March 29, 2023

Fox hosts just threw a telling tantrum over NY Times’ essays about American slavery

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As Donald Trump ramps up his racist rhetoric ahead of the 2020 election, his allies and media surrogates are scrambling to gaslight the country into thinking that the president’s overt, intentional, weaponized bigotry is actually a myth being fabricated by liberals.

Republicans want it both ways. They want to be able to use racism to whip up the hateful wing of their base into a frenzy and drive them to the ballot box, but they also want to be able to deny that they’re being racist in the first place. They want the effect with none of the deserved backlash.

With that in mind, it’s perhaps unsurprising that conservatives are trying to stamp out any discussion of racism at all. It’s become so extreme that they’re even pouncing en masse on the new 1619 project from The New York Times Magazine, a bold attempt to truthfully tell the full, unvarnished history of slavery in America exactly four hundred years after the first enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia.

Rather than grapple with our complicated and often dark and brutal history as a nation, Republicans are slamming the Times for having the temerity to bluntly write about historical facts. The GOP would much rather pretend that slavery never even happened.

Greg Gutfeld, one of the most ignorant and boorish of all the Fox News personalities, attacked the 1619 project as a conspiracy to build a “greater narrative” to undermine and “demonize” President Trump. With his usual prideful ignorance, he conceded that he had not read the article but didn’t let that embarrassing fact stop him from pontificating baselessly. The man is a complete joke and the fact that he has such a massive platform from which to spew his nonsense is a disgrace.

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Former Republican Speaker of the House and pro-Trump ghoul Gingrich got in on the action as well, appearing on Fox to call the 1619 Project a “lie.” He engaged in the usual racist, conservative revisionism by trying to shamelessly downplay the significance of slavery in a manner in which no serious student of history would.

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Other prominent conservatives joined the stampede on Twitter.

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This Republican backlash is so telling as to be almost laughable. Republicans need racism to stay in power and stoking racial divisions is specifically what got Donald Trump elected. The media is finally starting to honestly discuss those basic, inarguable facts and so conservatives are losing it.

There’s a simple litmus test here: if you’re angry about a frank discussion of slavery, you’re probably in a racist party.

Follow Rob Haffey on Twitter.

Robert Haffey

Robert Haffey is a political writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.

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