The 1619 Project was an initiative created by The New York Times to tell the narrative of Black Americans surrounding the formation of the United States. Since then, numerous right-wing activists have attempted to stop the project’s findings from being taught within schools across the nation. This week, President Donald Trump took things a step further by implementing the 1776 Commission to counteract its findings.
In a recent press statement from the White House, The 1776 Commission was designed to ” improve understanding of the history and the principles of the founding of the United States among our nation’s rising generations.” The move is an attempt to push back on media projects like the 1619 initiative that focuses on America’s history of systemic oppression.
“The recent attacks on our founding have highlighted America’s history related to race,” the order stated. “These one-sided and divisive accounts too often ignore or fail to properly honor and recollect the great legacy of the American national experience ‑- our country’s valiant and successful effort to shake off the curse of slavery and to use the lessons of that struggle to guide our work toward equal rights for all citizens in the present.”
The new order would include creating a report focused on what the core principles of the nation are and include recommendations from the federal government to promote patriotic education at federal sites. The new commission will also establish the “Presidential 1776 Award” to recognize student’s knowledge of the founding of America to support the 250th anniversary of American Independence.
“Without our common faith in the equal right of every individual American to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, authoritarian visions of government and society could become increasingly alluring alternatives to self-government based on the consent of the people,” the order states. “Thus it is necessary to provide America’s young people access to what is genuinely inspiring and unifying in our history, as well as to the lessons imparted by the American experience of overcoming great national challenges.”