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1619 Project Author: Parents Shouldn’t Have a Say in School Curriculum

The subject of systemic racism – historically and institutionally – is a hot topic because of both the division it creates and the lack of empirical proof that exists to support the allegation. Proponents of the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory continue to insist that both should be taught in our schools.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, the former New York Times contributor and author of the 1619 Project, made a controversial statement on one of the Sunday talking heads shows saying she didn’t understand the idea that “parents should decide what’s being taught” in schools.

“I don’t really understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught. I’m not a professional educator,” Hannah-Jones said, “I don’t have a degree in social studies or science. We send our children to school because we want them to be taught by people who have expertise in the subject area.”

The 1619 Project, which Hannah-Jones penned for the New York Times Magazine in 2019, centers on a grotesque perversion that the 13 Colonies – and subsequently the United States – was founded solely on the concept that the Pilgrims wanted to maintain the practice of slavery and that the year the first slave ships arrived from Africa should be viewed as the true founding of our nation.

The 1619 Project has been roundly criticized for its historical inaccuracies by a significant number of historians, yet Hannah-Jones continues to defend her many inaccuracies and fabrications as something worthy of the classroom. 

Hannah-Jones continued on in the interview to say she champions the idea that parents shouldn’t be deciding what’s being taught in school saying, “[T]hat’s just the fact. This is why we send our children to school and don’t home school, because these are the professional educators who have the expertise to teach social studies, to teach history, to teach science, to teach literature. I  think we should leave that to the educators. Yes, we should have some say, but school is not about simply confirming our worldview. Schools should teach us to question. They should teach us how to think, not what to think.”

Several state governments have banned the teaching of the 1619 Project as part of larger public school curriculum bans on the teaching of Critical Race Theory, which insists all American institutions are systemically racist and oppressive to racial minorities, carving that allegation deeply into American History.

Why This Is Important

Hannah-Jones and the race-baiters pushing systemic racism and Critical Race Theory (CRT) are able to do so – and make arguments for their factless assertions – because our society has embraced the validity of moral relativism and relative truth.

The false concept of relative truth contends that there is no allowing for fixed or moral absolutes, i.e. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.” That phrase, as part of the embrace of relative truth, has disingenuously morphed into “everyone is entitled to their own truth.” Therefore, relative truth is a contradiction in terms meaning truth depends on the circumstances instead of facts.

So, for example, when Hannah-Jones insists that the founding of the United States should be taught as 1619 when the first slave ships landed in the British colonies, it fully ignores the facts that the United States did not yet exist and that those slave ships were received by British Rule. Hannah-Jones’ “truth” is based on a non-existent country and, therefore a non-existent culture better laid at the feet of the established countries at the time that tolerated slavery and the nations that willingly allowed slavery to be harvested from their shores (read: African tribal nations).

Viewing the New World in 1619 through the eyes of today is intellectually stunted in the extreme. We, as a people, have an entirely different lexicon and culture from 402 years ago. Yet, it is a fact-based truth to recognize that the Founders and Framers of the United States, from the very beginning, were brave enough to seek the expungement of slavery from the country they created. It is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and through the process of expunging slavery and racism, several other codifications were added as well.

Additionally, it is a fact-based truth that the people of the United States, in their quest to expunge slavery from our shores, exist as the only nation on the face of the Earth to go to war over the matter; a war that almost fractured the nation beyond repair.

Speaking to the stunted intellect of measuring yesterday by today, to ignore the magnitude of the tasks of both expunging slavery and racism from our culture and in changing the global status quo on the issue of slavery is to be either naive, uneducated, deceptive and opportunistic in your motives, or all three.

Add to that the indifference of moral relativism, the idea that there is no universal or absolute set of moral principles; a version of morality that advocates “to each her own,” and “Who am I to judge,” runs interference for the charlatans who hide behind relative truth as a means to an end.

I’ve taken a long way around to make a point.

Hannah-Jones insists that parents – the people most invested in their children – have no place in overseeing the education of their children to include the very subject matter being taught and the curriculum being used in that endeavor. She claims that parents are not “professionals” and are not properly “trained” in educating the next generation. Yet, the parents that have objected to the 1619 Project and CRT being taught in our schools have the wherewithal to see the propaganda of social engineering being injected into their children’s education.

When the “professionals” and those who have been “properly trained” are propagandizing provable untruths to our children in an attempt to opportunistically manipulate them into believing a false narrative that divides our country at its core, it is absolutely the purview of every parent to protect their children from such nefarious acts.

To that end, many “professional educators” are fully invested in the propaganda they teach and that malady must be laid at the feet of the schools of education and the universities and colleges that are injecting radical ideology meant to socially engineer the next generation into solid pedagogy to teach critical thinking skills.

School Districts are local taxing bodies because they are set up to serve their local communities. This puts the duty, the obligation of oversight squarely within the purview of the parents of the students in those school districts and, in fact, every citizen who pays taxes into those systems.

The attempted co-opting of our educational systems across the country by the federal government – and by the radical Left via the teachers’ unions – should be countered by well-meaning, informed, and engaged parents, contrary to what Nikole Hannah-Jones and the purveyors of racial divide insist.

It does not take a village to raise a child. It takes concerned, engaged, and loving parents and educators who are brave enough to throw off the chains of ideological activism to teach critical thinking skills to our children.

It is time to insist that our educators and administrators desist from the acts of indoctrination and return to teaching our children how to think for themselves. Groupthink and the grey-minded mob mentality are the stuff of Orwell.

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Frank Salvato

You can read all of Mr. Salvato's news analysis at UndergroundUSA.com Frank Salvato is the executive partner at The CompassPoint Group, LLC. He is the host of The Underground and RightMinded podcasts as heard on iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Podcasts, and anywhere podcasts are heard. He is a national political writer for National File. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His analysis has been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, and Accuracy in Media, and is nationally syndicated. Mr. Salvato appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is the author of six books examining internal and external threats facing our country. He can be heard twice weekly on “The Captain’s America: Third Watch” radio program syndicated nationally on the Salem Broadcasting Network and Genesis Communications affiliate stations.

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  1. Here is the deal: Parents should always have the right to critique the curriculum being forced upon their children. Furthermore, racist publications should always be kept out of the classrooms and the authors of such literature should be called out in the public square. CRT is a hideous construct that jeapordizes racial harmony.

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