Chris Hayes on "The 1776 Report:"— All In with Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) January 19, 2021
It "reads like a sophomore year term paper by Stephen Miller, using images of Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln while defending America's founding on slavery." https://t.co/BYdQCTHpxP
Let me start first with a joke:
What is the difference between a cat and the 1776 Project?
A cat will cover its turds with sand. The 1776 Project covers the sands of time with its turds.
I'm not an historian, but the job of history is viewing facts in context, not propaganda. The short work, about a quarter of it plagiarized according to a professor who ran the thing through turnitin.com, seems to be the rejoinder to every Twitter thread conservative pundits lost to actual historians written in the key of "my mother says you're all just jealous." Re-centering white narratives via an apologetics to counter a factual narrative that does not center them and releasing the wad of centrifuged Bircherism on MLK Day feels like the twilight activity of furtive loners with damp hands rather than a dry-eyed reassessment of good historical practices.
If I sound snarky, it's because this project, along with the peculiar "National Garden of American Heroes" nonsense (it's a long list of names leading me to believe the statuary will, perforce, be a collection of action figures in a very big case) is symbolism over substance coming from the sort of people who would take an oath to the flag over an oath to the Constitution. It's re-soldering the heads of decapitated bronzes to mend hurt feelings. The problem with American history isn't slavery or inequality, it demands--it's the people who point out there are problems!
When I see folks who seem to believe that there's too many books and not enough statues, I get the impression they will burn the former while putting up the latter. The demand for enshrining men and events so as not to get a better look at them is to convert them into a kind of national religion that won't stand for blasphemers. I have never liked the smell of that sort of thing.
I myself don't want to burn the 1776 Project, except to torch it figuratively, hence the snark. I just want to put out there that the Midases who are gilding all these statues have asses' ears.
As a side note: this is more or less what students in some places are getting right now, anyway.