Tarris Woods’ guest column advocating passage of the For the People Act deeply troubled me and professionally offended me, with the distorted 1619 Project rendition of U.S. history he put forward (“Congress must pass the For the People Act quickly,” The Daily News, Aug. 24).
The famed German historiographer Leopold von Ranke set the standard for professional history writing: Use source material — don’t make things up. The 1619 Project’s version of U.S. history seemingly referenced by Woods fails this test.
It’s Marxist propaganda, not history. As a professionally trained historian and former civics teacher, I will detail several errors in the column.
Race slavery wasn’t new to humanity in Virginia in 1619. Slavery was an institution in human affairs since the beginning of recorded history.
The Bible tells us that the ancient Hebrews were bondsmen in Egypt and held bondsmen of their own in the Holy Land. The ancestors of many whites were serfs in Europe.
Evil Virginians didn’t invent race, ethnic or linguistic slavery in 1619. Race slavery isn’t the foundation of the United States.
Cotton culture in the South wasn’t the foundation of capitalism in the United States. It didn’t develop until the early 19th century in parts of the Deep South. In the North, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, a type of market capitalism based on manufacturing, trade and farming was the norm during the Era of King Cotton in the Deep South.
Northern manufacturing after the Civil War was the foundation of modern capitalism, not cotton cultivation.
The argument that Southern oligarchs formed a fascist nation within a nation after the Civil War is merely hyperbole. The existence of Jim Crow laws rested on the acquiesce of the poor white population on whose votes the wealthy depended. Fascism is a combination of government and big business, not racial segregation.
The pending voting legislation in Texas isn’t Jim Crow 2.0 as Woods posits. The state legislature has configured early voting under the legislation to preserve the role of Black churches in early voting on Sunday.
Allowing specifically crafted legislation to promote voting by a specific racial group would seem to be racist. Is this the Jim Crow 2.0 Woods and other Democrats rail against? Or are they simply unconvinced they can continue to win elections without block voting based on skin color and church attendance?
Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution reserves voting regulations for each state, not the federal government. The proposed federal legislation to nationalize elections is a power grab by the Democratic Party, not based on facts.
Words matter; facts matter. Carelessly advocating a false narrative about the founding of the nation denigrates the efforts such as the Civil War, and voting and civil rights acts to make the words of the Declaration of Independence real — all men (people) are created equal.
The reality that more people of color than white people voted in the South in 2020 refutes claims of voter suppression.