The Fairfax County Public Library doled out $29,350 in taxpayer funds to “1619 Project” author Nikole Hannah-Jones for an upcoming one-hour speaking event, the New York Post reported.
Hannah-Jones authored the controversial New York Times Magazine series “The 1619 Project,” which aimed to reframe the United States as a system built on racism. Earlier this month, Hulu released a docuseries adaptation of Hannah-Jones’ project.
Northern Virginia residents were enraged that a local public library wrote a $33,350 check to Hannah-Jones, $29,350 of which was covered by taxpayers’ dollars. For the one-hour speaking engagement at McLean Community Center next month, Hannah-Jones will rake in approximately $589 per minute.
Fairfax County Times reported that Hannah-Jones’ contract with the Virginia library also included “non-stop, direct” first-class plane tickets, hotel accommodations, ground transportation, and “$350.00 to cover speaker’s out of pocket expenses.”
Last month, Virginia taxpayers were fuming when they discovered Fairfax County Public Library shelled out $22,500 to another divisive author, Ibram X. Kendi, for a one-hour virtual talk.
Kendi, a supporter of critical race theory, is the author of “How to Be an Antiracist,” “How to Raise an Antiracist,” and “Antiracist Baby.”
Residents were especially frustrated that the public library allocated substantial taxpayer funds to speakers after announcing last summer that “ongoing staff recruitment challenges” forced it to shorten operating hours.
Michael Albin, a local resident and member of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance, told the Fairfax County Times that Hannah-Jones is being paid for her “star power” and not to share her ideas. He accused the library of a “misuse of public funds for propaganda programming.”
“For her ideas, you can read her book (at the library!) or go online to read them for free,” Albin argued. “She’s invited to sabotage American history and ideals at a library talk, and when? … get this, on Presidents’ Day weekend, a patriotic national holiday. If that isn’t sabotage of our values, I don’t know what is.”
Another local resident, William Denk, called on the Board of Supervisors to request that Kendi and Hannah-Jones “return these funds to Fairfax County to help our local homeless population.”
“By my estimates, the Fairfax County Public Library is using over $60,000 in taxpayer funds to host Ibram Kendi and Nikole Hannah-Jones as speakers,” Denk told the Fairfax County Times.
Hannah-Jones was estimated to have pocketed over $1 million in 2022, giving speeches about inequality and racism in America, according to records obtained by the Daily Wire. Another contract obtained by the outlet revealed that Hannah-Jones received more than $100,000 from Indiana taxpayers for a two-day university lecture.
Jessica Hudson, the director of Fairfax County Library, told the New York Post, “McLean Community Center (MCC) and the Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) offer a variety of programs of interest to our diverse community.”
“For several years, The Alden [Theater] and FCPL have partnered to present noted authors through MCC’s Perspectives Speaker Series,” Hudson continued. “This year, for Black History Month, we are partnering to bring Pulitzer Prize Winner Nikole Hannah-Jones, who will speak on her work on the 1619 Project.”
Hudson noted that the event is free to the public, which “facilitates access for patrons who might otherwise be unable to attend due to financial limitations and is in line with Fairfax County’s One Fairfax Policy and the MCC Governing Board’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and access.”
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