On this episode of The Federalist Radio Hour, Political Editor John Daniel Davidson interviews Peter Wood, President of National Association of Scholars, on his book “1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project.”
“I’m not arguing something that is novel or strange,” Wood said, noting that the landing of the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock and Mayflower Compact are some of the most historically significant events that occurred at that time in America. “Anyone who has paid reasonable attention to American history knows this already.”
“We now tend to treat the pilgrims and Plymouth Colony as an effort to tear away from the Indians their native rights to the lands and hunting grounds to stimulate war and oppression,” he continued. “So pilgrims have fallen into the same wastebasket of history that a lot of other important elements have in our history.”
According to Wood, slavery and racial oppression belong in U.S. history, but the New York Times’s 1619 Project’s representation of those events presented as a curriculum for children is harmful.
“Part of being a free people is that we are free to remember the mistakes we made,” Wood acknowledged. “We are free to remember the aspirations that helped us overcome those mistakes and strive to become a better people.”
“Cynicism is easy to acquire and very hard to get rid of, especially if you planned it early on in the child’s mind that this is an unworthy country that deserves nothing but contempt, or derision, or perhaps shame,” Wood said. “Shame is not the basis for a society, it becomes merely the basis for tearing a society apart.”