The dishonest, divisive narrative driving Black History Month

American schools have been passing on dishonest Black history for decades. Most recently, the vehicles have been the 1619 Project and the AP African American Studies course. These histories do a disservice to the truth, drive hatred, and make too many Black students incapable of rising above the past to succeed in the present.

The thread tying together all current Black histories is how binary they are: America and her White citizens are evil; Blacks (and other oppressed people) are automatically virtuous and faultless. This is “the myth of the wonderful oppressed,” which drives censoring and belittling data that interferes with the embellished storytelling of White oppressors and Black victims.

Belief in, or exploitation of, the “wonderful oppressed” myth underpins the premises of the crackpot Critical Race Theory (CRT), its “workism” offspring, and the escalation teaching this dishonest and divisive Black history. Busting the myth would lead to a more honest Black history, help calm racial animus, and be a true tribute to honor Black History Month.

In 2019, the New York Times and the Pulitzer Center launched the 1619 Project curriculum. It is filled with powerfully written stories that support CRT’s assertion, and the woke belief that White people are born oppressors and Blacks are their victims. It’s also filled with inaccuracies.

Some of the most well-known historians of the slavery period itemized over 100 falsities, exaggerations, outright lies, and salient omissions. (See here and here, for example.) The 1619 Project generally ignored most of these errors.

Image: Black female students, circa 1900, learning facts. Library of Congress.

The lead journalist behind the 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, referred to their input as that of “old, White male historians.” In its own way—not a good one, though—a racist, sexist, and ageist four-word response to their input is impressive.

Recently, Hannah-Jones described the 19619 Project in one word: truth. This is a woman with chutzpah, but she knows she is shielded by the myth of the wonderful oppressed. This may be good for her star power, but it doesn’t give her the right to alter history and damage race relations.

In the same vein, White House spokeswoman, Karine Jean-Pierre, finds it incomprehensible that Florida Governor DeSantis could block the AP African-American Studies curriculum but not AP European history. She should have drawn a comparison with AP European-American history—which, of course, does not exist but really should exist if only to provide a balanced history curriculum. Meanwhile, Kamala Harris said that DeSantis is blocking Black history entirely and, therefore, should be barred from public office.

It's probable that neither Jean-Pierre nor Harris has analyzed the curriculum. It’s also likely that both are comfortable with historical stories that censor uncomplimentary African history. That history includes an ingrained culture of slavery and slave trading. For Harris and Jean-Pierre, only White people can be guilty of these behaviors. The AP African American curriculum is another CRT Trojan Horse that will take a toll on race relations.

The fact that both the 1619 Project and the AP course are grounded in CRT is a powerful reason for educational administrators across the country to block both. In academia, CRT should share the same reputation as Scientific Racism: a hostile period and racist-inspired theory developed with a political agenda.

A CRT founder said: “CRT should devote its efforts to critiquing social institutions, legal doctrine and the culture of racism — not itself or its own members." Critiquing CRT or its members would damage the myth of the wonderful oppressed and its offspring, CRT and wokism.

Not only is the CRT narrative purely political in its motives, but it’s also not history. There is no effort to support assertions with credible historic facts. Instead, both the 1619 Project and the AP curriculum, which are dependent on CRT, rely on stories with morals (also knowns as fables) for validation

What an honest version of Black history must include is how the United States went from Jim Crow to having the most educated and prosperous Black population in the world and to becoming the world’s leading anti-racist nation. This is an honest history, one that acknowledges the bad but includes the good—and it would place a dagger in CRT and wokism.

The transition from dishonest to honest Black history will, however, never occur until Americans realize that we have been living with politically driven myths that prevent honest discussions about Black history in America. This realization and the remedy it would bring to dishonest Black history would be a great tribute to Black History Month. As it is now, Black children never learn about how their forebearers (warts and all) overcame prejudice and changed America for the better. Instead, they only learn that they are born without sin but immolated in perpetual martyrdom.

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