Sen. Tom Cotton introduces law to stop federal funds for teaching 1619 Project in schools

"Not a single cent of federal funding should go to indoctrinate young Americans with this left-wing garbage," Cotton said.

Updated: July 24, 2020 - 11:57am

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Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has introduced legislation to block federal funds from going toward teaching the 1619 Project in schools.

"The goal of The 1619 Project is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year. Doing so requires us to place the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country," New York Times Magazine's Editor in Chief Jake Silverstein explained in 2019.

Silverstein wrote that in 1619 "a ship arrived at Point Comfort in the British colony of Virginia, bearing a cargo of 20 to 30 enslaved Africans. Their arrival inaugurated a barbaric system of chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the country’s very origin."

Cotton's Saving American History Act of 2020 would force schools that use the 1619 Project to forfeit a chunk of federal funding connected to the cost of teaching that curriculum.

According to New York Times Magazine's Nikole Hannah-Jones, who won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary related to the 1619 Project, curriculum from the Pulitzer Center is available for free.

Schools that choose to teach the 1619 Project would also not get federal money for professional development.

The legislation stipulates that when decreasing funds, money should not be cut from students with disabilities or programs for low-income pupils.

“The New York Times’s 1619 Project is a racially divisive, revisionist account of history that denies the noble principles of freedom and equality on which our nation was founded. Not a single cent of federal funding should go to indoctrinate young Americans with this left-wing garbage,” the Arkansas Republican said in a statement included in a press release.