“The educators who are intent on adding this symposium of op-eds to the syllabus have every reason to fear their critics.”

Noah Rothman:

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon Wood described the project as “wrong in so many ways.” Lauded chronicler of the Civil War, James McPherson, called the project a “one-sided account” that “left most of the history out.” In these pages, author and University of Oklahoma history professor Wilfred McClay observed that the Project’s claim that America’s capitalistic ethos was an outgrowth of slavery is a byproduct of the project’s reliance on “demonstrably wrong” and long ago discarded academic theories. Its own editors describedthe “goal of the 1619 Project” not as dispassionate history but an effort to “reframe American history” and place slavery “at the very center of our national narrative.”

So, when the Department of Education published guidelines for a new grant emphasizing the “1619 Project” and advising applicants to show how they would teach “systemic marginalization, biases, inequities, and discriminatory policy and practice in American history” accordingly, there was plenty of room for good-faith objections. But when Sen. Mitch McConnell offered one such objection in a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, the reaction provoked by his request to avoid promoting a “politicized and divisive agenda” in the classroom was anything but honest.