Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—the guy Kentucky senator whose face always looks like it’s melting off of something—is continuing the Republican war on Blackness in education after joining fellow members of the white nationalist circle-jerk party in urging Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to help them ban Critical Race Theory into oblivion despite the easily demonstrable fact that they have no idea what CRT is. In a letter to Cardona, McConnell and 38 other Senate Republicans specifically targetted Nikole Hannah-Jones’ Pulitzer Prize-winning historical collection The 1619 Project and demanded that it be removed from federal grant programs.
The project has been living rent-free in the heads of
fragile-ass white people Republicans ever since it was published in the New York Times in 2019. They keep pushing legislation to prohibit schools from teaching it, which is weird because, as far as I can tell, no institution of education is pushing it as required learning.
In fact, CNN noted that “Republicans have misleadingly suggested there are widespread efforts to install the program in schools across the country” ever since ex-President Donald “leave my night light on or the voter fraud in my closet will get me” Trump made it his mission to “withhold funding” it to death in California schools. But as CNN reports: “While some states, like California, have used the project as part of their learning plan, the federal government has not directly instructed or promoted schools to use it, as it does not play a role in specific curriculum planning in local schools. Those decisions are largely made at the state level.”
But this really isn’t about whether or not there is any real effort to implement the project or CRT in school curricula; this is about white conservatives looking to stamp out any social or historical perspective that makes them uncomfortable and gets in the way of American jingoism remaining normalized.
In the letter, McConnell and the 38 other Mitch-asses wrote that the project—which will soon be made into a Hulu docuseries (*pokes out tongue at white tears-y-ass conservatives*)—seeks to “reorient” U.S. history “away from their intended purposes toward a politicized and divisive agenda.”
“Actual, trained, credentialed historians with diverse political views have debunked the project’s many factual and historical errors, such as the bizarre and inaccurate notion that preserving slavery was a primary driver of the American Revolution,” the letter continues.
We’ve already written about this.
The Root has already explained that the historians who have objected to the project are whiny-ass white people who are pretending to be the sole arbiters of historical accuracy knowing that historians have always disagreed on historical perspective and interpretation. We’ve explained that the project also had “actual, trained, credentialed historians” involved in its making. We’ve explained that the only reason those historians are dismissed is that they are Black people presenting history through a lens of Blackness that purposely refuses to center whiteness—and how dare they? We also explained that the “notion” that “preserving slavery was a primary driver of the American Revolution,” while certainly disputed, has not been debunked nor is it an original idea—there’s a whole critically acclaimed book on it.
So, when McConnell and the other 38 Yertle the Turtle extras talk about “trained, credentialed historians,” they’re likely talking about other white conservatives who probably also have faces that look like raw turkey-flavored popsicles melting off of the stick.
We also already wrote about how traditional American history curricula has always skewed historical fact through the default lens of whiteness:
While all history is relative, in this country, white people have always defined the unit of measurement we call “American.” The academic and intellectual pursuit of black people’s history is viewed through a Caucasian-colored lens that turns reality into an ahistorical fairy tale whose protagonists are the fair-haired, valiant champions of liberty and democracy for all.
The white version of black history doesn’t acknowledge that the 41 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence owned slaves. Their history ignores the fact that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin considered slavery a “moral depravity” but supported the insidious institution anyway. Contrary to publicly available data, white historians’ version of America’s past never reveals that 75 percent of white people believed civil rights protesters were communists and 85 percent of whites thought civil rights protesters were “hurting the negro cause.”
Republicans have also tried to reframe the three-fifths compromise as a non-racist agreement between northern and southern states made for the good of the country.
They have suggested that Black history be taught in a way that doesn’t shine a negative light on the “shining city on the hill”—as if that is possible.
They’ve tried to present Fredrick Douglas’ story as one of American exceptionalism, and not a story about a man who escaped slavery and spent much of his life fighting to remain free.
McConnell and the rest of them have no real interest in presenting American history through an honest lens, they just don’t want Black perspective to have the same place in mainstream curricula that white American perspective has.
They want white supremacy. The end.