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HORIST: American Exceptionalism under attack … by New York Times Magazine.

HORIST: American Exceptionalism under attack … by New York Times Magazine.

Any knowledgeable and decent American will concede that there have been times and situations which did not – and do not – reflect well on America.  The most notable was the sin of slavery and the de facto segregation and racism that has flowed from it for more than 150 years after the damnable institution was officially abolished.

We can also concede that the contributions of African Americans have been disregarded in our history books and pop culture.  Most school children never knew of the accomplishment of folks like Crispus Attucks, George Washington Carver, Percy Julian, Booker T. Washington and many others – not to mention the sacrifice in blood by hundreds of thousands of black soldiers in our many wars going back to 1776 Revolutionary War.

While most school children know  of President Teddy Roosevelt’s famous charge up San Juan Hill, they never learned that he and his unit had their butts saved by a black regiment when they were surrounded and about to be wiped out by the Spanish. (Just for the record, Roosevelt’s Rough Riders actually charged up Kettle Hill – not San Juan.)

The Times is producing what they call the 1619 Project – the 400th anniversary of the arrival of a slave ship in Port Comfort, Virginia.  Why they selected that event as notable is not clear.  According to real historians, slavery first arrived in North America almost 100 years earlier when slaves were brought from Cuba to the Spanish colony that is now the Carolinas.

The Times promotes their Project by declaring that “On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is finally time to tell our story truthfully.”  What the Times deems truthful is not a work of education, but rather a selective history to serve as an indictment of the full picture of American history.  The good of America FAR outshines the bad.

In their collection of “essays,” the Times features their own liberal writer, Nikole Hanna-Jones, who, according to her online biography “investigates the way racial segregation in housing and schools is maintained through official action and policy.”  So do I, and methinks she is not telling the whole story.

In her essay, Hannah-Jones writes: “Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written.  Black Americans have fought to make them true.”  She is wrong on both counts.  The “ideals” were not false even if they were not fully implemented at the time.  And it was predominately white Americans—with the encouragement of the black community —  that brought reality to the ideals of equality by fighting and dying to end slavery, passing the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and who passed the civil rights legislation of the mid 1960s.

If there was any one group that provided the primary impetus for all these actions, it was the Republican Party. I will have to check out how much credit Hannah-Jones gives to the GOP in this matter.

Princeton Sociology Professor Mathew Desmond contributed his view to the 1619 Project.  He wrote: “If you want to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation.”  Yep! Another anti-capitalism, anti-free-markets college professor.

According to Linda Villarosa, contributing writer for New York Times Magazine: “Myths about physical racial differences were used to justify slavery—and are still believed by doctors today.”  Not sure what doctors she sees, but I have not run into one of those.

Times opinion writer Jamelle Bouie believes that “America holds onto an undemocratic assumption from its founding: that some people deserve more power than others.”  That “assumption” may have been held by a lot of folks in the Eighteenth Century, but it has evolved to greater enlightenment. It is not at all applicable to America today.

In his contribution to the 1619 Project, Bryan Stevenson, Professor at New York University Law School and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative contended that “Slavery gave America a fear of black people and a taste for violent punishment.  Both still define our prison system.”  Our prison system does have problems, but the good professor makes a rather preposterous linkage to the era of slavery.

MSNBC Reporter Trymaine Lee made this contribution to the 1619 Project.  “A vast wealth gap, driven by segregation, redlining, evictions and exclusion, separates black and white America.”  He is absolutely correct.  But I doubt that he affixes blame on the Democratic Party that has virtually exclusively imposed those conditions on black America in the form of continuing institutional racism.  Wanna bet?

All these quotes come directly from the promotional material for the Times special project.

The Times offers no counterbalance or fairness in their carefully crafted view of American history.  There is little to no attention paid to the heroic and noble actions that brought an end to slavery and to southern segregation – and are fighting de facto institutional racism in our cities today.

The Gray Lady of journalism – often referred to (for reasons unknown) as America’s newspaper of record – has brought to the mainstream news media the blame and hate America sentiments that were once limited to the radical left on the streets.  The intent of the Times is not to educate or to correct the public record – which would be a worthy cause – but to propagate subtle wolves of false racist narratives and impressions under thief the sheeps’ hide of public service.

Of course, what will be missing from the New York Times dragging the American flag through the mud in the name of historic justice is the truth about the relative roles of the two major political parties.  How many of their essays will deal with the reality that it was the Democratic Party that imposed and maintained institutional racism in America for almost two centuries?

Yes, there is a need to upgrade and correct the historic spotlight as it involves both the plight and the positive roles of black Americans from our earliest colonial days.  But that is not what the Times has done.  Rather, the once-great publication has succumbed to a propaganda version of history.  By not telling the ENTIRE story, they are stoking the flames of racial friction as a partisan political strategy based on their unprofessional alliance with the political left.  That is racism.

