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Nikole Hannah-Jones Displays More Historical Illiteracy With Absurd Tweet About Hiroshima Bombing

Hiroshima tweet from Nikole Hannah-Jones

Founder of the ‘1619 Project’ Nikole Hannah-Jones took to Twitter to offer her historically illiterate take on why the U.S. bombed Hiroshima during WWII.


New York Magazine writer and founder of the “1619 Project” Nikole Hannah-Jones took to Twitter this week to offer her historically illiterate take on why the United States bombed Hiroshima during World War II.

In a now-deleted Nov. 6 tweet, Jones attempted to argue that the only reason the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city was due to financial reasons.

“They dropped the bomb when they knew surrender was coming because they’d spent all this money developing it and to prove it was worth it,” she wrote. “Propaganda is not history my friend.”

Jones has since tried to backtrack on the statement, saying that “apparently we are at a time in my career where a tweet response with 100 likes is worthy of all kinds of explication and condemnations five days after I wrote it, even after I’ve deleted it. But sure, ok.”

The historically inaccurate tweet came in a series of comments from the “1619” founder, who said she felt “ashamed” while visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Japan.

“Feeling ashamed of shameful things is not BAD. It’s called being an empathetic and moral human being,” she wrote on Twitter. “Shame helps us do better. When I visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum about the impact of the US’s atomic bomb, as an American, I felt shame.”

Jones later continued, saying, “As a Black AMerican [sic], I knew the same govt that bombed Japan was also actively segregating Black Americans & tacitly condoning racial terrorism & fascism in the U.S. South, and so even though my people were not responsible, as an American and a human I felt shame. How is this bad?”

“The desire for so many Americans to be free of collective shame, collective atonement and collective responsibility for the shameful legacy of centuries of slavery, racism, apartheid & terroristic violence visited upon fellow citizens is the sign of an immature & selfish culture,” added Hannah-Jones, whose “1619 Project” was awarded a Pulitzer Prize despite needing a major correction and being criticized as revisionist history by top historians.

Contrary to Jones’s historical revisionism in her tweet, the United States only dropped the bomb on Hiroshima after the Japanese government’s continued refusal to surrender. As noted by the History Channel, “the Allies issued the Potsdam Declaration, demanding the ‘unconditional surrender of all the Japanese armed forces,’” while also warning that “failure to comply would mean ‘the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitable the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland.’”

Only after Japanese Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki responded by telling the press that Japan was “paying no attention” to the given ultimatum did U.S. President Harry S. Truman decide to drop the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. Even after such devastation left roughly 80,000 people dead, Japan’s supreme war council refused to surrender to the Allies. It was only after a second bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki that the Japanese government began negotiations of surrender with the United States and the rest of the Allied Powers.