The 1619 Project Book’s Goal Is To Keep Slandering America
New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein recently introduced the forthcoming book version of the 1619 Project in a long essay that attempts to head off well-deserved criticism of the original project and the new book. Silverstein’s motive is to explain in advance that the nay-sayers have it all wrong. I don’t yet have the book, so it is possible that Silverstein is right, but judging from his preamble it looks like the new, expanded version of The 1619 Project is woven of the same wish fulfillment as the original.
Silverstein’s essay is meant to clear a path for readers who have heard some of the criticisms of that original and want to be reassured that the critics can safely be ignored. His approach, however, is not so much to refute the critics as it is to draw a map showing 1619 supporters how to evade them.
Think of the editor strapping on his silver skates to glide past a lot of the awkwardness that accompanied the 1619 Project’s early days. In the interests of keeping the record straight, let’s revisit 2019 and 2020.