If you hate Donald Trump, and believe he is the embodiment of racism, the phobia family (homo, islamo, trans, xeno), and evil, and you believe that there are two ways to almost guarantee he won’t be re-elected President, and those ways were censoring any videos, tweets and Facebook posts that weren’t anti-trump AND publishing an alternative history of the United States in the New York Times that “proves” that we are the most racist and hypocritical country in the world and Trump’s election is the direct result of that history, would you do those? If so, who would be your choice for President?
Is YouTube a publisher or a public forum? It matters. A publisher decides what content to put up, and can be sued if their content is defamatory, violates copyrights, or libels. They can be held legally responsible for what they publish. The NY Times is an example, as are other newspapers and most websites that have their own content. In contrast, YouTube is a “public forum” and that’s what they call themselves. They are not legally responsible for what is uploaded to their website. They are “hosting” a website.
Social media–Facebook, YouTube/Google, Twitter–started as public forums. That’s how they got so much content FOR FREE, with the legal protections that come with being a public forum! Gradually, they all started acting as if they were publishers, censoring or “demonetizing” content, yet still expecting the legal protections of a public forum, under section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act. PragerU is suing YouTube for violating section 230 by blocking selected videos. The stakes are no less than “can the most powerful and widely used websites in the world subject anyone’s posts to their “acceptability” criteria? They all believe they can, and it’s all good if it undermines President Trump.
Speaking of powerful media and censorship, the most powerful newspaper in the country, if not the world, the NY Times, just published their first essay of the 1619 project, which I wrote about yesterday. The purpose of this project is, as Dean Baquet, executive editor the the paper declared in a staff meeting is to “teach our readers how to think about racism and slavery.” Erick Erickson wrote about this essay today in TheResurgent.com. In my analysis, I will reprint actual writings from founders and true historical facts of this nation first, then parts of the essay. You can decide who is telling the truth. The facts and quotes are in bold and the essay is in italics.
“The rights of human nature [are] deeply wounded by this infamous practice… the abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in those colonies where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state…” Thomas Jefferson. Introduced by Britain, may I remind you.
“…shocking ill effects and terrible consequences” to both enslavers and enslaved.” Sermon by Rev. Stephen Johnson of Lyme Connecticut. Samuel Cooke, in his Massachusetts election sermon of 1770, argued that in tolerating Negro slavery “we, the patrons of liberty, have dishonored the Christian name, and degraded human nature nearly to a level with the beasts that perish,” and he devoted most of his text to “the cause of our African slaves.” Benjamin Rush, in a sweeping condemnation of slavery, “On Slave-Keeping” (1773), begged “Ye advocates for American liberty” to rouse themselves and “espouse the cause of humanity and general liberty.” Bear a testimony, he wrote in the language of the Quakers, “against a vice which degrades human nature… The plant of liberty is of so tender a nature that it cannot thrive long in the neighborhood of slavery. Remember, the eyes of all Europe are fixed upon you, to preserve an asylum for freedom in this country after the last pillars of it are fallen in every other quarter of the globe.”
By 1774 this cry had become a commonplace in the pamphlet literature of the northern and middle colonies. How can we “reconcile the exercise of SLAVERY with our professions of freedom,” Richard Wells, “a citizen of Philadelphia,” demanded to know. There was no possible justification for the institution, he said. Even Patrick Henry, while admitting the colonists could not immediately eradicate slavery, said he hoped “an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil.” Samuel Hopkins, in 1776, authored A Dialogue Concerning the Slavery of Africans; Shewing It To Be the Duty and Interest of the American Colonies To Emancipate All the African Slaves, which was widely circulated among those who attended the Continental Congress.