So, there ‘tis.

FOOTNOTE:  To all you rabid left-wing radicals who only have the racial card in your deck:  Do not give me your ignorant knee-jerk reactions.  I have spent a lifetime supporting equality for blacks – work that has garnered me awards from minority organizations.  I have spent an enormous amount of time in the inner city working against racial discrimination in police departments, the school systems, housing departments, the justice system, supporting neighborhood economic development (jobs) and every other aspect of life in our still segregated and impoverished inner cities.  I have placed blacks and Hispanics in positions of leadership in almost every organization in which I played a leadership role  –often for the first time.  I have spent more than 50 years as the father of a black daughter. Sooo …. spare me your uninformed spleen-venting racist appellations.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Madamtazzz

    Well said and very insitefull the truth will set us all free.

  2. DB

    This, in my opinion, is Black Journalism which only inflames a past of which nobody alive today was part of. Not only that but this piece of journalism only addresses only the black issues and does not reflect the times when White Sharecroppers, (basically slaves to the land), Chinese immigrants, American Indians, and Spanish were also subject to the same conditions as the black slave society. To gain a clear picture of the true nature of slavery we must include them in the analysis and not just the importation and reproductive black slave orientation society. The slave society was almost exclusively used in the Southern Democratic States until the emancipation proclamation. After a short reconstruction period, the Democratic South still resisted the changes made in the Lincoln address and after his assassination, President Johnson did little to enforce those dictates. Federal troops were slowly removed from the South and the uprising of the KKK, of who’s members were again the Democratic South plantation owners and pre Civil War owners of slaves or followers, that again performed the same atrocities as pre Civil War. Today we see the Democrats still keeping the black population in slavery but in a different form, called welfare. Democrats need the former family based slave populations to vote for them in order to stay in power. Even President Lyndon Johnson said at the signing of the Civil Rights Legislation that “this will keep the N’s voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” as he signed in legislation that continued economic slavery of the black population, especially in the deep south. Today Welfare, which costs this nation more than the entire Defense budget, has accomplished little but to keep the nation divided along social and economic lines, modern day slavery. For this you must thank the Democratic Party.

    • DRLJR

      The information you cite is inconvenient information for the “Progressives” or “Left”, and those who want to make money off of people by screaming “Racism” and “I/You are a victim”.

  3. Frank S.

    DB, you are correct. But haven’t you heard? Now the Left is proclaiming from on high that somewhere between the late 1800s to early 1900s the Republicans became the Democrats and the Democrats become the Republicans. The Left needed an answer to some very disturbing truths. This explains the incongruities. You can’t make this stuff up!…oh, wait, apparently you can!

  4. DRLJR

    And one thing people ignore is that we are a Republic not a Democracy. This quote from a US Army document is so appropriate:

    Democracy, n:
    A government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meeting
    or any other form of direct expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude
    toward property is communistic… negating property rights. Attitude toward
    law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it is based
    upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without
    restraint or regard to consequences. Result is demagogism, license,
    agitation, discontent, anarchy.
    — U. S. Army Training Manual No. 2000-25 (1928-1932),
    since withdrawn.

    The problems the various Black Communities face today are related to choices made in the 1970s and since, which are related to behavior and attitude, and the choices many Blacks have made as group, especially separating themselves from society at large. This quote by Booker T Washington is, unfortunately, still applicable today:

    “There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the
    troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the
    public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their
    troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their
    wrongs, partly because they want sympathy, and partly because it pays.
    Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances,
    because they do not want to lose their jobs. There is a certain class
    of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because
    as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of
    making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves
    prominent before the public.”
    — Booker T. Washington in his 1911 book, My Larger Education

    And what the “Progressives” or “Left” ignore is that White Communities that do the same things suffer the same as the Black Communities. Pointing that out does not help the “Progressives” advance their agenda of “Supremacy of the State and Supremacy of those in control of the State”.

    • Joe Gilbertson

      Actually we are a combination of Republic and Democracy. The House is a democratic institution, each represents an equal population, The senate is a republic, where each senator represents and area. Was set up this way specifically.

  5. OSROY

    Everyone is missing the point of the NYT 1619 project.
    I am not a Nostradamus by any means, however I firmly believe the project sets the stage for the 2020 Democratic Nominee to make the campaign promise of reparations for Blacks in this country (Essentially buying the vote).
    They need to do this because with Trump in office the Black as well as all minority unemployment is at its lowest levels ever recorded.
    The Dems see this as a possible loss of the democratic voting block of Blacks, for them this cannot happen!
    I only hope that the Black Democratic voter figures out work may be hard, you may not even like it, but it can pull you out of poverty.
    As I told my daughter growing up, it takes ZERO effort to fail at anything. Success takes hard work and even that has no guarantees, however if you want to succeed you have to put in effort.
    Trump is offering effort, not a handout.
    I just hope they vote for success and not failure.