How will our government, society and our economy actually WORK if Regressives attain their unstated, nonspecific goal?  What replaces law and order and free speech on campus? . . . why bother with tests if students can cheat?  What is the Regressive default?

 

 

 

 

 

THE 1619 PROJECT

 

WHAT IS THE 1619 PROJECT?   It’s an effort to change K-12 history curriculum in U.S. public schools in an attempt to justify making 1619 the birth-year of the U.S.  The New York Times Magazine introduced The 1619 Project in August 2019.  The following quotes are from the article “Why We Published The 1619 Project” by Jake Silverstein  (NYT, 19 December 2019):

1619 is not a year that most Americans know as a notable date in our country’s history.  Those who do are at most a tiny fraction of those who can tell you that 1776 is the year of our nation’s birth.”  [August 1619 is when] “a ship arrived at Point Comfort in the British colony of Virginia, bearing a cargo 20-30 enslaved Africans.

“The goal of The 1619 Project is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year.  Doing so requires us to place the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country.  Out of slavery … grew nearly everything that has made America exceptional.” 

 

Advocates of the 1619 Project recognize the spread of the millennia old curse of authoritarian slavery to the New World, as being of greater significance than the birth of institutionalized ideal of self-rule. Why focus on the flaw instead of the ideal? Is the plan to scrap the ideal and bring back the flaw? The 1619 Project oversights / misstatements seem to favor the flaws and discredit the ideals. Here’s a sampling:

ecognizing spread of the millennia curse of authoritarian slavery to the New World, as being of greater significance than the birth of institutionalized ideal of self-rule    Why focus on the flaw instead of the ideal?   Is the plan to scrap the ideal and bring back the flaw?    The 1619 Project oversights / misstatements seem to favor the flaws and discredit the ideals.  Here’s a sampling:   

The abhorrent world-wide practice of slavery was agonizingly standard practice for millennia. That of course provides no justification for slavery ever having existed, it only offers context illustrating the practice of slavery as a regressive, world wide evil of human-kind, not particularly unique to any race.  

Many established historians and organizations including the Woodson Center (see below) are critics of The 1619 Project claiming the 1619 curriculum overlooks and misstates history, and lacks context.  Several examples follow:

There is no mention of the African Slave Trade as an horrifically, brutal abomination practiced world-wide that began in dynastic Egypt (3100BC), and accelerated in the 16th century with the export of tens of thousands of enslaved Africans to Asia and the Middle East.

Little mention of the initiative, entrepreneurial spirit and resiliency of free blacks.  Free blacks were among the earliest settlers in the 13 British/American colonies, and their numbers grew to approximately 500,000 by 1860.  

Misstates inaugural 1619 arrival of enslaved Africans to British colony of Virginia. Spanish explorers brought slaves to North America through the 16th century.  One example: In 1526 Spanish General Ayollo brought slaves into what is now Georgia. 

No mention of the ideals — individual freedom/rights, self governance, free market economy — as an unprecedented set of governing and economic institutions for a new country on the world stage, and how that factored into American success.

No mention that European whites (Dutch and English) were the late comers to the world-wide African Slave Trade, and yet were among the first countries to make slave trade illegal. 

The abhorrent world-wide practice of slavery was agonizingly standard practice for millennia. That fact provides zero justification for slavery ever having existed. Slavery was a revolting fault of humankind’s primitive beginnings.

THE 1619 PROJECT IS COMING TO LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN MANY STATES ACROSS U.S.

 

The U.S. Department of Education and many states have passed legislation and/or issued guidance for American History curriculum changes that specifically cite The 1619 Project. 

The 3 examples that follow were all passed or implemented in early 2021.   

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Federal guidance has been issued citing

use of The 1619 Project

The 1619 Project is offered as guidance by the U.S. Dept. of Education.  The U.S. Dept. of Ed’s “Proposed Priority 1: Projects that incorporate Racially, Ethnically, Cultura

lly, and Linguistically Diverse Perspectives into Teaching and Learning” is documented in the Federal Register – publication date 04/19/2021- doc# 2021-08068.

