Y’all, I’m pretty sure Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is a white supremacist. For legal purposes, I’m not outright saying he is. All I’m suggesting is that the dude who wrote a whole op-ed calling for military intervention to stomp out protests against systemic racism, compared the protesters to Confederate traitors and argued that Washington, D.C, didn’t deserve statehood because it wasn’t a “well-rounded, working-class state,” might, you know, have a problem with Black people. Cotton has only further added to that perception by submitting a bill to prevent the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project from being taught in schools.
According to Forbes, the “Saving American History Act of 2020,” would withhold federal funding from K-12 schools who decide to teach the project. The 1619 Project was created by 2019 Root 100 honoree Nikole Hannah-Jones, who won a Pulitzer Prize for penning the project’s lead essay. The project examines the history and lasting legacy of slavery in America. The bill comes as schools in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York have announced plans to include the project in their curriculum.
Cotton, whose face just looks like it’s calling me the N-word, released a statement saying “The New York Times’s 1619 Project is a racially divisive, revisionist account of history that denies the noble principles of freedom and equality on which our nation was founded.” He added, “not a single cent of federal funding should go to indoctrinate young Americans with this left-wing garbage.”
It’s so bizarre to me how desperately white people cling to these idealized versions of the Founding Fathers. The blatant hypocrisy of writing a document that says “all men are created equal,” while Black people are being subjugated shouldn’t be that hard of a thing to grapple with. This land was taken through lies, genocide and stolen labor. Cotton, who probably says, “I’m not racist, but-,” once a day, doesn’t seem to want to grapple with that. He admits as much in his bill.
“An activist movement is now gaining momentum to deny or obfuscate this history by claiming that America was not founded on the ideals of the Declaration but rather on slavery and oppression,” Cotton states in the bill.
Which, I mean, it was though.
Arguably, it still is. Given the number of ways the government has found to minimize the value of Black lives from redlining, the war on drugs, gerrymandering and gutting the Voting Rights Acts, we’re still dealing with the lasting effects of slavery and America’s views on race. To truly grapple with the role race has played in America would be to admit white people, on the whole, have kind of fucked up.
That’s something I just don’t see Tom “No actually, you’re the real racist,” Cotton being capable of doing.