Commentary: Historians Selling Out for Leftist Star, Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones

The University of North Carolina’s decision on June 30 to offer tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones came about through a torrent of threats (often tweeted), profanities, doxxings, and assaults—tactics that have become increasingly commonplace among professional activists and racial grievance-mongers.

Hannah-Jones, of course, is the Pulitzer Prize-winning opinion writer and architect of the New York Times’ notorious “1619 Project,” which claims that America’s true founding was not in 1776 but rather in 1619, when 20 or so African slaves arrived in Virginia. Hannah-Jones contends, moreover, that the American War of Independence was fought solely to preserve slavery. 

More than two-dozen credible historians, many of them political liberals and leftists, have debunked Hannah-Jones’ claims. Though, as we’ll see, some are less firm in their convictions than others. What’s clear, however, is that peer review is passé in the era of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” Forget a stellar record of scholarly accomplishment—that’s a relic of “Eurocentrism.” Far more important these days is a candidate’s enthusiasm for social justice. It was Hannah-Jones’ celebrity activism and her “journalism,” not her scholarship, that formed the basis for the university’s initial offer of tenure earlier in the spring.

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Commentary: White Privilege and the Layers of False Ideology that Support Its Concept

Group of kids playing with a rainbow parachute cloth in a field

White privilege is a myth. A relic of a time that no longer exists and that none of us living and raising kids today have ever really experienced. There was once a time when legal and cultural advantages were offered to whites, but those days are gone and pretending otherwise is causing great damage to children and our society.

White Privilege Talk Harms Children Psychologically

White privilege is a concept which hurts both white and non-white children, albeit in different ways. For white children, you steal from them the ability to feel pride in who they are, their ancestors, and in their cultural inheritance. Certainly every nation and people can find stains in its history. The past was a violent and merciless place in which all sides are implicated.

White privilege requires that children of European descent are never allowed to feel deserving of what they, their parents, or their ancestors have achieved. They are never allowed to believe that they have rightfully earned anything. Consequently, they are pressured to actively give up what is theirs in penitence. This is obviously damaging and abusive for a child to endure.

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Commentary: No Longer ‘Democrats’

Democrats No Longer

In the old days, Democrats had predictable agendas, supposedly focused on individual rights, the “little guy,” and distrust of the military-industrial-intelligence complex.

The Left, often on spec, blasted the wealthy, whether the “lucre” was self-made or inherited. The old-money rich were lampooned as idle drones.

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Commentary: The Massive Pushback Brewing Against the Progressive Left Could Dwarf the Tea Party Sea Change of 2010

Joe Biden and Donald Trump

Victimizers quickly becoming victims is a recurrent theme of Thucydides’ history. In his commentary on the so-called stasis at Corcyra, he offers his most explicit warning about the long-term dangers of destroying legal institutions, customs, and traditions that serve the common good for short-term gain. 

The historian notes that in the inevitable yin and yang of politics, the destroyers inevitably will seek, but do so in vain, refuge in what they have destroyed. Between 2017 and 2021 the Left has done exactly that. 

What was common to the media’s deification of the criminally minded Michael Avenatti, and the promotion of a series of abject hoaxes? Do we remember the Steele “dossier,” the supposed authority of Fusion-GPS, the Schiff “report,” and the entire Russian “collusion” yarn? 

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Commentary: The U.S. Needs Measured Confrontation with China

Policeman holding a rifle - in uniform

With the election of Joe Biden, there is increasing pressure for the United States to accommodate the global ambitions of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Such a policy will weaken the strategic position of the United States and embolden the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which seeks to transform the rules of international politics, and has demonstrated its willingness to employ coercive measures, including threats and open conflict, to achieve its aims. 

As it has done for decades, and does so now with the Biden Administration, the CCP makes appeals for accommodation while emphasizing the need to turn away from more confrontational policies, like those most recently advanced by the Trump Administration. And as always, China’s words must be seen as tactical measures it deploys in pursuit of its objectives. Thus, it is only a matter of time before attempts to cooperate with China fail. However tempting, accommodation will not succeed for the stark reason that China does not want it. 

Party Chairman Xi Jinping has made clear that what China seeks is world hegemony. And it is upon the pursuit of this hegemony that his power in the regime depends. 

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: Reclaiming the Spirit of Independence Day

Planes in the sky letting off red, white and blue smoke

On Independence Day we reflect together as a nation on a remarkable moment in history 244 years ago, when 56 men from 13 colonies gathered in Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence. There, our founders declared with one voice: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This act of political and moral courage changed the world forever. Since 1776, the values and ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution have been exported to democracies around the globe and have lifted millions of people out of tyranny, poverty, and oppression.

Unfortunately, some in America seek to diminish America’s founding, rewrite our history, and invalidate the spirit of independence which led our founders to create the greatest, freest, and most prosperous nation on Earth.

