Trump Threatens To Defund Schools Looking To Implement Curriculum Around NYT's 1619 Project
The threat comes after Trump announced a ban on racial sensitivity training regarding white privilege.
September 08, 2020 at 1:54 pm
The latest objects of President Donald Trump's vitriol: schools looking to fortify their curriculum around enslavement.
According to CNN, the president tweeted on Sunday that the U.S. Department of Education will investigate whether or not California schools are implementing the history series into the curriculum. Trump also indicated that schools supporting the Pulitzer Prize-winning series would lose funding.
Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded! https://t.co/dHsw6Y6Y3M
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2020
The 1619 Project launched last year in commemoration of a pivotal point in the history of slavery in America. The series aims to rework the narrative around slavery in the nation. The project became immensely popular among academics and many within the general public. Currently, the 1619 Project curriculum is available online for free via the Pulitzer Center.
In July, the president questioned the legitimacy of the project, saying that it was a far cry from the history he learned growing up.
"I just look at, I look at school. I watch, I read, look at the stuff. Now they want to change," he told Fox News. "1492, Columbus discovered America. You know, we grew up, you grew up, we all did, that's what we learned. Now they want to make it the 1619 project. Where did that come from? What does it represent? I don't even know."
With Election Day forthcoming, Trump has doubled down on his divisiveness, targeting policies and initiatives he's deemed “un-American.”
On Friday, Trump banned federal agencies from proceeding with racial sensitivity training related to white privilege, CNN reports. Russell Vought, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said millions of taxpayer dollars are spent on programs that contribute to “divisive, anti-American propaganda.”
In the two-page memo announcing the ban, Vought wrote “we cannot accept our employees receiving training that seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce."
On the final night of the Republican National Convention, Trump said he'd “fully restore patriotic education to our schools, and always protect free speech” on college and university campuses according to NPR.
“We want our sons and daughters to know the truth. America is the greatest and most exceptional nation in the history of the world. Our country wasn't built by cancel culture, speech codes, and crushing conformity. We are not a nation of timid spirits,” Trump added.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) introduced similar legislation this summer when he proposed a ban on funding for schools teaching curricula based on the 1619 Project as Blavity previously reported.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot condemned Trump over the threat, Politico reports.
"In a democracy, we do not ignore or erase history," Lightfoot said. "And we sure don't punish people in their quest for knowledge. Slavery is our country’s original sin. There is nothing more American than making sure our students receive an education that acknowledges this shared history and engages them in culturally relevant discussions about how it has shaped the world we live in today.”