(Perspective from the Right)
In April of this year, the Department of Education released the latest student test scores on eighth-graders’ comprehension of U.S. history and government. There had been virtually no change in student scores in civics, with a meager 24% of eighth-graders testing “proficient” in that field. Meanwhile, proficiency in U.S. history fell by more than 15% from the last testing in 2014 to an embarrassing 15% total. This decrease occurred in almost every category of students tested.
American lexicographer and “Father of American Education”, Noah Webster, On the Education of Youth in America, 1788, said it best, “Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.”
The lack of knowledge of our founding, on our government, on our economy, has opened the door to socialistic thought and aspirations of implementing it into economic policies and education. Moreover, it is also the lack of knowledge of the outcomes of socialism not being adequately taught in the education system. According to a 2019 Gallup poll, 51% of U.S. adults say socialism would be a bad thing for our country, 43% believe it would be a good thing.
The current attack on historical figures, even more so on the Founding Fathers, is based on the assumption that man can achieve moral perfectionism. We are all in agreement that the Founders had imperfections. Still, the theory that America is based on inherent evil makes way for Socialist thought to replace our Constitution and our government.
This criticism for our country’s founding is being implemented into our education system under the name “The 1619 Project” through a collection of essays, poems, and short fiction to completely rewrite our history. Even though The 1619 Project has been debunked by some of the greatest historians of our time, it is still making its way into classrooms. If the author, Nikole Hannah-Jones, has her way, it will be implemented into the entire history curriculum across America.
The 1619 Project centers slavery at the heart of America’s story, in which America’s capitalist economic system and our government institution are inherently racist. It also paints the Founders as fundamentally racist.
The Gulf Stream, Winslow Homer (1899)
However, in every letter, legislation, essay and so on, that the Founders spoke on the subject of slavery, they denounced it as an institution and spoke of their hopes of it being abolished in the future. Not once does The 1619 Project bring the Founders own words on the topic of slavery to be an example to their claims because it would rebuke them.
In 2019, Hannah-Jones stated to Vox founder Ezra Klein that “If you want to see the most equal, multiracial, it’s not a democracy, but the most equal multiracial country in our hemisphere, it would be Cuba…Cuba has the least inequality between black and white people of any place in the hemisphere.” She is right in the sense that everyone is equally malnourished and impoverished under Cuba’s communist government. She also admitted the identity of the 1619 Project by also emphasizing, “In places that are biracial countries, Cuba actually has the least inequality, and that’s largely due to socialism.” Her claims that our capitalist system is inherently racist is a misleading allegation in the sense that slavery existed throughout the world before Adam Smith ever developed the capitalist economic system; the term “slave” itself originates in the word “Slav”. Hence, the Slavic people were taken as slaves by the Muslims of Spain during the 9th century A.D.
Socialism is another form of slavery, in which it forces citizens to work for others without compensation and seizes private property. There is no individual freedom for anyone, no matter your race, sex or religion. Hannah-Jones’ allegation about Cuba being a haven for racial peace and equality is also incorrect.
Protesters march through Downtown San Diego on Sunday to show support for Cubans unhappy with their government. (Kristian Carreon/For The U-T)
In 2009, 70% of Black Cubans were projected to be unemployed. This has led to an increase in the “black market” and other criminal activities, which has resulted in a prison population of 85% black. Meanwhile, 58% of White Cubans stated that Black Cubans were “less intelligent” than whites according to a 2005 survey.
The 1619 Project is just another reversal of past tactics to justify socialism and to annihilate history, because, in truth, history is its greatest enemy. It does not lie, but it tells a story. Socialism has never had a happy fairytale ending. History is not perfect; it isn’t always equal, it isn’t always just, it isn’t
always morally right, but it also tells stories of heroes who prevailed during times of injustice and war. It gives hope that we too can prevail as others have before us.
In reality, the Founders knew themselves that they were not perfect men, but were determined to give us a Union of freedom, these words by James Madison in Federalist No. 51 exemplify this, “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”