As 2020 starts, a PC propaganda campaign called the “1619 Project”
is taking hold in American news media, university faculties, and K-12 public
school curricula. The New York Times Magazine published the original batch of
articles on August 14 of last year, and the ramrod of the project was a
reporter named Nikole Hannah-Jones. A Times writer named Mara Gay characterized
the campaign this way: “In the days
and weeks to come, we will publish essays demonstrating that nearly everything
that made America exceptional grew out of slavery.”
The central claim of the “Project” is that United States, uniquely among all the nations on Earth, was founded on, and shaped by, the evil of slavery. The name comes from the claim that the first black slaves to arrive in North America were brought in August of the year 1619, exactly 400 years before the publication of the first “Project” articles. As a result, says Hannah-Jones, “Anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country,” with the implication that such deep racism does not stain any other nation the way it stains the US. The Times wants us to identify the United States so strongly with slavery that 1619, rather than 1776, will be viewed as the year of the nation’s true founding.
This is the thirteenth in my series of posts about the five businessmen the History Channel profiled in a terribly inaccurate and un-historical TV miniseries titled The Men Who Built America. I’m writing these posts in response to several comments and e-mails from TV viewers who have expressed interest in a more accurate version of the story. (Click here to see all Al’s columns on the program and its subjects.)
Post #13: John D. Rockefeller Gets His First Job
In 1855 John D. Rockefeller went looking for his first full time job. By training, talent, and inclination he was a bookkeeper, but few businessmen in 1855 Cleveland were willing to entrust their books to a sixteen year old. Times were tough, and older and more experienced applicants were available.
“Slavery was not a sideshow in American History, it was the main event.” Dr. James Horton, George Mason University.
From the day the America was founded, her economic growth was the envy of the rest of the world. Academics and other liberals are pretty consistent in the explanation they offer for this rapid early growth. The nation’s prosperity, they tell us, was built on the backs of black slaves. American capitalism, they say, is so closely linked to slavery that its achievements should always be viewed with shame. This negative portrayal of American enterprise shows up in textbooks, in classrooms, and even in publicly-funded “educational” broadcasting.
There is another side to the story.