Matthew Brown, USA TODAY |
On the evening of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the White House released the final report from its “1776 Commission” – a document that excuses America’s history of slavery, derides the legacy of the civil rights movement and equates progressivism with totalitarianism.
The report compiles disparate references and quotations throughout American history to argue that the country must return to “patriotic education” in schools and for American families to “raise up morally responsible citizens who love America.” The commission was created by Trump as a response to the Times’ 1619 Project, a Pulitzer Prize-winning collection that focused on America’s history with slavery. In creating the commission, Trump condemned the Times’ work as “toxic propaganda” and “ideological poison” that “will destroy our country.”
The report has already been criticized by historians for various historical falsehoods, arguing it promotes a reductive narrative of American history with a nationalist political agenda that, to quote one critic, “few professional historians would consider plausible.”
The commission does not have the authority to enact any of its recommendations for American education.