Rewriting U.S. History: No Matter How You Slice It, The Results are the Same

Over the past few weeks I have provided a more detailed analysis of the “1619 Project” – an extremely one-sided, racially motivated interpretation of U.S. History – designed to convince the youth of America that everything about the United States has been successful and slavery was the only reason it was able to succeed.

The following segments are abbreviated summaries of the last 10 chapters of this horror story which -with some notable exception – provides more of the same approach used in the first eight chapters.

The actual documents used in this analysis are available here and here.

Chapter 9 –  Now Traffic is Racist. 

The central theme of this chapter is that the Atlanta Interstate highways were designed with the singular intention of keeping black neighborhoods on the east side of I-85 and the white neighborhoods on the west side.  This one is so absurd given the federal involvement and other more obvious justifications for route selection such as right-of-way acquisition, exit locations, federal Interstate requirements for spacing of exits, etc., that it is completely laughable to suggest that it had much at all to do with racial population distribution.

In all fairness, the practice of red-lining by lenders may well have contributed to difficulty in obtaining mortgage money, but one must ask oneself whether even this puts the cart before the horse – so to speak – when one looks at the fact that lenders have an obligation to protect their investors and frequently the real issue is whether the borrower met the financial income to adequately fund the repayment schedule for the loan in question.

Chapter 10 – Undemocratic Democracy

If it didn’t make one somewhat sick to their stomach, I’d encourage you to read the whole chapter…

Suffice it to say that Chapter 10 continues the previous line of applying racial motives to every aspect of what the erroneously describe as a democracy when anyone who has read anything about our country’s history knows that we were intentionally structured as a constitutional republic to avoid the pitfalls of a democracy – often described as two wolves and a chicken voting on what’s for dinner – which is to day, Mob Rule. From Obama’s election, to the Tea Party and Mitch McConnell, it’s all racist, don’t you know?

Chapter 11 – Medical Inequality

While this chapter attempts to claim that physiological differences between black and white people account for different health outcomes were simply a false flag to hide racism, the medical profession continues to discover differences in health outcomes based on genetic difference between various races around the world.  This does not make those differences about racism…simply science.

On the other hand, the health of a population also depends on financial well-being, geographic location, personal habits, ethnic diet differences, healthy eating habits and avoidance of unhealthy activities.  None of these factors are considered when evaluating alleged “inequities” in the “system.”

Meanwhile, the black communities do not seem the slightest but inclined to object to the placement of the vast majority of the Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinics right in the middle of black neighborhoods.  The result has been the perpetuation of a near genocide of black babies at the hands of a group strongly supported by not the Republican Party but the Democrat Party that has also support the KKK, Jim Crowe, segregation, and opposed every civil rights law attempted after World War II.  Where is the outrage here?

Chapter 12 – American Popular Music

Many strains of American popular music have roots in the black experience whether it be jazz, soul, rhythm and blues, gospel, etc.  The fact that other ethnic groups adapted or embraced these genres should be a source of pride in the black community. Believing something is worthy of enjoying is a tribute to black culture, not something based in racism. To suggest that all of the music has somehow been corrupted by its adaptation by other-than-black musicians is ridiculous.

Chapter 13 – Sugar.

First is was cotton…now sugar.  You have to give these authors credit for the ingenious manner in which the many aspects of America’s history are all woven into a grand conspiracy to enslave people to the present day.  While sugar was and still is a major commodity which generates significant income, the use of slave labor to produce and refine sugar was discontinued more that a century ago.  To suggest that the fact that sugar still receives price supports/subsidies from the government can in any way be tied back to slavery is bordering on humorous if not so ridiculous.

Chapter 14 – Pecan Pioneer: Antoine

Oak Alley Plantation is recognized as the first property to successfully cultivate a pecan nut variety that was commercially viable around the 1840s…barely two decades before the beginning of slavery’s demise.  The owner assigned one of his slaves, known today only as Antoine, to compete the grafting of selected cuttings to a different species of trees that were present on the plantation. The cuttings took and many years later another owner that took over Oak Alley Plantation was awarded a commendation at the 1876 Centennial Exposition.

As with so many of the arguments made in the 1619 Project, the institution of slavery is somehow equated with the only reason pecans became a successful product and produced so many regional delicacies and because of this, America is somehow tainted because of it and nearly suggesting that anyone who eats a pecan is guilty of racism or should feel guilty over the fact that a slave grafted the trees that produced the nuts most people love so much. At the time it happened, slavery was a way of life.  It was an institution that, in retrospect, was evil and wrong (by today’s standards).  But at the time this took place, it was not seen the same way it is today. That is the difference.

A Glimmer of Truth in a Sea of Distortions:  The 1619 Project Conclusion

In the final four chapters we find significant truths that every American should come to grips with, acknowledge, and learn from regardless of race.  The weakness of the 1619 Project’s approach is in its ability to ignore all of the events and cultural and societal beliefs of the times that mitigate the view expressed.  The world was a different place than it is today – less enlightened for sure. Suggesting that only the bad behavior of any society is the sum total of its existence distorts and divides while discouraging a brighter future for all.

