Monday, July 27, 2020

Radical Views Of American History



Arkansas GOP senator Tom Cotton is proposing legislation to deter school districts from adopting as part of its curriculum the 1619 Proect, presented in The New York Times. The project, spearheaded by Nikole Hannah-Jones, aims “to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year” because that marks the arrival of African slaves in the Virginia colonies.

Cotton has stated in an interview

We have to study the history of slavery and its role and impact on the development of our country because otherwise we can’t understand our country. As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction,

The senator's comments have proven controversial:

Cotton did not say "the Founding Fathers said."  Prefacing the phrase with "as"- "as the Founding Fathers said"- indicates that he agrees with them. However, Bae Wells might be surprised to learn what Nikole-Jones and the Arkansas right-winger have in common. In her essay, the former wrote 

In other words, we may never have revolted against Britain if some of the founders had not understood that slavery empowered them to do so; nor if they had not believed that independence was required in order to ensure that slavery would continue. It is not incidental that 10 of this nation’s first 12 presidents were enslavers, and some might argue that this nation was founded not as a democracy but as a slavocracy.

Additionally

It was the relentless buying, selling, insuring and financing of their bodies and the products of their labor that made Wall Street a thriving banking, insurance and trading sector and New York City the financial capital of the world.

I don't know why Cotton stated "the union was built in a way, as Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction." I'm not even sure what he means. Nonetheless, this is a classic example of the far right (Exceptional America) being so far right, and the far left being so far left (ignoring class, video below), that they meet in the middle. 

Nikole-Jones, eager (“DNA”) to attribute racism to genetics, contends “anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country.” Cotton maintains “no (other) country has ever done more to achieve” the “promise” that “all mankind is created equal”  and “The New York Times should not be teaching American history to our kids.” In that case, The New York Times, Tom Cotton, and Hannah Nikole-Jones are all alike.



 

 

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