WHEN YOU’VE LOST THE TROTSKYISTS: I must have missed it when it happened, but a year ago the Trotskyist Fourth International declared the New York Times’ 1619 Project to be a load of hooey. The following is from the World Socialist Web Site:
To the extent that there is a method to the 1619 Project, it is pragmatic in the most vulgar sense of the word. The writers rummage carelessly through the past, cherry-picking incidents to concoct a narrative that conforms to their preconceived racialist viewpoint. They explain historical events in terms of what the authors claim, often incorrectly, to have been the immediate motives of the actors….
The Times justifies its racial approach by claiming that slavery and the experience of African Americans are subjects long neglected by historians. In fact, the slave system—its origins, changing economic role in pre- and post-revolutionary North America, and its social, political and cultural significance over a period spanning several centuries—has been the subject of voluminous research. The essays that introduce the 1619 Project evince no familiarity with the massive body of work produced by generations of historians.
So if Trotskyists are willing to say out loud that the 1619 Project was ill-informed drivel, who is left to view it as scholarly? The University of North Carolina for one.