A former Trump adviser calls the creator of The 1619 Project an “arrogant jerk” for drafting the controversial work about slavery and American capitalism. He followed a rant about flag burnings, the taking down of historic statues, and people kneeling during the “Star-Spangled Banner” with an attack on the former New York Times journalist.
Rudy Giuliani, the disbarred lawyer who served as New York City’s 107th mayor from 1994 to 2001 and one of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyers during his administration, said during an April 17 WABC radio program that he believes not only is Nikole Hannah-Jones one of the reasons why people are less patriotic, but she is pushing “fiction” and masquerading it as history.
“All that stuff we’ve been going through with burning the flag and kneeling during the national anthem and taking down statues of George Washington is to get us to hate our country … It’s not just meaningless or silly conduct or annoying conduct. There’s a purpose to it!” he argued in the 1-minute clip. “All the people that do it, don’t realize they are being used, but the people that organize it know what they’re doing.”
One of the individuals he considers an organizer is the Pulitzer Prize winner, who is now the Knight Chair in Race and Journalism at Howard University, a tenured position obtained after the University of North Carolina initially refused to extend her the elevated academic position.
Giuliani argues her research on how race, culture, politics, and the economy intertwines to create a more accurate composite of American history, is inaccurate and dangerous.
He said, “They’re getting us to hate America. when you write [The 1619 Project].”
“That stupid woman [Hannah-Jones] is the one that said parents should have nothing to do with the education of their children,” he continued. “The stupid woman who wrote that said ‘I wouldn’t interfere in my child’s education. After all, I’m not an educator.’ Yet, she wrote a history that’s being used in thousands of schools!”
“In other words, she wouldn’t teach her kid history because she doesn’t know what the hell she is talking about,” he said. “But she’ll write a book of fiction, which is ‘1619,’ and nobody points out the contradiction of this New York Times arrogant jerk,” he shouted.
Unfortunately, despite his very passionate rant, many of the points he raised in his argument can be contradicted by historical sources outside of the book he called “fiction.”
Giuliani’s assertion that the 1619 project is fiction and that Hannah-Jones is ill-informed and based on the critique of several historians, specifically five scholars who have spoken out during various interviews and through letters to the publication.
However, Jake Silverstein, New York Times Magazine editor-chief, addressed their critiques after the work was published, claiming their objections were founded upon Hannah-Jones’ introductory essay and dismissed the hefty scholarship supported by others in academia.
He wrote in a response to the academics that his editors “consulted with numerous scholars of African-American history and related fields” and “after those consultations, writers conducted their own research, reading widely, examining primary documents and artifacts and interviewing historians.”
“Finally, during the fact-checking process, our researchers carefully reviewed all the articles in the issue with subject-area experts. This is no different from what we do on any article.”
Lastly, Giuliani, a former “Masked Singer” contestant who has been disbarred in his native New York for promoting specious claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump, called Hannah-Jones a “stupid woman” for her critique of conservative parents who are concerned about the 1619 curriculum being taught in public schools and possibly making their children feel bad.
He is referencing her 2021 NBC News “Meet the Press” appearance where she said the work was a “work of journalism” created to be a “great learning tool for students.”
Her statement was about parents and politicians leaving issues about education to teachers and administrators. She said, “I think we should frame that question properly, and I don’t really understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught.”
”I’m not a professional educator,” she confessed. “I don’t have a degree in social studies or science. We send our children to school because we want them to be taught by people who have expertise in the subject area and that is not my job.”
“This is why we send our children to school and don’t homeschool, because these are the professional educators who have the expertise to teach social studies, to teach history, to teach science, to teach literature, and I think we should leave that to the educators,” she said.
“Yes, we should have some say, but school is not about simply confirming our worldview,” she added. “They should teach us how to think, not what to think.”