The document’s “Background” section notes “growing acknowledgement of the importance of including, in the teaching and learning of our coun

try’s history, both the consequences of slavery, and the significant contributions of Black Americans to our society.  This acknowledgement is reflected, for example, in the NYT’s landmark

1619 Project …”

Illinois passed Public Act 101-0654 and on March 8, 2021 it was signed into law by the Governor

Public Act 101-0654 (HB2170) calls for significant changes to the school code/curricula. It also calls for the creation of an American History Commission to develop guidelines and tools to facilitate implementation of those changes for the use of public elementary and high schools.  The legislation notes the year 1619 to be of unique importance.

It also calls for (18 of 22) members of the Commission to be appointed by Dr. Carmen Ayala – Illinois State Superintendent of Education.  She was appointed by the Governor on February 26, 2021.  The other 4 members are from the Legislature.  

The legislation calls for no diversity requirement that would insure inclusion of advocates for the current American History curricula. 

Illinois State Board of Education issued guidance for use of The 1619 Project

Are study materials from The 1619 Project already in use in Illinois classrooms?  Here is one indicator.

The Illinois State Board of Education has provided guidance for use of The 1619 Project.  The ISBE’s Black History Curriculum Task Force issued a report on March 4, 2021. 

Two examples of comments from survey recipients/ respondents:

“(We are) currently using supplemental material with more culturally relevant texts such as Howard Zinn’s A People’s History  of the United States, The 1619 Project … “ 

“We have been looking into the 1619 Project as well.”

 

THIS IS THE OPINION FROM A BLACK-LED ALLIANCE ON THE 1619 PROJECT

Robert L. Woodson founded the non-profit Woodson Center in 1981.  He was a leading activist in the Civil Rights Movement during the early 1960s.    The Woodson Center focuses on neighborhood empowerment to seek solutions to the problems of low income communities through what he calls the social entrepreneurs that are indigenous to these communities.  

 

Rather than a top down directed poverty program from a government  agency, the Woodson Center program seeks out families in troubled neighborhoods that have prospered and persevered to learn from their success.

 

The following lengthy excerpts are from the article “Our Comment on the Department of Education’s Proposed Priority 1 in American History”, published by 1776unites.com on May 24, 2021.

These excerpts are reprinted here by permission of 1776 Unites (1776unites.com).   The parent organization is the Woodson Center, Washington DC (woodsoncenter.org).     

 

1776 Unites – a Black-led alliance of writers, thinkers, and activists – strongly objects to the adoption of the Department of Education’s “Proposed Priority 1: Projects that Incorporate Racially, Ethnically, Culturally. and linguistically Diverse Perspectives into Teaching and Learning.”  While well intended on the surface, this new rule would prioritize funding for curricula founded on misleading history and divisive ideology.  Prioritizing the classroom content and practices that this regulation seeks to normalize will only result in deepening contempt for our nation, its founding, and its institutions; lower standards and a diminishing sense of agency among Black students specifically; and an America plagued by the worst racial animosity in decades.  It will help undo the very progress it pretends to celebrate.

The proposed priority states that “American History and Civics Education programs can play an important role” in supporting “teaching and learning that reflects the breath and depth of our Nation’s diverse history and the vital role of diversity in ur Nation’s democracy.”  We couldn’t agree more.

Unfortunately, the examples cited as models for more inclusive history and civics education in the proposed priority actually undermine its own admirable goals.  “For example, there is growing acknowledgement of the importance of including, in the teaching and learning of our country’s history, both the consequences of slavery, and the significant contributions of Black Americans to our society.  This is certainly true – serious efforts to grapple with the legacy of slavery and to highlight the decisive contributions of Black people to American life have been underway across the country since at least the 1990,’s if not earlier.

But to say that “this acknowledgement is reflected, for example, in the New York Times’ landmark “1619 Project” and in the resources of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History,” is an appeal to contemporary intellectual fads and fashions, not serious scholarship or pedagogy.  Key arguments of the “1619 Project” have been so thoroughly refuted at this point that to see the project receive such unqualified praise in an official document is shocking.   And while the NMAAHC makes a vital contribution to preserving and disseminating knowledge of both the horrors of slavery and the heights of Black American achievement, its public messaging has also been marred by pseudo-scholarship proclaiming universal values of objectivity, literacy, and self-reliance as aspects of “whiteness”.  Ideas like that do incalculable damage to the cause of actually combating racism and instilling a sense of agency to Black American youth.    

