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PBS's Alcindor Objects to 1776 Commission: 'No Evidence' Schools Teach Anti-American Agenda



On Thursday’s PBS NewsHour, correspondent Yamiche Alcindor pretended President Trump was “inaccurate” for claiming that liberals have tried to undermine respect for United States history and its founders by fixating on slavery. She lovingly spoke of the New York Times’ 1619 Project while she attacked the President’s idea for a 1776 commission to promote the country’s history.

After playing a clip of Trump announcing his ideas, host Judy Woodruff went to Alcindor for her reaction. Without noting the media’s role in making race a political issue, Alcindor recalled that “critics” of the President “say that he’s made racial division a core part of his strategy,” and noted that Trump’s supporters argue that he is trying to “bring the country together.” She then tried to undermine President Trump as she continued:

The President, in particular, was making a case without having any evidence that there is a sort of historical movement afoot to distort American history and to indoctrinate American children and the next generation of Americans with an ideal — liberal ideal that will benefit. Democrats. He said that a lot of these people that he believes are out there are really using America’s schools to push forward this idea that America is flawed and that we shouldn’t respect our founders or respect historical figures. That, of course, is inaccurate.

Her analysis started to sound like a rant as she then defended the slavery-obsessed 1619 Project:

He took aim specifically at the 1619 Project. This is, of course, a Pulitzer prize-winning project that was founded and created by Nikole Hannah-Jones. She is someone who wants to look at America and say, “Look, there are founders of our country that we really need to understand in context,” pointing out people like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington — people, of course, who are American heroes but who also owned slaves. And as part of the 1619 Project, what we saw was really a robust telling of all the different ways slavery continues to touch our daily lives and, of course, the idea that there were hundreds of thousands of Americans — of black Americans — who were kidnapped from the continent of Africa and brought to the United States and forced to work, raped and killed and pillaged in order for America to enrich itself and for white Americans, in particular, to benefit from that.

After noting that Trump supporters complain about the teaching of the 1619 Project in schools, she added: “And it’s based on facts, Judy, not on any sort of exploitation or falsehoods.” That’s a laugh. The 1619 Project “facts” include blaming traffic jams and unhealthy diets on America’s racist past so maybe Alcindor needs to reconsider what a “fact” is.

This episode of PBS NewsHour was sponsored by Fidelity. You can fight back by letting advertisers know how you feel about them sponsoring such content.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, September 17, PBS NewsHour:

JUDY WOODRUFF: Race, as we know, has been such a charged topic in this country for so much of this year. This isn’t the first time the President has addressed race. Give us a little more context about what was behind what the President was saying today.

YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, Judy, as you noted, race has been a topic of conversation in this country for a long time, but especially this year. President Trump, as the 2020 election nears, has made race a core part of his strategy. Critics of the President say that he’s made racial division a core part of his strategy. Supporters of the President say that he’s made it something of bringing together Americans but also not calling America racist. Today what we heard from the President was more of him attacking Americans that are really looking at this country in saying we really need to understand the legacy of slavery in a more robust way.

The President, in particular, was making a case without having any evidence that there is a sort of historical movement afoot to distort American history and to indoctrinate American children and the next generation of Americans with an ideal — liberal ideal that will benefit. Democrats. He said that a lot of these people that he believes are out there are really using America’s schools to push forward this idea that America is flawed and that we shouldn’t respect our founders or respect historical figures. That, of course, is inaccurate.

He took aim specifically at the 1619 Project. This is, of course, a Pulitzer prize-winning project that was founded and created by Nikole Hannah-Jones. She is someone who wants to look at America and say, “Look, there are founders of our country that we really need to understand in context,” pointing out people like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington — people, of course, who are American heroes but who also owned slaves. And as part of the 1619 Project, what we saw was really a robust telling of all the different ways slavery continues to touch our daily lives and, of course, the idea that there were hundreds of thousands of Americans — of black Americans — who were kidnapped from the continent of Africa and brought to the United States and forced to work, raped and killed and pillaged in order for America to enrich itself and for white Americans, in particular, to benefit from that.

The President today was essentially making the case that this needs to change. He said he is going to sign an executive order, and it’s going to be a national commission on patriotic education. It’s not clear exactly what that meant. I’ve been talking to White House sources who say that the President cares about this, but, essentially, the 1619 Project is going into American schools. And it’s based on facts, Judy, not on any sort of exploitation or falsehoods.

WOODRUFF: So, Yamiche, the President also today — as he has before — criticized the protests for racial justice around the country. Give us a sense of what the message was there.

ALCINDOR: Well, the President was saying that this historical movement to distort American ideas — which, again, there’s no evidence of this movement — that it has led to the protests that we’ve seen all over this country.



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