MSNBC’s ‘Racial Healing’ Town Hall Hypes Divisive 1619 Project

News & Politics

On Tuesday, MSNBC held something they advertised as a racial healing town hall, but there wasn’t a lot of healing going on as moderators and guests attacked conservatives while pushing the bitterly divisive 1619 Project.

Project founder Nikole Hannah-Jones reveled in the criticism she has received, “So, the backlash that I have experienced, which as you know has been everything from the former president of the United States to sitting senators, to governors trying to legislate against the Project, to, you know, personal threats, to me is probably my greatest honor.”

It is notable she left out professional historians from her list of critics, because she is still desperately trying to pretend all of her critics are political hacks who are concerned about losing their power, “Because what it means is that the truth makes powerful people in this country very scared and I’m glad that they’re scared.”

Co-moderator Joy Reid later accused Republican lawmakers of trying to stifle education as it relates to African-Americans, but also Jewish people, “along with the continued anti-blackness, in particularly in education, and wanting to resist learning about the things that have happened to people of color, there has also been the same kind of fight about the history of what happened to Jewish people.”

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Seeing a correlation between anti-CRT laws and hate crimes, Reid continued, “There’s been an erasure there too, and a push back. You know, when they’re banning so-called Critical Race Theory, they’re also banning books about the Holocaust and we’ve seen an uptick in attacks on Jewish people and Jewish symbols around the country.”

Nobody’s banning teaching the Holocaust, there has been some discussion about which books should be given to which grade levels, but that is a very different conversation. Meanwhile, in the real world, anti-CRT states have mandatory Holocaust education.

MSNBC later returned to the subject of The 1619 Project by applying the logical fallacy of appealing to authority. That authority was Minnijean Brown-Trickey, a member of the Little Rock Nine. One can acknowledge what Brown-Trickey experienced earlier in life and that it was wrong, but also see that today she is trying to force people to choose between a false dichotomy, “So we have an obligation to give them truth and give them complexity, so this is how I see what I said earlier tonight, the 1619 Project took something that usually took a page. When the Daughters of the Confederacy said it in my history book at Central High School. They said, slavery was good for black people and the masters were kind.”

Slavery was not good and no history curriculum should teach that, but it also should not resort to The 1619 Project’s reductionist view that the history of America is slavery and if MSNBC truly wants to be engaged in racial healing it can start by ceasing to misrepresent what conservatives actually believe.

These segments were sponsored by CarFax.

Here is a transcript for the January 17 town hall:

National Day of Racial Healing: An MSNBC Town Hall

1/17/2023

10:07 PM ET

NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES: So, the backlash that I have experienced, which as you know has been everything from the former president of the United States to sitting senators, to governors trying to legislate against the Project, to, you know, personal threats, to me is probably my greatest honor. Because what it means is that the truth makes powerful people in this country very scared and I’m glad that they’re scared.

10:10

JOY REID: And so you, kind of, are intersectionality embodied in a person right, but we’ve also seen along with the attacks on Asian-Americans, along with the continued anti-blackness, in particularly in education, and wanting to resist learning about the things that have happened to people of color, there has also been the same kind of fight about the history of what happened to Jewish people. 

There’s been an erasure there too, and a push back. You know, when they’re banning so-called Critical Race Theory, they’re also banning books about the Holocaust and we’ve seen an uptick in attacks on Jewish people and Jewish symbols around the country.

10:35

MINNIJEAN BROWN-TRICKEY: What a denial of our children, because it’s so complex. They could learn all about courts, they could learn about mob violence, they could learn about persistence of the human spirit. Just– they could learn about journalism, actually. And yet we deny our children truth. And they love truth. They desire truth. So we have an obligation to give them truth and give them complexity, so this is how I see what I said earlier tonight, the 1619 Project took something that usually took a page. When the Daughters of the Confederacy said it in my history book at Central High School. They said, slavery was good for black people and the masters were kind. So she took something and showed the complexity and the residents in how it keeps reverberating and how we keep seeing it happen. And so that is the beauty of that, to me, is to bring complexity to things in honor of our children, who want to know more than you do. I almost can’t deal with old people, okay? 

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