Campus Reform | As AOC calls for 'media literacy' commission, colleges push New York Times' debunked 1619 Project

As AOC calls for 'media literacy' commission, colleges push New York Times' debunked 1619 Project

During an Instagram live on Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced that Congress is looking into creating a commission on “media literacy” after last week’s U.S. Capitol siege.

Meanwhile, colleges across the country continue to push the debunked New York Times' 1619 Project.

During an Instagram Live post on Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced that Congress is looking into creating a commission on “media literacy” after the January 6 U.S. Capitol riots. 

“We’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

But as the self-described Democratic Socialist pushes to "rein in" the media, colleges across the country continue to push the debunked New York Times' 1619 Project. The controversial initiative that began in August 2019 "aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative." 

[RELATED: 1619 Project writer Nikole Hannah-Jones says American flag outside childhood home 'embarrassed' her]

The Pulitzer-winning New York Times essay has faced criticism by many historians and scholars for historical presuppositions. One history professor at the University of New Hampshire criticized the project for “not telling the whole story.” 

"Where the 1619 Project errored...was overlooking or ignoring several very important complications,” Professor Eliga Gould said in footage obtained by Campus Reform.

According to the essay, a primary motive for the American Revolution was to protect institutionalized slavery. 

However, the National Association of Scholars said this is "a claim for which there is simply no evidence.”

[RELATED: Poll shows support for teaching history of racism, prof claims it shows support for 1619 Project]

Campus Reform spoke with NAS President Peter Wood about his new book 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project, in which Wood stressed that the country began in 1776, not 1619. Wood also expressed that he feels there are many dangers that come along with teaching an entire generation of Americans this form of history.

“I was looking for a succinct way to say, that's not really where we began. It may be historically interesting...but it's not our origin story,” Wood told Campus Reform.

Despite the overwhelming criticism, educators are still utilizing the debunked New York Times' 1619 Project. 


[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: New York Times' 1619 Project author says Founding Fathers 'did not believe in democracy,' America is 'not an exceptional nation']

At the University of Oregon, the school selected the project as its common read in response to police shootings in 2020. According to the university's website, more than 90 percent of incoming students will participate in the common reading through one of their classes or residence halls. 

Meanwhile, Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts announced the project would "set the tone" for the school year.

Princeton University Professor Emeritus James McPherson called the essays an “unbalanced, one-sided account” that “left most of the history out.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JezzamineWolk