|"Prominent historians" keep finding "serious factual errors, specious generalizations, and forced interpretations[.]" -- 'Comes as no surprise. None whatsoever.|
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Scholars urge Pulitzer board to revoke award for '1619'
Professors, academics and historians have signed a letter urging the Pulitzer Prize Board to rescind its award to Nikole Hannah-Jones for her "1619 Project" published by the New York Times.
Posted on the website of the National Association of Scholars, the letter contests Hannah-Jones' insistence that America's "founding ideals were false when they were written."
There is "simply no evidence" for her claim that "protecting the institution of slavery was a primary motive for the American Revolution," the scholars say.
The Pulitzer board called her work "a sweeping, deeply reported and personal essay for the ground-breaking 1619 Project, which seeks to place the enslavement of Africans at the center of America's story."
Hannah-Jones asserts that 1619, "when some 20 Africans arrived at Jamestown," should be recognized as the year of the nation's founding, not 1776.
The scholars point out that many historians have "discredited, so much so that the Times has felt the need to go back and change a crucial passage in it, softening but not eliminating its unsupported assertion about slavery and the Revolution."
"Prominent historians" keep finding "serious factual errors, specious generalizations, and forced interpretations," they emphasize.
But Hannah-Jones has dismissed the criticism, and the Times has stonewalled, the letter notes.
Should the Pulitzer board revoke the award for the '1619' project?
The New York Times' own fact-checker, Leslie M. Harris, the scholars point out, has "warned the newspaper that an assertion that 'the patriots fought the American Revolution in large part to preserve slavery in North America' was plainly false."
Hannah-Jones claims "one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery."
Then, the letter says, the Times surreptitiously altered the text of its digital copy.
"Correcting factual errors in their published works, of course, is an important responsibility of both the journalistic and scholarly press. But such corrections are typically and rightly made openly and explicitly. The author and the publisher acknowledge an error and correct it. That is not what happened in this case. Rather, the false claims were erased or altered with no explanation, and Hannah-Jones then proceeded to claim that she had never said or written what in fact she has said and written repeatedly, assertions that the Project materials also made," says the letter.
That's "duplicity," and such an intent "to deceive the public is as serious an infraction against professional ethics as a journalist can commit."
The award, therefore, was an error, they write.
"It is time for the Pulitzer Prize Board to acknowledge its error rather than compound it. ... The Board should acknowledge that its award was an error. It can and should correct that error by withdrawing the prize."
The Washington Examiner noted the signatories include Larry P. Arnn, the president of Hillsdale College; Victor Davis Hanson, a fellow at the Hoover Institution; Glenn Loury, a professor at Brown University; and Phillip W. Magness, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Mike Sabo of Real Clear Education noted historian Wilfred M. McClay called the "1619 Project" "embarrassing."
McClay pointed out Hannah-Jones had admitted the project was not "history" but rather "a work of journalism that explicitly seeks to challenge" the current "national narrative."
The problem is that thousands of schools already have committed to teaching the misstatements in "1619," prompting President Trump to warn he'd try to withhold funding from schools that implement its wrongs.
The NAS has launched a "1620 Project," a name chosen to highlight the year that the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact and established "the principles of self-government, liberty under the law, and mutual respect," Sabo said.
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