It was a big “No” on Sunday from President Donald Trump on the New York Times Magazine revisionist history 1619 project, even as supporters of the project said he would be censoring the truth about slavery. That threat is what those who support the revisionist history will say to anyone who challenges or questions it. The premise is that America did not begin in 1776 but in 1619 with the first slaves that arrived to the nation from Africa.
It’s one thing to teach about the horrific practice of slavery but the project is vehemently anti-American. It targets capitalism and everything that eventually led the nation to a path of freedom and equality for all despite its tainted beginnings, which no one should forget.
Trump made it clear that the Department of Education will pull any funding from schools that use this curriculum after Twitter users suggested that California would be adopting the curriculum for their school system.
“Department of Education is looking at this,” said Trump on Twitter. “If so, they will not be funded.”
I don’t think a lot of parents know what is actually going on here with the 1619 project and what it means. Here’s what the website states: “The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”
According to The Fredrick News Post:
That curriculum exists. The Pulitzer Center helped turn The New York Times’ The 1619 Project — which received worldwide attention when it was published last year — into a curriculum that’s now taught in more than 4,500 schools nationwide.
In conjunction with the new teachings, the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research and educational institution, sent a survey conducted by Braun Research to 1,001 parents and 566 school board members across the country to measure their outlook toward the state of civics education and The 1619 Project as a whole.
This type of curriculum is what happens right underneath a parents nose and actually is what turns most young American students against the founding principals of the nation. It is a revisionist history that teaches that our nation is essentially bad and therefore not salvageable unless completely changed.
Just look at this essay in the group as an example:
In fact, it openly targets American capitalism. Calling the nation’s principals on economy and free market evil. The essay by Matthew Desmond is titled ‘In Order To Understand The Brutality Of American Capitalism, You Have To Start On The Plantation.’ And that’s just one of numerous essays in the project that target American principals and attempt to discredit the system of based on the Bill of Rights and Constitution.
However, it is this same New York Times project that leftist liberal professors and school districts have debated adopting as a permanent curriculum. In fact, as soon as anyone questions the historical context of the project, many times they are targeted by those who support it as racists.
The project by Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary, “for a sweeping, provocative and personal essay for the ground-breaking 1619 Project, which seeks to place the enslavement of Africans at the center of America’s story, prompting public conversation about the nation’s founding and evolution.”
But opponents aren’t criticizing the reality of slavery but the intentions of those to take a revisionist history that turns the truth regarding the founding of America in 1776 on its end.
For example, The Washington Times editorial states:
At the heart of Mrs. Hannah-Jones‘ project is the explicit claim that the true history of America did not start in 1776, but in 1619, the year when the first slaves arrived to the colonies. Instead of taking our bearings from the eternal truths enshrined in the Declaration (“all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”), she argues that slavery is the lens through which all of America’s successes and failures, every single thing that defines us, good and bad, must be understood.
Mrs. Hannah-Jones applies her argument to Revolution, claiming that the colonists fought for independence on the grounds that an America untethered from Britain would allow the institution of slavery to flourish. This assertion is so wrong, so factually inaccurate, that leading historians (Mrs. Hannah-Jones is a journalist) of both conservative and liberal persuasions, systematically went through her research and found no evidence supporting her contention. (They did, however, find a trove of historical inaccuracies and distortions.)
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China Expands Charm Offensive in Southeast Asia to Squeeze out U.S.
Similar to what is happening in the Pacific, the US is facing a significant uphill battle to balance China’s rise in Southeast Asia. During the recent G20 and ASEAN summits in Indonesia and Cambodia, the Chinese Community Party (CCP) media upped its propaganda war against the United States over Southeast Asia. Outlets like Global Times and Xinhua claim that China’s interests in Southeast Asia are focused on mutual benefits, while the US is a malicious force in the region. The CCP press also claims that China is generously giving robust and purposeful aid to the Southeast Asian countries, while the US is neglecting them.
Claim #1: China’s Interest in Southeast Asia is Peaceful and Mutually Beneficial
China’s approach to Southeast Asia is benevolent and focused on mutual benefits, according to the CCP-run press. “China’s goal is to achieve a truly prosperous and peaceful ASEAN,” and “doesn’t interfere in ASEAN members’ internal affairs,” according to Global Times. “China focuses on pragmatic issues, such as promoting infrastructure construction, living standards, which are needed in those countries,” and “China is seeking a cooperative path toward common development,” according to another Global Times article. That same article quoted Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as stating that China and the ASEAN countries “are good neighbors who will always be there for each other…”
One country that is particularly thankful for growing Chinese influence, according to the CCP press, is Indonesia. Indonesians want China to “lead…the world to a more peaceful and prosperous future,” and view Chinese President Xi Jinping “with an apparent sense of affability and affection,” according to Global Times. Marzuki Alie, former speaker of the People’s Representative Council of Indonesia, praised China as “becom[ing] essential in improving global governance,” and that “the visionary concept of building a human community with a shared future proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping shows China is willing to work with other countries to create a peaceful and secure world with openness and inclusiveness,” according to Xinhua. And perhaps the most perplexing aspect of China’s “benevolence” in Indonesia is the “Peace Ark” – a hospital ship that has recently docked in Indonesia, but that is also a navy ship run by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), according to Global Times.
