1776 or 1619: Why it Really, Really, Matters

1776 or 1619: Why it Really, Really, Matters By Andrew W. Coy for American Thinker

There has been a great deal of consternation, anger, and vitriol the last two years arguing about two specific dates: 1776 or 1619.  Most Americans, regardless of race, know what 1776 is about.  Most Americans, regardless of race, do not know what 1619 is about.  Most Americans believe that in 1776 America declared independence from the mother country, England, and thus that was the birth date of our country: 1776.  However, author Nikole Hannah-Jones, writing in the New York Times Magazine, recently declared 1619 to be the actual beginning of America, our supposed birth date.  This is because 1619 is when the first slaves landed in what was later to become America.  That author uses 1619 as America’s birth date, to not just highlight the date of the first slaves into the colonies.  But much more importantly, she vigorously claims that because of this date, America has been evil since its inception. And that everything in America since 1619, is corrupt and damaged goods.  She believes the United States is irredeemable because of 1619.  To this day, The New York Times Magazine has still refused to correct mistakes and errors in their story on the 1619 Project.  Why?

It is very important to really understand what the 1619 Project and 1619 date is all about.  The author, Hannah-Jones is arguing that since America actually started in 1619 (not 1776), that date when the first slaves arrived into the yet independent United States, then actually America’s birth is evil from the crib.  Evil from birth.  Evil from inception.  And thus is unjustifiable to remain.  Some argue the author is using 1619 to support and endorse reparations for the descendants of slaves in America.  In other words, Hannah-Jones wants the federal government to “pay up” to the decedents of slavery.  Although, others would argue that since the 1960s, America has been doing just that.  Some would argue that the United States is paying reparations since the ’60s via welfare, food stamps, unemployment checks, public education, public housing, racially based affirmative action in hiring, Medicaid and the like.  Regardless of that argument, the problem with 1619 Project goes much further than that; and a great deal deeper and long-lasting.

Most Americans know the evil of slavery.  Most Americans also know how awful racism is.  Most Americans believe slavery and racism to be a sin that America has committed.  And that slavery and racism will always be a stain on America.  There is no question with about 99% of the American citizenry, that slavery has always been wrong, no excuses, and will forever be a blot on our soul as a nation.  No question, no doubt, and no argument.

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