‘Revisionist History’: Ted Cruz Defends Trump’s Assertions Against NY Times’ ‘1619 Project’

September 7, 2020 Updated: September 7, 2020

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took aim at the New York Times’ “1619 Project” after President Donald Trump suggested he would look into redirecting funds away from schools that use it.

“The 1619 Project,” created by Nikole Hannah-Jones and panned by numerous historians and political scientists, attempts to cast the Atlantic slave trade as the dominant factor in the founding of America—rather than natural rights and liberty.

Similar to other critics, Cruz wrote on Sept. 6 that it’s an attempt to revise history and promote Marxist propaganda.

“Calling out lies is not silence. NYT explicitly admits the 1619 project is revisionist history: ‘It aims to reframe our country’s history.’ It is filled with serious errors—which have been called out by top historians—but the NYT doesn’t care. You’re not after truth. You’re engaged in propaganda,” Cruz wrote on Twitter. He was responding to a claim that doing away with the project in schools is tantamount to “cancel culture.”

Historians have said the project contains a number of inaccuracies, including the claim that the Revolutionary War was an effort by colonists and the Founding Fathers to preserve the institution of slavery.

“Why should the false revisionist history not be used as the basis of K-12 education across the nation? Not because of ‘cancel culture,’ which you support. But because it wrong & deliberately deceptive,” Cruz added.

“So, no, I don’t want to ‘cancel’ the NYT. I want y’all to stop behaving like Marxist propagandists, stop peddling falsehoods to children, and behave instead like real journalists.”

On Sept. 6, Trump wrote that the Department of Education is “looking at” whether California schools are using “The 1619 Project” material in classes. “If so, they will not be funded!”

Last week, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought said that Trump ordered him to ensure that federal agencies remove training in and stop teaching “critical race theory,” which is based on Marxist critical theory.

“The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions,” Vought’s announcement stated.

Earlier this year, a professor at Northwestern University, Leslie Harris, wrote that she helped fact-check the project and alerted Hannah-Jones about problems but allegedly received no response from her.

Harris wrote for Politico, “On August 19 of last year I listened in stunned silence as Nikole Hannah-Jones, a reporter for the New York Times, repeated an idea that I had vigorously argued against.”

Harris also said she “vigorously disputed” the claim that protecting slavery was a major reason why the American Revolution was fought.

“Far from being fought to preserve slavery, the Revolutionary War became a primary disrupter of slavery in the North American Colonies,” she wrote.

“Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation, a British military strategy designed to unsettle the Southern Colonies by inviting enslaved people to flee to British lines, propelled hundreds of enslaved people off plantations and turned some Southerners to the patriot side. It also led most of the 13 Colonies to arm and employ free and enslaved black people, with the promise of freedom to those who served in their armies.”