Go to 1776unites.com to read the entire article.


((((OUT rom Regressive Fodder—Instead of Regressives, our country needs Progressives with the courage to stand up and to be sincere advocates for those who lost at the birth lottery and who are with little advantage – but not by sacrificing the mechanisms that facilitate individual  freedom, achievement, innovation, fulfillment and success. 

We need Progressives who have awareness at a holistic level – aware that intersectionality goes beyond the traditional topics of race, gender and class.   There are other concerns such as the need for wealth creation, individual freedom, the need for innovation, not to mention China.  We need Progressives who debate, respect the democratic process and who are willing to compromise.  That gives balance to a democratic republic.—OUT?)))

. . . and Find Out What is Happening at Other School Board Meetings Taking Place in Your Districts(s)

 The details provided on District is an example of the kinds f changes being made in many school districts. 

What’s happening in the neighboring Wheaton/Warrenville District 200? It is a consolidated district including 20 schools PK-12.  What is the view of the District 200 School Board regarding the 1619 Project? 

Will the Board provide residents in District 200 with a summary of the Inclusive American History Commission’s report on guidance for American History curricula changes? 

Will the Board provide residents with timely updates on any resulting PK-12 American History curricula changes used at all grade levels? 

The Community Unit School District #200 ANNUAL STATEMENT OF AFFAIRS SUMMARY FOR FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2021 /  STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS AS OF JUNE 30, 2021 gives a financial reason why District 200 residents should be able to receive this information.

Total Direct Rcpts/Revenues Educational Funds: $149,881,392

Local Sources: $125,070,770

State Sources: $14,754,270

Federal Sources:  $10,056,352

source: Treasurer Reports, Daily Herald, November 15, 2021

 

TOPIC4  What do you believe?  Do you believe that a new, college freshman – grateful for her heritage, who respects America’s founding principles, and who believes that free and open debate are basic necessities – will feel free to speak out at her university – without fear?    

Can you say to yourself and admit to others, “Why yes of course with no doubt! – there is no limit to viewpoint diversity at our universities.”?  If you believe that, there are many who will say you are incorrect.  

 

IF THE AUTHORITARIANS WIN, HOW CAN YOU BE SURE YOU’LL AGREE WITH WHAT THEY WILL WANT TO DO ?

 

In their later years the Founding Fathers were generally pessimistic regarding the prospects of the new Republic surviving much beyond their own lifetimes.  James Madison was the last of the Fathers to pass away, dying in 1836.  He also was the most optimistic.  “Madison appears to have reasoned if the Constitution and the union managed to survive 1798, 1814, and 1819 then surely they could survive …”

In the 1830’s he wrote a note which he intended to be his last political statement. “As this advice if it ever see the light will not do it until I am no more, it may be considered as issuing from the tomb, where truth alone can be respected, and the happiness of man alone consulted.  The advice nearest to my heart and deepest in my convictions is that the Union of the States be cherished & perpetuated.  Let the open enemy to it be regarded as a Pandora with her box opened; and the disguised one, as the Serpent creeping with his deadly wiles into Paradise.” 

Fears of a Setting Sun, Dennis C. Rasmussen, Princeton University Press 2021

Ask ten people you know if they support law enforcement, if they prefer our universities allow diversity of viewpoint, if they prefer local school board transparency or consider a reset of our nation’s birth year to 1619 as a serious matter in need of debate.  Is it close to a consensus?

 

 

Despite much fodder to the contrary, America is still a decent place filled with rational, grateful and kind people.

Ask ten people you know if they support law enforcement, if they prefer our universities allow diversity of viewpoint, if they prefer local school board transparency or consider a reset of our nation’s birth year to 1619 as a serious matter in need of debate.  Is it close to a consensus?

 

 

Despite much fodder to the contrary, America is still a decent place filled with rational, grateful and kind people.

 

TRIGGER WARNING

 

TRIGGER WARNING

topic 3:Prominent Advocates of Defund the Police movements typically do not live in impacted neighborhoods.  Those who suffer from a decreased law enforcement presence are also those least able to move out of the impacted neighborhoods.  Their neighborhoods do not have the luxury of safety and security. 