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Commentary: Recent History Suggests FBI Involvement in January 6

Remember Christopher Steele?

The author of the infamous 2016 “dossier” was an impeccably credentialed former British intelligence officer who, we were assured, had the goods on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. Nearly every major news and opinion outlet vouched for his reputation and reliable sources inside the Kremlin.

Steele frequently was described as an “ex-spy” in charge of a well-respected global consulting firm in London; he was alternatively a victim of Trump’s public taunts and a hero willing to risk his life and reputation to spare America the election of a Putin puppet.

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Commentary: What Greek Epics and Their Teachings on the Special Relationship Between Fathers and Sons

Greek statue of man's face

Father’s Day inspires mixed emotions for many of us. Looking at advertisements of happy families could recall difficult memories and broken relationships for some. But for others, the day could invite unbidden nostalgic thoughts of parents who have long since died.

As a scholar of ancient Greek poetry, I find myself reflecting on two of the most powerful paternal moments in Greek literature. At the end of Homer’s classic poem, “The Iliad,” Priam, the king of Troy, begs his son’s killer, Achilles, to return the body of Hektor, the city’s greatest warrior, for burial. Once Achilles puts aside his famous rage and agrees, the two weep together before sharing a meal, Priam lamenting the loss of his son while Achilles contemplates that he will never see his own father again.

The final book of another Greek classic, “The Odyssey,” brings together a father and son as well. After 10 years of war and as many traveling at sea, Odysseus returns home and goes through a series of reunions, ending with his father, Laertes. When Odysseus meets his father, however, he doesn’t greet him right away. Instead, he pretends to be someone who met Odysseus and lies about his location.

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Donald Trump Commentary: A Plan to Get Divisive and Radical Theories Out of Our Schools

Teacher holding book, reading to boy student

As a candidate, Joe Biden’s number one promise was to “unite” America. Yet in his first months as president, his number one priority has been to divide our country by race and gender at every turn.

There is no clearer example than the Biden administration’s new effort aimed at indoctrinating America’s schoolchildren with some of the most toxic and anti-American theories ever conceived. It is vital for Americans to understand what this initiative would do, what drives it and, most importantly, how we can stop it.

For decades, the America-blaming left has been relentlessly pushing a vision of America that casts our history, culture, traditions, and founding documents in the most negative possible light. Yet in recent years, this deeply unnatural effort has progressed from telling children that their history is evil to telling Americans that they are evil.

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Commentary: America’s Civics and History Class Failures

Six former U.S. education secretaries, who served under both Democratic and Republican presidents, are sounding the alarm about the grave danger our constitutional democracy faces. Years of political polarization have culminated in riots in our cities spanning months, along with the storming of the U.S. Capitol. These events point to a root cause of our plight: our failure to provide sound civics and history teaching in America’s K-12 schools.

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Commentary: A History Lesson for Democrat List Makers and Election Thieves

As we noted in our recent column Democrat Socialists Are Coming For You, the Left has begun to make lists of supporters of President Trump and the MAGA movement with the intention of driving all those whom they can identify out of the public square and depriving them of employment, education and other societal benefits.

The latest examples of this Democrat system of oppression are the targeting of lawyers representing President Trump and a petition being circulated at Harvard University demanding that former Trump administration officials be prohibited from attending, teaching or speaking at the university.

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Commentary: How Twitter Is Corrupting the History Profession

About a week ago I began scrutinizing how the New York Times’ 1619 Project relied upon the work of the controversial “New History of Capitalism” genre of historical scholarship to advance a sweeping indictment of free markets over the historical evils of slavery. The problems with this literature are many, and prominent among them is its use of shoddy statistical work by Cornell University historian Ed Baptist to grossly exaggerate the historical effect of slave-produced cotton on American economic development. Baptist’s unusual rehabilitation of the old Confederacy-linked “King Cotton” thesis is unsupported by evidence and widely rejected by economic historians. His book The Half Has Never Been Told has nonetheless acquired a vocal following among historians and journalists, including providing the basis of a feature article in the Times series on slavery.

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The Humble Origins of Silent Night

by Sarah Eyerly   One of the world’s most famous Christmas carols, “Silent Night,” celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. Over the centuries, hundreds of Christmas carols have been composed. Many fall quickly into obscurity. Not “Silent Night.” Translated into at least 300 languages, designated by UNESCO as a treasured…

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Commentary: The Fight Being Waged on the Academic Battlefield

By Garland Tucker   The violent events in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 have fueled a deep-seated leftist desire to re-write American history. Demands to topple statues, remove portraits, rename buildings, and repudiate founders—all in an effort to cleanse any objectionable reality from our history—have reached a fever pitch. The parallel…

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