New York Times’ 1619 Project author says Founding Fathers ‘did not believe in democracy,’ America is ‘not an exceptional nation’

By Lela Gallery | Campus Reform

Mount Holyoke College hosted in September its Common Read Keynote with Pulitzer-winning New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones to talk about The 1619 Project, which was chosen to be this year’s common read.

During the keynote, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer Kijua Sanders-McMurtry interviewed Hannah-Jones.

“I think the 1619 Project should honestly be at every college, university, corporation, and school foundationally if these institutions are truly interested in being anti-racist,” Sanders-McMurtry said. “I think there is this idea out here right now that this is anti-American, and that this is seeking to reframe a narrative that doesn’t need to be reframed, and I think you’ve done a beautiful job saying that this does need to be reframed and here’s why.”

Hannah-Jones responded by saying, “For the anti-American comments, I feel like people who make those comments have clearly not read the project.” “Also, I don’t think we’re an exceptional nation. I think that’s ludicrous for any nation to make that claim, and we certainly cannot make that claim. We’re a nation founded on genocide, and chattel slavery, and classism, and gender discrimination. We’re not. We had exceptional ideas but we’re not an exceptional nation. But if you believe that, then your country can certainly withstand scrutiny.”

“Anti-Americanism has been used against Black activists, Black scholars, Black journalists pretty much as long as we’ve been in this country,” Hannah-Jones added. “It’s that our efforts to have our full humanity and full citizenship and to call this country out for its hypocrisies is seen as anti-American.”

As for the project, Hannah-Jones hopes what “that colleges will do is use this one, to lead students to be more critical of what we know, how we know it, how do we get this shared national memory, who created it, what’s left out, what is the purpose of the history that we’ve been taught.”

Hannah-Jones called history taught in schools “a nationalistic agenda” and that it’s “not about truth, it’s about giving us a shared sense of American exceptionalism and American identity and because of that you had to downplay genocide, you had to downplay what happened with chattel slavery, you had to downplay what happened to most marginalized groups.”

She also noted that she would argue that our “inability to be honest about who we are” is the reason why President Donald Trump is in office and why “we don’t know whether or not we’re going to have a fair election this fall or not.”

Next, Sanders-McMurtry asked Hannah-Jones if the U.S. would ever have a true democracy, to which she responded that America at its “founding, did not believe in democracy.” She called the American Revolution “the Revolution of the elite” and claimed that “these elite white men” didn’t intend for America to be a “democratic republic” or “for us to have democracy.”

Hannah-Jones also called it a “fairytale” that “the demographic destiny of our country will turn us into a more interracial democracy,” saying that when “white people” start to “lose an American majority, they always found ways to hold onto power.”

She cited examples of what she sees as “white people” maintaining “power,” including Stacey Abrams’ failed gubernatorial candidacy in Georgia, the electoral college, noting that only one Republican has won the presidency with a majority popular vote in the last 30-40 years, and voter suppression laws. Ultimately, Hannah-Jones said that she didn’t have faith in democracy, especially since “an open white nationalist and misogynist” who has “led the most corrupt administration in the history of this country” can still win this November’s election.

“Large numbers of white Americans are willing to suspend democractic principles to maintain racial power, and we’re seeing that,” Hannah-Jones said, citing an unnamed study.

Mount Holyoke’s Common Read Keynote with Nikole Hannah-Jones occurred one day after President Donald Trump announced support for witholding federal funding from schools that teach the 1619 Project.

Campus Reform reached out to Mount Holyoke for comment, but the school did not respond in time for publication.

Image courtesy of Public domain

11 thoughts on “New York Times’ 1619 Project author says Founding Fathers ‘did not believe in democracy,’ America is ‘not an exceptional nation’

  1. Our founders didn’t believe in direct democracy because it can turn tyrannical by majority abusing the minority. Our constitutional republic has lasted longer than any other. We believe in individual rights not majority rule over all. 1619 is propaganda to change our children’s minds away from our true founding.

  2. Advising children and curriculum boards with frightening ideology and a-historical drivel. What a tactic! Allowing these Pharisees to teach our children and inform our journalists is like buying a car from the car dealer on Hee Haw… Everyone knows the car is junk, the dealer is a crook and the lies behind the sale are as old as the hills

    With 1619, the vehicle is a total denial of the utility of having a Constitutional Republic, the dealer is the same revisionist historians that censor all speech through “identity” politics”, and accusations of “white fragility” to control the narrative. The lies are as old as the hills, literally. Tyranny of the majority and socialist denial of private property and the sovereignty of the individual can be traced back to days of the Romans at least.

    They hate constitutionalism because it denies the mob rule and allows speech and thought to flourish. They worship “democracy” as a cult because it gives the mobs a vision of justice… The dreamy puppy love of a stupid teen for that first used car. False freedom until the veil is drawn back and the next mob comes for them.

    Lex Naturalis

  3. The 1619 Project is just so much Marxist Bravo Sierra,this un American Leftist cock and bull needs to end,if America doesn’t suit them they are free to move to Venezuela.

  4. If I was able to say what I really think of this Hannah-Jones True North would rightfully refuse to print it. I am so tired of listening to these clowns hiding behind a pen and a desk and denigrating our great nation. So Hannah Jones if you really feel that America is not an exceptional nation why don’t you take your ignorant, hateful vitriol and a bunch of your Hollywood friends who constantly threaten to leave the country And go somewhere that you think is ” exceptional ” You might be surprised to know that less people than you think care about your childish opinions.

    • I so agree with you DennisA. I would have used certain choices words too. Jones was talking out of her so.mewhere else instead of her mouth

  5. We have a Constitutional Republic, but as long as some race-baiting mongoloids can make a dollar by publishing trash – they’ll continue to do it.

  6. The NE coastal natives were about 90% wiped out during the years 1617, 1618, and 1619, largely due to prior contacts with crews of European fishing ships.

    The religious refugees, all while Protestants from England, found ABANDONED NATIVE VILLAGES, INCLUDING Plymouth, when they arrived in LATE 1620.
    They proclaimed it God’s will

    Half of the refugees died the first year from starvation and disease.

    The got help from the leftover nearby Natives, and celebrated the first THANKSGIVING IN 1621.

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