1776 or 1619: Why it Really, Really, Matters
There has been a great deal of consternation, anger, and vitriol the last two years arguing about two specific dates: 1776 or 1619. Most Americans, regardless of race, know what 1776 is about. Most Americans, regardless of race, do not know what 1619 is about. Most Americans believe that in 1776 America declared independence from the mother country, England, and thus that was the birth date of our country: 1776. However, author Nikole Hannah-Jones, writing in the New York Times Magazine, recently declared 1619 to be the actual beginning of America, our supposed birth date. This is because 1619 is when the first slaves landed in what was later to become America. That author uses 1619 as America's birth date, to not just highlight the date of the first slaves into the colonies. But much more importantly, she vigorously claims that because of this date, America has been evil since its inception. And that everything in America since 1619, is corrupt and damaged goods. She believes the United States is irredeemable because of 1619. To this day, The New York Times Magazine has still refused to correct mistakes and errors in their story on the 1619 Project. Why?
It is very important to really understand what the 1619 Project and 1619 date are all about. The author, Hannah-Jones is arguing that since America actually started in 1619 (not 1776), that date when the first slaves arrived into the yet independent United States, then actually America's birth is evil from the crib. Evil from birth. Evil from inception. And thus is unjustifiable to remain. Some argue the author is using 1619 to support and endorse reparations for the descendants of slaves in America. In other words, Hannah-Jones wants the federal government to "pay up" to the decedents of slavery. Although, others would argue that since the 1960s, America has been doing just that. Some would argue that the United States is paying reparations since the '60s via welfare, food stamps, unemployment checks, public education, public housing, racially-based affirmative action in hiring, Medicaid, and the like. Regardless of that argument, the problem with the 1619 Project goes much further than that; and a great deal deeper and long-lasting.
Most Americans know the evil of slavery. Most Americans also know how awful racism is. Most Americans believe slavery and racism to be a sin that America has committed. And that slavery and racism will always be a stain on America. There is no question with about 99% of the American citizenry, that slavery has always been wrong, no excuses, and will forever be a blot on our soul as a nation. No question, no doubt, and no argument.
Today, slavery is recognized by almost everyone to be a national sin. But today, Joe Biden's America is more deeply divided than at any time since 1860. The Biden administration has created such a fracture in our social fabric of commonality, it does remind historians of the pre-Civil War days. From the five-year deep-state attempted coup of President Trump, China, the 2020 Election, Deep State criminality and hypocrisy, China's COVID Virus, vaccine mandates, unconstitutional open borders, THE Afghanistan pull-out, THE J-6 MAGA Rally, and support of Israel, America is so historically deeply divided. Actually teetering on the edge, and the misinformation in the 1619 Project could push us over the cliff as a nation.
But what the author of the 1619 Project is doing fits right into the BLM/Antifa narrative...that America has been bad since birth and needs to be destroyed.
Again, the real meaning of 1619 is that the United States has been so awful since conception, that we do not have the right to continue as is. this goes with the speaking points from Antifa and BLM. If they and 1619 can convince enough Americans that we don't have the right to continue...then we won't as a country. They want America no longer to exist as constituted. They want Americans to feel so guilty as a people, that we will commit suicide as a nation. That is the point from 1619, and the words of BLM and Antifa echo that very thought. They want to bring down the Republic. Both groups, sometimes using the 1619 Project as cover, have destroyed countless statues and memorials of Americans.
The basic thesis of Hannah-Jones' 1619 Project is wrong from the beginning. It is just not historically factual and cannot be justified by the events of history. The author claims that the colonists sought independence from Great Britain because the colonists "wanted to protect the institution of slavery". Wrong. The author claims that Great Britain was about to outlaw slavery in the colonies, so the colonist got ahead of the curve, and claimed independence so they could keep slavery in the Americas. Just plain wrong. The 1619 Project is much more of a political treatise than a historical factual thesis. It is "blame America first" politics not factual U.S history. Hannah-Jones writes in the 1619 Project that the chief purpose for the colonists to declare independence was so the colonies could keep and expand slavery. And the likes of BLM and Antifa have used the errors of the 1619 Project to argue, even in violent manners, that the United States has no right to continue as constituted. Both groups have stated that the American flag offends them.
They argue that we as a people must start from a new beginning, must write a totally new and different constitution, and we must begin as a blank slate, not just amend the errors of the past. They argue that the likes of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments along with the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 are not nearly enough. Nor the Voting Rights Act. They argue amending it is not the answer but a total rewriting from a blank page is the only way to go.
This is wildly dangerous. Just imagine the resulting chaos if Antifa is at the table at the next "Philadelphia" in the writing of our next constitution? This is an extremely dangerous course to take. This socialistic "re-set" course could well lead us to a path of anarchy, rebellion, and secession. Does anyone think that if we begin anew from ground zero, start completely over again, that America will be better off for it? If the 1619 Project, along with BLM and Antifa, can convince enough Americans of a sinful and irreparable birth, then it is a whole lot easier to kill the baby.
Americans realize the United States is not a perfect country. We know we have made grave mistakes in the past. We know we have let God and fellow Americans down. But we also believe we are an "exceptional" country. And we do not apologize for thinking we are exceptional. We believe God has blessed our land in a mighty way. We believe the Good Lord has treasured our land and allowed us to be a beacon of hope to the rest of the world. We believe many people throughout the world live better lives because of America's help and selflessness to them. We believe more people throughout the world are freer, have more rights, and have a high standard of living; because of America's help. Not a perfect nation, no. But the best nation ever, yes. Whether 1619, BLM, or Antifa want to admit it; America is a source for good and light. Perfect, no. Great, yes. But a warning from Benjamin Franklin is especially appropriate at this time, "What we have is a Republic, if you can keep it."
Whether one believes in 1776 or believes in 1619, it is not solely about our past; but it is very much determinant of our future. It really-really-really matters for our future as a nation. If you believe a nation is redeemable you continue on. If you believe a nation is irredeemable, you kill it.
Image: GPA Photo Archive, via Flickr // public domain
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