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The living-faith in our ideals that creates the magnetic-like pull of migrants to the US, is the same faith that creates the cohesion uniting us as the American community. We want to be consulted, not ruled.   For that right, we strive to live-out our freedoms with responsibility, our liberties with constraint, and our prosperity with gratitude and kindness.   Sounds idealistic – but apparently not to those migrants.

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Ask ten people you know if they support law enforcement, if they prefer our universities allow diversity of viewpoint, if they prefer local school board transparency or consider a reset of our nation’s birth year to 1619 as a serious matter in need of debate.  Is it close to a consensus?

TRIGGER WARNING

Note:  The following may seem fatuous to the 99%ers who also likely relish a notion that Authoritarians will listen to them.

We either live and have a say in a free Republic, or we live under coercion and are told how it will be (e.g. 7/19/21 School Board vote in Imagined Fodder).  The “End Game” we must live with matters to the 99%ers because we can guess which end of the stick we’d end up with.  

Today’s 99%ers are the serfs of the Middle Ages.  We are not copied on the Davos Agenda, are not Lord Chancellors in finance, media or politics, have no interface with international clout networks, and mainly only issue executive orders to our pets and sometimes our kids.  We are, however, elemental in the continuing Great American Experiment.   

The serfs of the 21st century need to hold on to and use what little say we have – it’s the meager leverage that enables us to live with, instead of for, the powers surrounding us.  We know our vote is the primary platform we have to express our interests. 

If there is any issue important to you, you might consider helping to secure the platform that enables you to advocate for your issue.

– Speak up and support the ideals in the Declaration of Independence, and the guidelines, principles and rights as outlined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. 

– Know what’s going on.  Start with 2 items at the top of the list:  advocate for transparency of K-12  policy and curriculum;  advocate for viewpoint diversity to maintain cancel free / open debate at our universities.  Then vote smart.

– Boldly support those in law enforcement and the rule of law and order to ensure the luxuries of public safety, unintimidated and open debate, peaceful protest, and compromise.

This is still just an Experiment so it’s very starry – eyed, but it’s all we have.    

How will our government, society and our economy actually WORK if Regressives attain their unstated, nonspecific goal?  What replaces law and order and free speech on campus? . . . why bother with tests if students can cheat?  What is the Regressive default?How will our government, society and our economy actually WORK if Regressives attain their unstated, nonspecific goal?  What replaces law and order and free speech on campus? . . . why bother with tests if students can cheat?  What is the Regressive default?
  • YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON THE AMERICANS TO DO THE RIGHT THING – AFTER THEY’VE TRIED EVERYTHING ELSE.  Winston Churchill

 

IN THE TRUEST SENSE, FREEDOM CANNOT BE BESTOWED, IT MUST BE ACHIEVED.  Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

THE GREATEST ENEMY OF INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM IS THE INDIVIDUAL HIMSELF.  Saul Alinsky

These policy positions are regressive – that is, according to Oxford Language, “becoming less advanced, returning to a former or less developed state.”

oes it matter if they are silent on these regressibve policies?  People may rally around calls to “make the world a better place” or for “everyone to pay their fair share.”   Some seek social justice by advocating re-centered, non-specific, sustainable, utopian equity.  In the tortuous pursuit of that end, people seek simple answers to complex issues.     

Some Regressives know that most people will recognize an upside down sign when they see one. They know most Americans prefer law and order, prefer free speech, and believe students should be discouraged from cheating on tests. But simple answers to complex issues are hard to come by.  That’s why Regressives often shout down free speech that exposes the false hope of simple answers to tough questions.       

So they’re only activists for today – with a bleak future for tomorrow.   Ask them, “As an activist, what tasks do you actually DO to build exactly WHAT for the future? . . . and how will it actually WORK?”   They offer minimal clarity for the future. For someone who envisions such a bleak future, it sure is best to remain silent on the matter. 

 

I agreed with Pres Obama in 2005

Obama 2005:  “We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States, undetected, undocumented, unchecked and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently and lawfully to become immigrants in this country.”
i still agree with him.