President Donald Trump has announced the launch of the "1776 Commission," which he says will reinstate "patriotism" into American schools. His executive order to create such a commission comes on the heels of his criticizing The New York Times Magazine's 1619 Project, which aims to “reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of national narrative.”
Trump instead downplayed the legacy of slavery in the U.S., saying that the Time's 1619 Project, which earned the project's creator, Nikole Hannah-Jones, a Pulitzer Prize for her introductory essay, was “lies.”
"The left has warped, distorted, and defiled the American story with deceptions, falsehoods, and lies. There is no better example than the New York Times' totally discredited 1619 Project," Trump said at a press conference on Thursday. "This project rewrites American history to teach our children that we were founded on the principle of oppression, not freedom.
“Nothing could be further from the truth," he continued. "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.”
A grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities will support curriculums identified by Trump as "pro-American," he said. The federal government does not have jurisdiction over school curriculum.
In recent weeks, Trump has called for an end to training sessions for federal employees that address white privilege and critical race theory.
The New York times responded to Trump’s allegations about the 1619 Project, calling it “vital journalism.”
“The 1619 Project is landmark, groundbreaking journalism," New York Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha said. "It deepened many readers' understanding of the nation's past and forced an important conversation about the lingering effects of slavery, and its centrality to America's story.”
The name of the project derives from the year it identifies as "the beginning of American slavery."