Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) dove into the cancel culture wars Friday, railing at federal incentives for schools taking a fresh look at how slavery is taught in American history classes.
The conservative senator fired off a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona demanding that federal grants not be given to schools developing updated civics and history curricula, which he claimed would present a “revisionist” view of the nation’s past.
McConnell is particularly incensed about changes that would include perspectives of the 1619 Project, which he said would introduce “divisive, radical, and historically-dubious buzzwords and propaganda” into education.
The 1619 Project, which was launched in in 2019 in a series of articles by writers for the New York Times Magazine, urges addressing a massive void in colonial history education by examining the arrival of the first slave ship in 1619 as critical to America’s founding, as well as to the nation’s economy, wars and racism.
“Americans do not need or want their tax dollars diverted from promoting the principles that unite our nation toward promoting radical ideologies meant to divide us,” McConnell wrote in the letter obtained by CNN.
The federal government has no control over states’ educational curricula, nor are states across the nation undertaking any massive reforms of their teaching plans. The Biden administration’s Education Department, however, has proposed offering grants to states and local schools that expand curriculums to include perspectives like those from the 1619 Project.
Donald Trump last year announced he planned to create a commission that would develop a “patriotic education” to spread the “miracle” of U.S. history to counteract “lies” that the nation struggles with racism.