Trump defends America’s founding on slavery with ‘1776 report’

The 1776 Commission's report describes affirmative action as 'more discrimination' and 'the opposite of King's hope.'

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In the waning hours of his presidency, Donald Trump continues to make racism its defining feature. 

Trump created a 1776 Commission to study the idea that Americans are being indoctrinated with a false, liberal narrative about the country’s founding. The creation of the group came a year after the Pulitzer Prize-winning release of “The 1619 Project” from The New York Times, which detailed America’s creation as a slave-owning society. 

On Monday, the 18-member 1776 Commission released its “1776 report” Monday, which defends slavery as part of America’s founding. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Formed in September — during his re-election campaign — and widely seen as a ploy to incite and inflame his base supporters, the 18-member advisory panel was reportedly to produce a pro-American curriculum. However, the president has no authority over what is taught in U.S. schools.

Instead, the 1776 Commission released their “1776 report,” which defends slavery as part of the nation’s founding and declares affirmative action “more discrimination.” It calls affirmative action “the opposite of King’s hope that his children would ‘live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin.’” 

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It is, as a whole, drawing intense criticism from historians. 

The New York Times notes that Trump’s commission “did not include a single professional historian of the United States.” 

To add insult to injury, the report was released on the holiday observing the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

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“This report skillfully weaves together myths, distortions, deliberate silences, and both blatant and subtle misreading of evidence to create a narrative and an argument that few respectable professional historians, even across a wide interpretive spectrum, would consider plausible, never mind convincing,” James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association, told The Times.

“They’re using something they call history to stoke culture wars,” he said.

In terms of U.S. history and slave ownership, the report insinuates that the American Revolution in 1776 created a “dramatic sea change in moral sensibilities” in the nation, which is patently false. Enslavement in America lasted nearly 100 more years after its founding. 

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The commission was led by Larry Arnn, a Trump ally, and its co-chair is Carol Swain, a Black conservative. Further, the White House called the report “definitive,” yet it includes no scholarly citations or references. 

The report concludes by recommending that K-12 schools “reject any curriculum” that demeans “America’s heritage.” 

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