McConnell, GOP Senators Urge Education Department to Drop 1619 Project Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks to reporters following the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon meeting in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on April 20, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Friday, 30 April 2021 08:16 AM
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and fellow GOP colleagues reportedly are taking aim at the 1619 Project in a letter to the Education Department.
McConnell and 37 colleagues are sending a letter asking the department to stop the Biden administration program that cites the 1619 Project in a public-service announcement on The Federal Register, Politico Playbook reported Friday.
The 1619 Project retells American history through the eyes of enslaved people. Among its details, the project claims U.S. democracy began in 1619 when slaves arrived in the country.
"Ill-informed advocacy ahead of historical accuracy," the letter says of the project.
Launched by New York Times reporter Nikole Sheri Hannah-Jones, the 1619 Project also claimed the American Revolution was fought to secure slavery.
"Americans never decided our children should be taught that our country is inherently evil," the letter said, according to Politico.
"Americans do not need or want their tax dollars diverted from promoting the principles that unite our nation toward promoting radical ideologies meant to divide us. Americans never decided our children should be taught that our country is inherently evil."
Politico said the 1619 Project was mentioned once in the PSA on The Federal Register, the official journal of the federal government.
Some schools have said they create curriculum around the project's assertions.
"It is toxic propaganda, ideological propaganda that if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together, and will destroy our country" former President Donald Trump has said of the project.
Trump created a 1776 Commission to offer "a definitive chronicle of the American founding," according to his White House.
President Joe Biden disbanded the 1776 Commission soon after taking office, calling it counter-productive. The Biden administration has proposed updating American history curricula to more fully flesh out the consequences of slavery and contributions of Black Americans.
Conservatives are not the only people concerned about the 1619 Project. Politico sources said there's a "muted debate on the left" between political strategists, academics, and authors about the project.
Centrist columnist Damon Linker, a senior correspondent at TheWeek.com and a lecturer in the Critical Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania, called the 1619 Project "a one-sided and dogmatic style of history" that "can be part of a curriculum, but NOT its core. Please, don't do this. We will all regret it."
A PSA for "A Proposed Rule by the Education Department on 04/19/2021" on The Federal Register said, "American History and Civics Education programs can play an important role in this critical effort by supporting teaching and learning that reflects the breadth and depth of our Nation's diverse history and the vital role of diversity in our Nation's democracy.
"For example, there is growing acknowledgment of the importance of including, in the teaching and learning of our country's history, both the consequences of slavery, and the significant contributions of Black Americans to our society. This acknowledgment is reflected, for example, in the New York Times' landmark '1619 Project' and in the resources of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History."
Politico's report about the letter came a day after Trump called for McConnell to be replaced as majority leader.
"We need good leadership," Trump said in an interview with Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo. "Mitch McConnell has not done a great job, I think they should change Mitch McConnell."