Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of the critical race theory-based 1619 Project, claimed on Meet the Press on Sunday that she does not understand why parents should have a say in what their kids learn in school.
Chuck Todd asked Hannah-Jones for her thoughts on parents’ involvement in education and how it helped to shape the gubernatorial race in Virginia, which was won by a Republican who came out in opposition to CRT-based education.
“Well, I would say the governor’s race in Virginia was decided based on the success of a right-wing propaganda campaign that told white parents that they needed to fight against their children being indoctrinated as race – as being called racists. But that was a propaganda campaign,” claimed Hannah-Jones.
“And I don’t really understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught,” added the Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times writer.
“I’m not a professional educator,” she added. “I don’t have a degree in social studies or science. We send our children to school because we want them to be taught by people who have an expertise in the subject area. And that is not my job.”
“When the governor or the candidate said that he didn’t think parents should be deciding what’s being taught in school, he was panned for that,” she said. “But that’s just the fact. This is why we send our children to school and don’t homeschool, because these are the professional educators who have the expertise to teach social studies, to teach history, to teach science, to teach literature. And I think we should leave that to the educators.”
In December, Hannah-Jones teamed up with Donnalie Jamnah, the K-12 Partnerships Manager for the Pulitzer Center’s education team, which collaborated with the 1619 Project for a New York Times virtual event on Zoom.
During the Zoom call, Jamnah remarked on how teachers could convince parents who don’t approve of the 1619 Project in their children’s education to embrace it, with Hannah-Jones agreement.
“So part of what I have to do is, is break that out and help teachers and parents it out," Jammah said "We've had reading groups where we read, you know, different essays together and have those conversations as adults and do that learning ourselves before we then go and engage the students. Because I think that's a big piece of it. This is something that you want to think really intentionally about and work through yourself before you sort of introduce it. So that is one piece I think is just having people to really look at the project as a whole and say, here are the pieces that really fit into what I'm doing in my classroom."
“And we've had districts like Buffalo School District to be able to do that work and scaffold it out. So seventh through 12th grade. Students are engaging with different elements of the project because they took the time to think about where it fit best in the curriculum. Another kind of challenge to your play is teachers feeling maybe the same space as one concern for like students, and making sure that emotions are cared for. And I think in some ways the project models that well in the podcast, which I love and recommend with you dude all the time, you know, between talking points, good music – there’s the humming that just for me anyway is like acknowledgement that something tough was just said and take that moment as we talk about those more moments of that how you can give students chances to process peer reviewing each other's units and asking those questions.”
“It seems like three days of tough conversations like what can you do here to break that up? And then as far as the sort of challenging, doubt or misinformation, encouraging teachers to have those conversations and lean in, right? A lot of that doubt goes away. Once you're able to sit down with your principal, and sit down with your parents, asked people what exactly are you afraid about or what you know, what is your concern? And I think seriously, and that can be uncomfortable, especially for a new teacher, but I've seen it be productive.”
Hannah-Jones 1619 Project has been widely panned by historians, including self-avowed leftists at the Worldwide Socialist, who called it a “politically motivated falsification of history" and said that "It presents and interprets American history entirely through the prism of race and social conflict.”