illegal until 1848 however, so the idea that Uncle Ben could have told us about the future demise of slavery is not credible.

Most Americans don’t realize that the King, or Queen of the United Kingdom is also the head of the Church of England. Back in the late 1770s, King George had the power to declare the slave trade dead, but he didn’t. Now, let’s return to today’s America.

In July 2020, Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas proposed the “Saving American History Act of 2020.” It prohibited K-12 schools from using federal funds to teach curriculum related to the 1619 Project. Tom Cotton says, “The 1619 Project is a racially divisive and revisionist account of history that threatens the integrity of the Union by denying the true principles on which it was founded.” While this “cotton-picking” Congressman from Arkansas pisses on the Frist Amendment, I would add that his belief that he, and he alone, can save American history is audacious and laughable.

Mr. Cotton didn’t go it alone. He was able to manipulate one other person to take up the sword against a newspaper. This week, Donald John Trump stated on Twitter that the Department of Education will investigate whether California public schools are using the 1619 Project as part of their school curriculum and, if they are, they will “not be funded!”

It wasn’t just Tom Cotton who pulled the wool over Trump’s eyes, it was also Tucker Carlson, the Joseph Goebbels of American media, who broadcasted a major show on the 1619 Project. Now, the President thinks that words on a paper are more dangerous than Russia, North Korea and the global pandemic all rolled into one. Things Tucker Carlson has said and proposed over the years leave no doubt in my mind that he is a racist. Cotton, on the other hand, should know better.

The real reason Trump is fighting so hard against the 1619 Project is because he sees racism and America’s racist history through the lens that Fred Sr. implanted in his deficient head. Like a bad software update, these prejudices make the Donald unable to understand anything that challenges his white privilege.

According to NPR, “Trump won just 8% of the Black vote in 2016 and current polls show the vast majority of Black voters backing Trump’s Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.” African American women vote more than Black men, but the key question is will Trump’s efforts against the 1619 Project make him look like a white plantation owner, wanting to keep the facts of slavery from the young Black and white voters out in the street protesting? Or maybe he’s just another racist waving his white sheet… yet again.

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