The New York Times reporter who led the widely-criticized 1619 Project on race called it an “honor” to have inspired the series of riot attacks on statues, including ones on abolitionists and the Civil War leaders of the Union.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, who wrote the Pulitzer-winning essay kicking off the project, approvingly retweeted on Saturday a New York Post opinion piece titled “Call them the 1619 Riots.”
In the Post column, historian Charles Kesler noted that protesters had gone far beyond calls for changes to the police in the wake of the George Floyd killing, not only by looting and burning but also by attacking statues of non-Confederates and even denouncing America itself and whiteness.
Ms. Hannah-Jones said that would be terrific.
“It would be an honor. Thank you,” she wrote of the “1619 Riots” suggestion.
Among the statues and memorials that have been attacked are Union leaders President Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, the World War II Memorial, and abolitionist Matthias Baldwin.
The 1619 Project claims that the true date of America’s Founding was that year, when the first African slaves arrived in Virginia at Jamestown (the settlement had been founded more than a decade earlier).
Ms. Hannah-Jones’s Twitter page lead art is a crossed out “July 4, 1776” and an intact “August 20, 1619.”
The Project and its aim to reorient American history around the notion that slavery “is the country’s very origin” has been roundly criticized by the leading historians of the era.