Malaysia has a favorable view of China as well, according to the CCP press. Koh King Kee, president of Center for New Inclusive Asia, a Malaysian think tank, stated that “China is the backbone of the global supply chain and acts as a ballast stone of the global economy in times of uncertainty,” according to Xinhua.
And in response to US concerns over rising Chinese influence in Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian dismisses the base as not targeting any third party, according to Global Times. Cambodia’s Minister of National Defense Tea Banh further claimed that the Chinese involvement in that base is benevolent, stating that the base helps Cambodia “in cooperating with friendly countries and help[ing to] maintain regional peace, stability and prosperity,” according to that same article.
Claim #2: The US’ Interest in Southeast Asia is Manipulative, Malevolent
In contrast to China’s benevolence, the United States “only wants [ASEAN] to serve as its pawn to counter China, and to fulfill its own hegemony goal, according to Global Times. At the G20 conference in Bali, the US takes a “hegemonic, unilateral and protectionist approach,” and “is preaching war and confrontation,” according to that same article.
The US and the West are merely using the G20 summit in Bali “to advance their own geopolitical agenda against Russia, therefore preventing the crucial meeting from tackling serious economic issues,” according to another Global Times article. “Such a geopolitical focus “will worsen this uncertain and unstable world,” according to Veronika S. Saraswati, China Study Unit Convener at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies Indonesia.
According to another Global Times article, the US is using ASEAN “to drive a wedge between China and Southeast Asian nations in the future,” is attempting to “rope in the region via political, security, and value-oriented agendas,” and is trying “to buy off” Southeast Asian countries “by pledging to spend certain amount[s] of money.”
Claim #3: China gives Robust, Targeted Aid to Southeast Asia
CCP media taunts the extensive aid that China is giving to Southeast Asian countries. China has pledged $1.5 billion in “development assistance” to ASEAN countries in November 2021, and Chinese-ASEAN trade was about $878 billion in 2021, according to Global Times. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang claims that of the 160 “cooperation initiatives” that China has suggested with the ASEAN countries in the previous 10 years, over 99.5 percent of them have been implemented, as reported by another Global Times article.
Li also stated that China is planning to build emergency storage for medical supplies and rise within the ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and South Korea) framework, according to Global Times.
Chinese state-run media is particularly touting China’s Belt and Road investments in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia and Laos. According to Global Times, the Jakarta-Bandung high speed railway will be operational in June 2023, and as a “flagship project of China-Indonesia cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative,” will be the first high speed train in Southeast Asia, according to Xinhua. China’s ambassador to Indonesia praised the project, claiming that the railway “will greatly reduce traffic jams, make travel more convenient for local people, improve local investment environment, boost businesses and tourism along the route, and accelerate the building of a high speed railway economic corridor.” The ambassador also mentioned that existing Belt and Road initiatives with Indonesia like the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park and the PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry Park, “have generated tax incomes, job opportunities and foreign exchange earnings, and provided Indonesia with opportunities for greater participation in global industrial chains of stainless steel and new energy.”
Claim #4: US Investment Lags Behind China
On the other hand, the CCP media claims that the US is lagging far behind Chinese investments in Southeast Asia. President Biden’s newly announced “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” with the ASEAN countries “…looks more like a symbolic act. The US is playing the catch-up game with China,” according to Koh King Kee, president of a Malaysian think tank, according to Global Times.
US and ASEAN trade, at $441 million in 2021, was almost half that of Chinese investment for that same time, according to Global Times. President Biden pledged to ask Congress for $850 million in aid for electric vehicles and clean energy to ASEAN countries, but this amount is “symbolic” and a “mere ‘drop in the bucket’,” according to Global Times. In May, Biden “announced a $150 million development and security package” for the ASEAN countries according to that same article, which pales in comparison to the amounts in aid that China claims it is giving those same countries.
According to Global Times, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang mentioned that US investment in ASEAN is “a drop in the bucket if compared to US support for Ukraine” during the Biden administration, which Global Times claims is “over $18.9 billion in security assistance.”
CCP media is waging a charm offensive targeting Southeast Asia. While China is investing heavily in these countries, the US has yet to devise a credible counter to such influence.
You can follow Steve Postal on @HebraicMosaic
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