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White House Announces Plan To Teach Revisionist History With “1776 Commission”

Trump promotes "patriotic education" in latest moment of fascist fan service.

Donald Trump sits with his arms crossed.

Today at the White House Conference on American History (which is a thing, apparently) at the National Archives Museum, Trump announced an executive order to promote “patriotic education” in American schools. He has called his plan the “1776 Commission,” a play on the New York Times’ 1619 Project, the Pulitzer-Prize winning series from the New York Times which reframes American history around the date of August 1619, when the first slave ship arrived on America’s shores.

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Trump previously attacked the “1619 Project” by threatening to withhold funding from California’s schools if they use the series in their public school curriculum. As America undergoes a racial reckoning, Trump has made it quite clear where he stands. Our racist-in-chief has downplayed the threat of nazis and white supremacy, and the White House Office of Management and Budget has issued an order to stop racial sensitivity and bias training across all federal agencies.

“Today I’m also pleased to announce that I will soon sign an executive order establishing a national commission to promote patriotic education. It will be called the 1776 Commission,” Trump said. “Critical race theory, the 1619 Project, and the crusade against American history is toxic propaganda — an ideological poison that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together,” he continued. “The only path to national unity is through our shared identity as Americans. That is why it is so urgent that we finally restore patriotic education to our schools.”

Trump railed against “left-wing mobs” and “cancel culture” in a deeply fascist and jingoistic speech. Other Trump targets include famed (and deceased) historian Howard Zinn, the Smithsonian, and, as always, real facts and history. It is stunning but hardly surprising that Trump’s response to racial justice protests and a national conversation on race is to completely ignore it and try and gaslight the nation into believing racism isn’t real.

“1619 Project” creator Nikole Hannah-Jones tweeted the following:

Ultimately, it is illegal for the federal government to withhold money from schools for teaching a specific curriculum. Additionally, federal law bars the Education Department from mandating curriculum, despite Education Secretary Betsy DeVos saying that the 1776 plan “sounds really wonderful.”

At the end of the day, this is Trump feeding his racist base. Many took to social media to call out the president’s pathetic pandering, which echoes the radicalization of the Hitler youth, and other fascistic propaganda initiatives:

(via Politico, featured image: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Image)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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