In 2019, the NYT published The 1619 Project, an attempt to reframe American history as being all about racism and slavery, the focus du jour of the intellectual left. (It’s part of a larger project to demoralize the US.) The project’s creator, Nikole Hannah-Jones, attacked the US Constitution as racist and anti-democratic.The 1619 Project has been slammed by historians and by others at the NYT itself, and the paper has backed away from some of the original claims; but it’s still being propagated in public schools and sympathetic media.
Now the project has just taken a devastating torpedo from an unexpected source: the written words of escaped slave and abolitionist firebrand Frederick Douglas, who saw the Constitution not as a self-congratulatory statement of what is but as a stake in the ground and statement of a goal to be realized and perpetually fought for. “In his new book, A Glorious Liberty: Frederick Douglass and the Fight for an Antislavery Constitution, Reason Senior Editor Damon Root explicates Douglass’s classical liberal reading of the Constitution. Far from seeing it as a morally ambiguous document that sanctioned white supremacism, Douglass extolled it as ‘a glorious liberty document’ that justified the ending of slavery and other forms of race- and gender-based inequality. Douglass’s message, says Root, is as vital to the current moment as it was in the 19th century.”
UPDATE: The 1619 Project creator, Nikole Hannah-Jones, just tried to pick a fight over this book and the explanatory video below and got totally TKO’d on Twitter. Turns out she doesn’t know what Douglas wrote — but an historian did! [h/t Instapundit]