Saturday, September 14, 2019
"Our democracy's ideals were false when they were written." I've been struggling with that sentence " the opening statement of the NYT Mag's 1619 Project on the legacy of slavery in America: hHow can an enduring "ideal" " like, say, freedom or equality " be "false" at one point in history and true in another?
You could say that the ideals of universal equality and individual liberty in the Declaration of Independence were belied and contradicted in 1776 by the fact of slavery, but that's very different than saying that the ideals themselves were false. (They were, in fact, the most revolutionary leap forward for human freedom in history.)
Clearly, the Times is now engaged in a project of reporting everything through the prism of white supremacy and critical race theory, in order to "teach" its readers to think in these crudely reductionist and racial terms. It's as much activism as journalism, ideology masquerading as neutral scholarship.
But the NYT chose a neo-Marxist rather than liberal path to make a very specific claim: that slavery is not one of many things that describe America's founding and culture, it is the definitive one. And that is propaganda, plain and simple.
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