The Wall Street Journal published a story about something called The 1619 Project, a New York Times-based series about slavery. The New York Times Magazine ran an article about it. Robert Woodson (of the Woodson Center), author of the WSJ article, sees it as another opportunity to present black Americans as victims. From the WSJ:
This thesis is the consensus of the nearly 20 black scholars, poets and artists who contributed to this issue of the Times magazine, and it will be the mantra of subsequent media coverage as well as various speeches by left-leaning politicians. Most dangerous of all, the Pulitzer Center has packaged the Times project as a curriculum for students of all ages that will be disseminated throughout the country.
Woodson wrote that black leaders “whom the project purports to represent,” should criticize this series. Pandering to blacks, leftists must instill in them eternal victimhood. Woodson acknowledges that slavery is a terrible part of the country’s history, but the country has vastly improved.
The best way to continue that advancement is to teach people the inspiring stories of those who have achieved in spite of prejudice and bettered the nation. Barraging minorities with constant reminders of the injuries their ancestors suffered only discourages them from working to surmount the obstacles in their way.
In spite of human bondage, slaves “maintained a strong moral code and a belief in self-determination and mutual support that allowed them to rise despite their enslavement,” Woodson wrote. Blacks started their own businesses and achieved success, even during government-mandated segregation.
This empowering spirit is alive today. While the race-grievance purveyors declare that institutional racism destines blacks to lives of poverty and impotence, black people have risen to establish oases of excellence and accomplishment in their communities. My organization, the Woodson Center, was created to draw attention and support their efforts. For nearly 40 years, it has provided resources and technical assistance to thousands of community leaders of all races who have rejuvenated their neighborhoods and empowered the people they serve to improve their lives.
Woodson said the 1619 Project undermines a sense of responsibility for blacks to improve their own lives.
Read the full article here.
Alex Haley’s “Roots” novel and subsequent TV mini-series drew the same response.