The NY Times describes project 1619. “No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed. In the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is finally time to tell our story truthfully. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.” The truth: The House of Burgesses convened in Jamestown, Virginia on July 30, 1619, before any African had set foot on the North American continent. The Mayflower pilgrims landed in New England in 1620, completely separated from those in Jamestown, with different goals, views, values, and priorities. It is also worth noting that white indentured servants outnumbered slaves and arrived before slaves. Quibble all you want with the distinctions, but in 1619 they were roughly treated the same — terribly on all counts.
To make it all about slavery is to ignore that there were already Europeans in North America before the first slave arrived and there were Europeans arriving in America in different locations quite apart from where slavery was. For a project that claims truth for itself, it is deeply dishonest. The pilgrims in Massachusetts in 1620 were not exactly a group of slave holders as they were setting up shop, forming modes of government, and adopting private property and capitalist meta-structures to avoid failures from collective farming. In fact, in 1623, still well before slavery made it into pilgrim settlements, the Plymouth Plantation abandoned communal property rights in favor of private property rights and a system of free enterprise. (See William Bradford’s On Plymouth Plantation”)
The first essay is by Nikole Hannah-Jones: “Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery. By 1776, Britain had grown deeply conflicted over its role in the barbaric institution that had reshaped the Western Hemisphere. In London, there were growing calls to abolish the slave trade. This would have upended the economy of the colonies, in both the North and the South. The wealth and prominence that allowed Jefferson, at just 33, and the other founding fathers to believe they could successfully break off from one of the mightiest empires in the world came from the dizzying profits generated by chattel slavery.” The truth: During the War for Independence, the French Government provided the Americans with loans, eventually totaling over two million dollars, most of which were negotiated by Benjamin Franklin. John Adams also secured a loan from Dutch bankers in 1782. After fighting between the Americans and the British ended in 1783, the new U.S. Government established under the Articles of Confederation needed to pay off its debt, but lacked sufficient tax authority to secure any revenue. The government struggled to pay off the loans, stopping payments of interest to France in 1785 and defaulting on further installments that were due in 1787. The United States also owed money to the Spanish Government and private Dutch investors, but focused on paying off the Dutch because Amsterdam remained the most likely source of future loans, which the United States successfully obtained in 1787 and 1788, despite its precarious financial state.
“In other words, we may never have revolted against Britain if the founders had not understood that slavery empowered them to do so; nor if they had not believed that independence was required in order to ensure that slavery would continue. It is not incidental that 10 of this nation’s first 12 presidents were enslavers, and some might argue that this nation was founded not as a democracy but as a slavocracy.” No, Nikole the slavocracy is your enslavement to your narrative over the truth.
Massachusetts’ began considerations on abolishing the slave trade in 1767 and voted again in both 1771 and 1774 to end its practice altogether, though both times were overriden by the British governor’s veto. William Wilberforce, a British Christian of the most “fundamentalist” sort that today’s leftist-liberals despise, wrote “So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did the trade’s wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for abolition. Let the consequences be what they would: I from this time determined that I would never rest until I had effected its abolition.” His antislavery efforts finally bore fruit in 1807: Parliament abolished the slave trade in the British Empire. Wilberforce was the single greatest enemy of slavery; the British empire did everything possible to discredit him. He was just the sort of Christian that staffers like those at the New York Times hate.
Yes, it took 58 years longer to abolish slavery in this country than in Britain, mostly because the federalist system allowed the states powers that no entity in Britain had to oppose the central government. In 1865, the 13th amendment, abolishing slavery in the United States, was ratified. One would never know from the NYT essay that 365,000 white union soldiers were killed on battlefields to end the Civil War and another 275,200 soldiers were wounded or fell ill. Only in the last decade have the total war deaths of Americans in all wars combined equaled the loss of live in the Civil War.
So dear readers, back to the question I raised in the beginning. Was the question about Trump, or about you? Would you put ideology ahead of integrity? If not, would you condemn the dishonesty of the New York Times? If so, how are you better than what you think Trump is? Ideology ruled in Soviet Russia, communist China, Nazi Germany. Integrity got you the gun or the gulag. The heroes of history put integrity first. What about you?