By Dave Scott
8-5-22, Fernandina Beach
NEWS LEADER WRITER’S BOOK REVIEW CAUSES MENTAL DYSPEPSIA
Fernandina Beach News Leader columnist and former local car dealership owner, Rick Keffer, wrote in his Friday, July 29 “Keffer’s Corner” column (“A historic eye opener”) that he recently read a book, something he admitted he rarely does.
He wrote, “I am not a book reader” but “digested this one ‘bit by bit’ and ”learned about Black American history.” He would have been better off eating and digesting it bite by bite.
He says the book – “The 1619 Project”– by Nikole Hannah-Jones, was gifted to him six months ago and “…has changed my outlook.”
In his column Mr. Keffer wrote that the book so influenced him that he is now working with a local group called Nassau Racial Equity Coalition (NREC) to “engage the business community, the medical community, our school system and law enforcement.”
Mr. Keffer said he wants “to stem a four-century tide of our minority history.” That’s frightening, because the book that influenced him to become a local activist promotes critical race theory, revisionist history and racial hatred.
The naïve and admittedly poorly read Mr. Keffer has been duped. He swallowed the book’s bunkum hook, line, and sinker.
Celebrated historians, journalists and educators have debunked the sloppy book’s theory, more than two hundred years of American literature disproves it, most alert parents know it’s false, and yet it is being promoted as part of grade school curricula and unquestionable orthodoxy on college campuses. Mr. Keffer, The naïve local columnist, says he intends to actively promote it here in Nassau County schools.
The “1619 Project” is not just bad history and hogswallop, it’s a danger to our national way of life, replacing the idea, goal, and reality of American unity with race-based obsessions that have played out in violence, riots, and the destruction of American monuments—not to mention the wholesale rewriting of America’s historical and cultural past. That’s not just my opinion.
In her 2021 book, Debunking the 1619 Project, scholar Dr. Mary Grabar, eloquently exposed the 1619 Project, showing in dramatic fashion, just how full of flat-out lies, distortions, and noxious propaganda the book really is. Dr. Grabar’s book is essential reading for every concerned parent, citizen, school board member, and policymaker. The “1619 Project” is not, as Rick Keffer thinks, a handbook for use by our school systems and law enforcement, just the opposite.
The book has been roundly criticized, condemned, and discredited by as many celebrated black authors, essayists, intellectuals, and educators as white ones. These include the late Walter Williams; civil rights attorney Leo Terrell; author and columnist Candace Owens; Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley; author, educator, and economist Thomas Sowell; author, and columnist Larry Elder; commentator and author James Golden; retired neurosurgeon and former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson; and Robert Woodson founder of the Woodson Institute. These prominent blacks who disagree with Ms. Hannah-Jones have been called “race traitors” by leftists.
George Leef the director for editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal summed up the book writing: “The ‘1619 Project’ is the product of a faux newspaper (the New York Times) and a faux journalist (Nikole Hannah-Jones) meant to convince people that the U.S. is an irredeemably racist country. One of its claims is that the American Revolution occurred because the inhabitants of the colonies were afraid that Britain was going to abolish slavery.”
George Mason University economics professor Don Boudreau struck another blow. “The fact of the matter is that the 1619 Project is not really about history at all,” he says. “The NYT and Ms. Hannah-Jones want to instill animosity toward the U.S. in hopes that readers will adopt the ‘progressive’ mindset that the country must be transformed from a liberal (in the original sense of the word) republic into a tightly controlled socialist nanny state run by the elites.”
In his Washington Times review of Dr. Grabar’s book, Herbert W. Stupp, the editor of Gipperten.com and a former New York City Commissioner (1994-2002) says: “Perhaps the most pernicious aspect of the 1619 Project is the actual harm it can do to young people. Non-Black youth, if persuaded that racism is ‘in their DNA,’ might wrongly accept ‘collective guilt’ for what some evil whites did well before they were born. Such an acceptance runs headlong into long-accepted Judeo-Christian principles of individual responsibility for one’s actions and inactions. Even more harmful,” he points out, “is the likely impact on Black young people, who might waste potential if they believe a “racist system” is hopelessly rigged against them.”
Published earlier this year, Woody Holton’s new book about the Revolution, “Liberty is Sweet”, flatly dismisses the 1619 Project’s assertation that America’s founding should be shifted to the first arrival of slaves. Holton accurately shows that white southerners and other colonists did not support the revolution because they feared the growth of an anti-slavery movement in Britain.
The next time Mr. Keffer decides to read a book about America’s founding and or slavery he should do some research and select one by an authenticated and respected historian and accomplished author. Some he may want to consider adding to his thinly populated bookshelf include: “John Adams” and “1776”, by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough; “The Day the American Revolution Began” by William H. Hallahan; “Founding Brothers” by Joseph J. Ellis; “Paul Revere’s Ride” by David Hackett Fisher; “Redcoat” by Bernard Cornwell; “The British Are Coming”, by Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson, and anything by the late Stephen Ambrose.
In his column Mr. Keffer says he is a “very conservative Republican.” Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Chaney said the same thing once. The News Leader’s self-described socialist columnist, Ron “Get Off My Lawn You Little Bastards” Sapp, must have a big grin on his face after reading Mr. Keffer’s claptrap.
Mr. Keffer may not be the most naïve person in Nassau County, but he should hope whoever is doesn’t die.
Read the rest of Dave’s 8-5-22 post
Republished with the author’s permission. Read The Dave Scott Blog– subscribe Free
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.