Chapter 15 – The Wealth Gap

Of all the chapters in this “curriculum” so far, this one rings far more accurately than any before it. The period from “Reconstruction” through the first half of the 20thcentury and into the mid-1960s represented the worst of the discriminatory racism following the abolition of slavery in 1865.

There is little doubt that the policies that initially intended to improve the lot of recently freed slaves under Abe Lincoln were frequently revoked or abolished immediately after his death by Andrew Johnson, his successor.

Throughout the following decades, a period notably dominated by the Democrat Party for much of that century – particularly in the south – the eras of Jim Crowe Laws, the Ku Klux Klan, the Great Depression, the New Deal and “red-lining” rules that stifled black home ownership were all creations of the progressive left-wing Democrats who resisted the notion that “equal protection under the law” were appropriate for black Americans.

What Is unfathomable is that the present-day black American has remained predominantly supporters of the Democrat Party in spite of the damage done to their communities for so many years.  Only in the past few years has there been some indication that black Americans are waking up to the fact that they are only buttered up by the Democrat Party when elections are in the near future.  Pandering for votes does not help the plight of black Americans.  The welfare laws put into effect in the 1960s – Great Society legislation – were deliberately structured to deconstruct the families of those it was allegedly intended to help.  With one notable disruption, these policies remain in existence to the present day.

Chapter 16 – Mass Incarceration

Here, again, much of the evidence points toward a discriminatory effect in the ways the criminal laws, particularly as it relates to drug possession, were promulgated even in the years since the passage of the civil rights laws in the 1960s.  The difference in the treatment of “crack cocaine” versus “powdered cocaine” is a classic example often cited.  Three strike laws turned out to be nearly ridiculous in how they were actually interpreted and used to discriminatory ends.

However, as with so much of this program, the claims that have arisen in recent years take these arguments to extremes.  School systems are now being discouraged from using any sort of discipline against any students regardless of the offense because a disproportionate amount of the students being disciplined are “students of color.”

In responding to this claim, I will make what will likely be construed as a controversial suggestion – that “curricula” such as this proposed project could very well fan the flames of racial tensions sufficiently to encourage rebellion through resentment, disruption, antagonism, and misbehavior on the part of black students to an extent that will suggest to some that the inordinate amount of black students being disciplined for misconduct is not out-of-line at all.  It becomes a vicious circle of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Perhaps what is needed instead is an effort toward conciliatory searching for the common interests of all the students – a useful and uplifting education that emphasizes the lessons of the past as things that should not be repeated in the present or the future for the benefit of all.

Chapter 17 and 18 – Conclusions

There is no objective person that can begin to suggest that there is no discrimination in America today. It really comes down to a matter of degrees and what, if anything, can be done about the remaining strands of racism that have been perpetuated through succeeding generations.  Perhaps there will always be those strands as long as the hearts of man are inherently tilted toward evil and/or sin. Honesty and objectivity in the education of our children is, perhaps, the only means we have to begin to erase the evil of racial discrimination from future generations.

The graduates of Howard University are wonderful examples of how black Americans are able to rise above their circumstances and history to succeed in America.  The fact that there are no longer slave auctions of any size, let alone the monstrous mass sales of the past described in Chapter 18, is an acknowledgement of the evils and sins of our past, but to learn from the past is the best education while dwelling only on the bad in our past to the exclusion of the progress made since then is to deny the potential of a better future.

To argue that white Americans should do penance through “reparations” simply divides the races where no divide need be created.  There is not one white person alive who owned a slave and very few who would support the institution in any way.  No world is perfect, but America has lifted many of all races out of poverty and provided opportunities that are not available anywhere else in the world.

If the world were all simply black and white, there would be no beauty or hope for the future. Painting the picture as starkly black and white as the 1619 Project tries to do does nothing to unify, reduce the racial divide, or paint a bright picture for the future of all.  Yes, there were terrible things done in our past, but there were good things, too.  Things that make for a brighter future for black as well as white America.

Balance is necessary and it certainly is not there in this project.  It is only a demonstration of how best to maintain a divide between racial groups as a means of perpetuating the anger expressed in nearly every chapter. Nothing constructive can come of it. How much better to suggest that repentance on the part of those who harbor discrimination in their hearts be exercised, and forgiveness enter the heart of those whose ancestors suffered the scourge of slavery.  God’s love conquers far more than hate, discrimination, and anger.  All must work together to make us all simply Americans.

#Ditchthehyphen

Tom Stark

Tom Stark’s career began with Air Force service, including a year in Thailand and Vietnam, and progressed through a variety of manufacturing and service positions to Manager of Security, Safety, and Transportation for the Orange County (FL) Convention Center. He graduated from Barry University in 1994 and soon after embarked on a second career building custom furniture as an entrepreneur for the last 20 years. He unsuccessfully ran as a Tea Party candidate in the 2010 Congressional race (WV-01). Tom currently writes and advocates for smaller more prudent and less intrusive government, strengthening families and protecting life while building free market principles that make America stronger. He is now 70, retired, and residing with his wife in Weston, West Virginia.

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