From the Claremont Review of Books, Cancel the New York Times by Richard Samuelson: (fire walled, highly recommend subscription)
The 1619 Project originally asserted that “one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery.” That follows from the “racist DNA” line—the U.S. was created to save slavery from Britain. But it’s fake news. After months of criticism by historians of all political persuasions, a Times update stated: “We recognize that our original language could be read to suggest that protecting slavery was a primary motivation for all of the colonists. The passage has been changed to make clear that this was a primary motivation for some of the colonists.” Since “some” could mean anything from 0.1% to 99.9%, the Times has retreated from a dubious but bold assertion to an unfalsifiable, meaningless one. “We stand behind the basic point,” the Times insisted, either dishonestly or ignorantly. Logically, the Times’s small verbal tweak masks a huge concession, one that shatters a central contention of the 1619 Project.
The 1619 Project is revisionist history to fulfill a narrative. Slavery was a critical part if our history and one that should not be sugarcoated or dismissed, nor should it be expanded to obscure so may other features of our founding and worse made to undermine all morality of the founding and constitution. The Constitution has faced challenges from new schools of thought including the early progressive movement, but these challenged the founding principles on rational grounds, that our founding motives were contingent on the time period and should not be a permanent part of our governing rationale. This is a legitimate point we may disagree with and I do.
But the 1619 Project claims that the entire founding was motivated by the most immoral objectives. History is much too complex to be reduced to a single theorem; good and evil often ride on the same horse. George Floyd may have ignited the riots but the idea that we are irretrievably racist, that it is in our DNA, not only ignores the incredible progress made, but ignores scores of other influences on our social and racial constructs.
It would be more accurate to label the riots and destruction the ‘1619 Riots’.