U.S President Donald Trump speaks at the White House Conference on American History at the National Archives Museum in Washington, U.S., September 17, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would create a commission to promote “patriotic education” and the development of a “pro-American curriculum” through the 1776 Commission. His remarks came shortly after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos praised “1776 Unites,” a program created by Ian Rowe of the American Enterprise Institute. However, the federal government has no power to dictate the curriculum for local schools.

At a speech commemorating the 233rd anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, President Trump accused schools of teaching students “hateful lies about this country” and Democrats of making students “ashamed” of its history.” He took particular aim at the “1619 Project,” an initiative published by the New York Times that centers on the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans to the United States. The idea for the project was sparked by Nikole Hannah-Jones, a reporter who published an essay titled “The 1619 Project.”

The “1619 Project” became the center of partisan debate after Northwestern University historian Leslie Harris, one of its fact-checkers, spoke out about historical inaccuracies in Hannah-Jones’ introductory essay, adding that The New York Times ignored her objections initially. Harris said she was concerned the critique would be used in a partisan attempt to discredit the entire project, stating, “Overall, the ‘1619 Project’ is a much-needed corrective to the blindly celebratory histories that once dominated our understanding of the past—histories that wrongly suggested racism and slavery were not a central part of U.S. history.”

Hannah-Jones responded to President Trump’s remarks, stating, “The efforts by the president of the United States to use his powers to censor a work of American journalism by dictating what schools can and cannot teach and what American children should and should not learn should be deeply alarming to all Americans who value free speech.” Josh Schwerin of Priorities USA Action, a political action committee that supports Democratic candidates, accused President Trump of “stoking racism and hatred.”

President Trump’s announcement followed a ban on anti-racism training by the Office of Management and Budget two weeks ago, as well as repeated defenses of Confederate monuments.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

‘It’s like Hitler Youth’: Trump attacked over plans for ‘patriotic education’ – The Independent – 9/18/2020
“We’re launching a new pro-American lesson plan for students called [the] 1776 Commission,” he told an audience. “We’re going to teach our children the truth about America.” Twitter users soon mocked the president, with one person comparing his speech at the National Archives to “straight up Nazi rhetoric”.

Trump’s 1776 Commission to ‘Promote Patriotic Education’ Is Executive Overreach – Reason – 9/18/2020
The federal government shouldn’t dictate what local schools across the country teach—and in the past, conservatives have rightly denounced the idea that it should. […] Yet like so many other conservative principles, this one seems to have fallen by the wayside in the Trump era. Now, President Donald Trump is announcing plans for (yet another!) executive order, this one to create a “patriotic education” curriculum for U.S. public schools.

Trump Announces a ‘National Commission to Support Patriotic Education’ – Intelligencer – 9/18/2020
The president has frequently shown that he is most comfortable in the international sphere palling around with authoritarian figures, and on Thursday he borrowed a page from their playbook. Speaking at what the administration called the White House Conference on American History, Trump announced that he would soon sign an executive order establishing a “national commission to support patriotic education.”

Trump Creates A National Commission To Promote Patriotic Education: ‘We Will Reclaim Our History’ – The Daily Wire – 9/18/2020
President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he was creating the “1776 Commission” to promote patriotism in U.S. education as part of the administration’s efforts to combat the far Left’s agenda of trying to re-write American history. “Our mission is to defend the legacy of America’s founding, the virtue of America’s heroes, and the nobility of the American character,” Trump said at the White House Conference on American History, hosted at the National Archives Museum.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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