On Thursday's edition of the NPR morning talk show 1A, host Joshua Johnson devoted the first hour to promoting the "1619 Project" at The New York Times, which seeks to "reframe" American history as dominated to this very day by slavery. In a town hall meeting transcript that leaked, Times executive editor Dean Baquet explicitly announced to his restless leftist staff that the project was "going to he most ambitious examination of the legacy of slavery ever undertaken" by a newspaper "to try to understand the forces that led to the election of Donald Trump."
About halfway into the hour of "consciousness raising," Johnson decided it was time for an opposing view (there were no opposing guests on taxpayer-subsidized public radio). He quoted a note from "Charlie," and the assembled Times team -- Nikole Hannah-Jones, Linda Villarosa, and Wesley Morris -- burst out laughing at the idea that this was a partisan narrative.
JOSHUA JOHNSON: I should note that we got a number of comments from folks about this kind of rethinking, reshaping of our conception of the country, which, the 1619 Project is very clear that it's designed to reframe this, but a number of the comments reflect the one that we got from Charlie, who wrote on our Facebook page, "it sounds ridiculous to negate any history that happened before that point, much like it seems silly to ignore the actual date of the founding of the country. Why do Democrats hate the country so much and spend so much time trying to drag our country threw the mud?" Nikole?
[Pause, followed by peals of laughter]
JOHNSON: And I can hear that Wesley's in the room now. Hi! That's Wesley Morris, a critic-at-large for The New York Times. Wesley, thanks for joining us.
WESLEY MORRIS: Thanks for having me.
JOHNSON: Since you were the first voice I heard buss out laughin' why don't you respond to Charlie?
MORRIS: Well, I mean, I think that most of us in general have what we have, or don't have what we don't have without acknowledging what all's gone on in the last 400 years. I mean, I don't know why this has to be a partisan issue. I mean, everyone had a hand in slavery, and everybody has a hand in not talking about how they had a hand in slavery. This seems like a perfectly nonpartisan history, and resolving it is going to require some bipartisan self-awareness.
For her part, Hannah-Jones claimed she's critical of both parties -- from the Left. "This is not an advertisement for the Democratic Party. Anyone who knows my work knows I am critical of all parties who want to deny full and equal access to black Americans." She dismissed critics as people who can't "deal with" our full history.
This whole crowd lives inside a liberal bubble -- a bubble that conservative taxpayers help fund, and then are kept outside, except to be mocked. They cannot imagine that people who were born in the 1965 or 1995 would feel they are not responsible for 1619, and that policies to address the history of slavery might obviously include the controversial topic of reparation payments for black Americans from other Americans who had zero responsibility for slavery. This kind of collective guilt is not a "perfectly nonpartisan" issue or reflect "bipartisan self-awareness."
Liberal NPR fans loved the laughter, like this comment on their Facebook page:
Abby Burr I can't tell you the satisfaction I got when your guest BUSTED OUT LAUGHING at Charlie Hightower's ridiculous comment! Made my day!