Hours before election day, President Donald Trump created the "Advisory 1776 Commission" to “better enable a rising generation to understand the history and principles of the founding of the United States in 1776.” The newly formed commission will emphasize a "patriotic education" plan that focuses on the pillars of the American government and founding fathers. Trump's new commission will consist of 20 members serving two-year terms within the U.S. Department of Education.
President Trump's order explicitly states that recent protest movements following the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Jacob Blake Jr. and several others were the driving force behind creating the commission.
“In recent years, a series of polemics grounded in poor scholarship has vilified our Founders and our founding. Despite the virtues and accomplishments of this Nation, many students are now taught in school to hate their own country, and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but rather villains,” the order creating the "Advisory 1776 Commission" stated.
“This radicalized view of American history lacks perspective, obscures virtues, twists motives, ignores or distorts facts, and magnifies flaws, resulting in the truth being concealed and history disfigured. Failing to identify, challenge, and correct this distorted perspective could fray and ultimately erase the bonds that knit our country and culture together.”
The President has also been a vocal critic of the The New York Times' 1619 Project. Led by Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize winning project explores the transatlantic slave trade and race theory in America. Much of the public received the project with open arms, but Sen. Tim Cotton threatened to withhold federal funding for any school that used the project in its curriculum. Trump also referred to it as a "twisted web of lies."
"Our mission is to defend the legacy of America's founding, the virtue of America's heroes and the nobility of the American character. We must clear away the twisted web of lies in our schools and classrooms and teach our children the magnificent truth about our country," Trump said.
Trump's new order will look to double down on his comments. With this new commission, Trump hopes to veer away from teaching kids about the country's racist past and offer students a softer, lighter and incomplete image of American history.
“Viewing America as an irredeemably and systemically racist country cannot account for the extraordinary role of the great heroes of the American movement against slavery and for civil rights,” the order states.
“Thus it is necessary to provide America’s young people access to what is genuinely inspiring and unifying in our history, as well as to the lessons imparted by the American experience of overcoming great national challenges. This is what makes possible the informed and honest patriotism that is essential for a successful republic."
Photo: Getty Images