Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton (R) faced public backslash on Sunday after he stated that the Founding Fathers viewed slavery as a “necessary evil” to build and develop our country.
Cotton, who is seen as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2024, made the statement in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Sunday.
In the interview, he discussed his bill, Saving the American History Act of 2020, to reduce federal funding for any school that features The New York Times’s 1619 Project in its K-12 curriculum.
The 1619 Project examines the history of slavery in the United States, starting with the arrival of the first slave ships on American soil in August 1619.
Cotton emphasized that The New York Times is not supposed to teach American history to our children. ”Even a penny is too much to go to the 1619 Project in our public schools,” Cotton added.
In his view, we need to study our past, the history of slavery, and its impact on the development of the United States. Otherwise, Cotton said, we would not be able to understand our country. He also referred to Abraham Lincoln’s remarks that our union is built to put slavery on the path to its ”ultimate extinction.”
The New York Times reporter and director of the 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, who also won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for commentary for introductory essay to the project, heavily criticized Cotton’s statements on Twitter.
Slavery called for race-based discrimination, rape, torture, and sale of human beings for profit, she said, adding that if one can justify it, it is hard to imagine what else they can justify.
In response, who was later re-tweeted by President Trump, Cotton wrote that Abraham Lincoln never endorsed or justified slavery. He criticized the project once again, stating that they cannot get the facts right.
If the Cotton’s bill is approved, the US Department of Education will have to determine which schools are using the writings from the 1619 project in their classrooms and reduce their federal funding. If it happens, it will affect the planning and teaching time.
According to the 1619 project website, teachers in all 50 states have already accessed the educational materials related to the project.
What do you think? Do you agree that The New York Times is not supposed to teach US kids history?