Mary Grabar, Resident Fellow, The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI), continues to hammer away at The 1619 Project for its openly subversive attempt to substitute ideology for genuine learning. Dr. Grabar published two op-eds recently, one in the Daily Wire, “Black History Is Not Marxist History,” and another in The American Spectator, on how leftists are using The 1619 Project to indoctrinate prisoners in the Florida penitentiary system. In both pieces, she underscores how the honest teaching of this country’s racial history does not equate to what Nikole Hannah-Jones, the architect of The 1619 Project, has in mind.
In the Daily Wire, Grabar notes how Marxist and neo-Marxist coloring pervades The 1619 Project. For some of her “authorities” Hannah-Jones has actually turned to a handful of white scholars, practitioners of the “New History of Capitalism” school, who blame capitalism for the spread of slavery and attribute the antebellum take-off in economic growth in the United States decisively to cotton production. Depending on what capitalism means, however, one could argue that the idea of an expansive sphere of individual freedom for all human beings, an ideology of capitalism if you will, is precisely what brought slavery to an end in the United States and elsewhere. “There is plenty of black history and more can be written, especially about conservatives like George Schuyler,” a prominent black journalist critical of black socialists, Grabar observes. “But we should not allow Hannah-Jones and revisionist historians to confuse us about what it is.”
In the op-ed “Leftists Are Using the 1619 Project to Indoctrinate Florida Prisoners,” Grabar listened in on a two-day conference sponsored by the Pulitzer Center, the outfit that was planning an educational blitz of The 1619 Project even before publication of the original essay by the New York Times had appeared in print. Under the cover of providing prisoners with the rudiments of a liberal education, the two educators featured by the conference organizers urged others in attendance about how commodities like sugar are supposedly “imposed by capitalists on vulnerable minorities.” The purport of the program’s officers is not to enlighten prisoners, but to fan their anger and resentment. “The 1619 Project only reinforces the idea prominent among criminals: that the cards are stacked against them.” Grabar warns that citizens should be concerned about these alliances between radical professors and left-wing non-profits. Citizens may have to deal with the anger and resentment of the prisoners once they are released.