JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A public hearing over a bill to ban the use of The New York Times’ 1619 Project in public schools was held in committee on Monday evening.
HB 952, sponsored by Rep. Brian Seitz, would prohibit public schools from teaching, using, promoting or providing students The 1619 Project as part of the curriculum, course materials or instruction.
The authors of the project describe it as an ongoing initiative that “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”
Seitz sees the origin as insincere and believes the authors had ulterior motives for the project.
“It takes the beginnings of our nation back over 150 years for one specific agenda; and that’s to say that the foundation of our country began when the first African slaves touched foot on this continent,” Seitz told The Heartlander. “In fact, there was no America in 1619.”
Seitz isn’t the first to question the accuracy of the project. Senator Josh Hawley called it a “propaganda campaign designed to recast America’s founding as an evil event and American democracy as a system of violent racial oppression.”
In response to The 1619 Project, President Trump created the 1776 Commission to support what he called “patriotic education”. The commission included College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis, but was disbanded by President Biden on January 20, 2021.
“History matters, reality matters,” Seitz said. “What is presented in the 1619 project is not historically accurate so we can’t teach it as such. We owe that to our children to teach things that are credible, to teach things that are true.”
The bill is now waiting to be voted out of the committee before it can be considered by the entire House of Representatives.