Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Top Scholars Call For Pulitzer Board To Revoke Nikole Hannah-Jones' Prize

 Nikole Hannah-Jones 

An open letter published on the website of the The National Association of Scholars calls on the Pulitzer Prize Board to rescind the prize it awarded to New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones earlier this year. A hard copy of the letter has been mailed to the Pulitzer Committee as well as a digital copy.

The letter calls out serious errors in the Hannah-Jones lead essay in  “The 1619 Project":

That essay was entitled, “Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written.” But it turns out the article itself was false when written, making a large claim that protecting the institution of slavery was a primary motive for the American Revolution, a claim for which there is simply no evidence...

The Project as a whole was marred by similar faults. Prominent historians, most of them deeply sympathetic to the Project’s goal of bringing the African American experience more fully into our understanding of the American past, nevertheless felt obliged to point out, in public statements beginning in September 2019, the Project’s serious factual errors, specious generalizations, and forced interpretations. Hannah-Jones did not refute these criticisms or answer them in a respectful or meaningful way. Instead, she dismissed them. In December 2019 five prominent historians wrote a joint letter to The New York Times expressing their “strong reservations about important aspects of the 1619 Project.”  The New York Times Magazine’s editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein brushed aside the letter with the explanation that “historical understanding is not fixed; it is constantly being adjusted by new scholarship and new voices.” True enough; but he refrained from also mentioning that the advance of historical understanding always involves the testing of new interpretations through a process of open criticism and the free exchange of ideas in honest debate, the very things that Hannah-Jones has consistently disdained. Despite this stonewalling, the criticisms of The 1619 Project continued, notably in another joint letter signed by twelve other historians on December 30. Mr. Silverstein again responded saying, that the Times’s “research desk” had examined their criticisms and “concluded no corrections are warranted”...

 But that was not the end of it. On March 6, 2020, historian Leslie M. Harris, one of the Times’s own fact-checkers, revealed that she had warned the newspaper that an assertion that “the patriots fought the American Revolution in large part to preserve slavery in North America” was plainly false. Harris identified numerous other mistakes that she had pointed out to the Times in advance of the publication of The 1619 Project, none of which was corrected. The Times did, however, respond to Harris’s March 6 revelation by adding [a] correction on March 11. Where Hannah-Jones had originally written, “one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery,” the new text says “some of the colonists.” Even this softened assertion has little or no documentary basis, according to the most distinguished specialists in the period....
It is time for the Pulitzer Prize Board to acknowledge its error rather than compound it. Given the glaring historical fallacy at the heart of its account, and the subsequent breaches of core journalistic ethics by both Hannah-Jones and the Times, “Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written” does not deserve the honor conferred upon it. Nor does The 1619 Project of which it is a central part, and which the Board seeks to honor by honoring Hannah-Jones’s essay. The Board should acknowledge that its award was an error. It can and should correct that error by withdrawing the prize.

It must be understood that the radical left will push any absurd theory they think will help their cause. Truth is not high on their value scale, advancing toward power is. 



  1. We are all Holden Caulfield, constantly discovering that the authority in this world is nothing more than a bunch of weirdos, creeps, and liars.

    David B.

  2. So this is yet another "African-American" radical communist with one white/Jewish parent. Garza (BLM), Obama... there's a helluva list of them.