Donald Trump on Thursday launched a unprecedented assault on American training at a historical past convention in Washington, downplaying America’s historic legacy of slavery and claiming youngsters have been subjected to “decades of leftwing indoctrination”.
Talking at what was dubbed the White Home Convention on American Historical past, the president intensified efforts to enchantment to his core base of white voters with a traditionally revisionist speech, whereas blasting efforts to deal with systemic racism as divisive.
The president particularly attacked the New York Occasions’ 1619 Challenge, a Pulitzer prize-winning endeavor that was printed final yr to solid a highlight on the 400th anniversary of the primary slave ship arriving in America.
The 1619 Challenge “warped” the American story, Trump mentioned. The president mentioned the challenge claimed the US was “founded on the principle of oppression, not freedom”. Trump mentioned youngsters ought to know “they are citizens of the most exceptional nation in the history of the world”.
He additionally used the looks to announce plans to determine a fee to advertise patriotic training, dubbed the 1776 Fee, that might be tasked with encouraging educators to show college students “about the miracle of American history”.
Critics have been swift to sentence Trump’s new “patriotic education” plan and his assaults on the 1619 Challenge, one thing he mentioned the educating of which was akin to “child abuse”, with journalists shortly asserting his claims as blatantly false.
Pres Trump mentioned this of historical past to loud applause: “A radical motion is trying to demolish this treasured and valuable inheritance. We won’t let that occur.”Context: A motion is occurring to take a look at America’s flaws and it is authentic sins of slavery and stealing land.
September 17, 2020
The president, who referred to as curriculum on race “toxic propaganda, an ideological poison that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds”, continued his administration’s efforts to limit the telling of American historical past in faculties to erase a legacy of racism, genocide and imperialism. The president lately threatened to chop funding to California faculties that train the 1619 Challenge. Trump has already cracked down on anti-racism coaching classes in federal companies.
He additionally argued that America’s founding “set in motion the unstoppable chain of events that abolished slavery, secured civil rights, defeated communism and fascism and built the most fair, equal and prosperous nation in human history”. However he didn’t point out the 246 years of slavery in America, together with the 89 years it was allowed to proceed after the colonies declared independence from England. Nor did the president acknowledge the continued battle towards racial injustice and police brutality, which has prompted months of protests this yr.Responding to the president’s remarks, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, the author behind the 1619 Challenge, made an remark on who isn’t included in Trump’s retelling of American historical past:
Ida Bae Wells
The White Home Convention on American Historical past has not a single Black historian on it. Unusual.
September 17, 2020
Hannah-Jones additionally instructed the Related Press that the primary modification to the Structure abhors authorities makes an attempt to censor speech and ensures a free press.
“The efforts by the president of the United States to use his powers to censor a work of American journalism by dictating what schools can and cannot teach and what American children should and should not learn should be deeply alarming to all Americans who value free speech,” she mentioned.
In the meantime members of the Trump administration, together with training secretary Betsy DeVos, stay silent on the backlash.