President Trump has threatened to pull federal funds from schools that teach The New York Times’ 1619 Project.
The 1619 project is a series of articles arguing that 1619, the date the first slave ship arrived in the American colonies, is the true date of America’s founding rather than 1776.
President Trump retweeted a statement Sunday that the state of California has implemented the 1619 project into the public schools adding “Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded!”
The 1619 project received praise for challenging ideas and exposing a part of America’s history that is largely hidden in history books. However, the project was also criticized as poorly written and reasoned.
Many have been quick to point out President Trump does not have the authority to withhold federal funds from schools that teach the project. The federal courts have repeatedly slapped down Trump, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s, efforts to impose their will on schools without congressional approval.
According to CNN, Arkansas Sen. and Republican, Tom Cotton has introduced legislation preventing American schools from teaching the curriculum. The legislation, titled the “Saving American History Act of 2020,” would prohibit the use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project by K-12 schools or school districts. Schools that teach the 1619 Project would also be ineligible for federal professional-development grants.”
The legislation appears unlikely to gain any significant traction in the Senate.
President Trump has chosen to stoke the anger of racism as part of his re-election campaign. Since the Black Lives Matter movement re-emerged this summer amid the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, Trump has called the movement “a symbol of hate,” threatened to withhold funding from cities in blue stats dealing with protests and Attorney General Bill Barr said he believes systemic racism doesn’t exist.