1619 Project founder sparks outrage saying communist Cuba among ‘most equal’ countries in the world

1619 Project founder Nikole Hannah-Jones has claimed that Cuba is the most equal country in the world because socialism ensures the ‘least inequality.’

Speaking during a podcast with Ezra Klein of Vox and The New York Times, Hannah-Jones was asked for her thoughts on places around the world that had a ‘viable and sufficiently ambitious integration agenda.’

She said that while not claiming to be an expert on international race relations she thought Cuba to be among the most ‘equal’ and ‘multiracial’ country in the western hemisphere due to its socialist society..   

‘The most equal multi-racial country in our hemisphere, it would be Cuba,’ she began.

Psaki said that Howard University students 'are quite lucky' to have Nikole Hannah-Jones as a faculty member 'and in their family'

Psaki said that Howard University students 'are quite lucky' to have Nikole Hannah-Jones as a faculty member 'and in their family'

Psaki said that Howard University students ‘are quite lucky’ to have Nikole Hannah-Jones as a faculty member ‘and in their family’

Hannah-Jones has announced she will join the historically-black Howard University

Hannah-Jones has announced she will join the historically-black Howard University

Hannah-Jones has announced she will join the historically-black Howard University

MIAMI - Cuban Americans show support for protestors in Cuba during the Rally For Democracy at the Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida

MIAMI - Cuban Americans show support for protestors in Cuba during the Rally For Democracy at the Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida

MIAMI – Cuban Americans show support for protestors in Cuba during the Rally For Democracy at the Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida

MIAMI Many Cubans have been crying for freedom from the communist dictatorship and expressing anger over rising prices, goods shortages, and poor health care

MIAMI Many Cubans have been crying for freedom from the communist dictatorship and expressing anger over rising prices, goods shortages, and poor health care

MIAMI Many Cubans have been crying for freedom from the communist dictatorship and expressing anger over rising prices, goods shortages, and poor health care

WASHINGTON, DC - A demonstrator writes on a sign showing solidarity with protesters in Cuba outside the White House

WASHINGTON, DC - A demonstrator writes on a sign showing solidarity with protesters in Cuba outside the White House

WASHINGTON, DC – A demonstrator writes on a sign showing solidarity with protesters in Cuba outside the White House

MIAMI-A women shouts from her car while holding a Nicaraguan flag during a protest showing support for Cubans demonstrating against their government, At Versailles Restaurant

MIAMI-A women shouts from her car while holding a Nicaraguan flag during a protest showing support for Cubans demonstrating against their government, At Versailles Restaurant

MIAMI-A women shouts from her car while holding a Nicaraguan flag during a protest showing support for Cubans demonstrating against their government, At Versailles Restaurant 

MIAMI - A woman holds a Cuban flag during a protest showing support for Cubans

MIAMI - A woman holds a Cuban flag during a protest showing support for Cubans

MIAMI – A woman holds a Cuban flag during a protest showing support for Cubans

MIAMI - People hold Cuban, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan flags during a protest showing support for Cuba

MIAMI - People hold Cuban, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan flags during a protest showing support for Cuba

MIAMI – People hold Cuban, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan flags during a protest showing support for Cuba

NEW JERSEY - A woman speaks to the crowd during a protest showing support for Cubans demonstrating against their government, in Union City, New Jersey on Sunday

NEW JERSEY - A woman speaks to the crowd during a protest showing support for Cubans demonstrating against their government, in Union City, New Jersey on Sunday

NEW JERSEY – A woman speaks to the crowd during a protest showing support for Cubans demonstrating against their government, in Union City, New Jersey on Sunday

‘Cuba has the least inequality between black and white people anyplace really in the hemisphere. I mean, the Caribbean, most of the Caribbean it’s hard to count because the white population in a lot of those countries is very, very small. 

‘A lot of those countries are run by black folks. But in places that are truly at least biracial countries, Cuba actually has the least inequality. And that’s largely due to socialism – which I’m sure no one wants to hear,’ she said during the 2019 podcast.

The rediscovered remarks sparked disbelief among many commenters online.

The rediscovered remarks sparked outrage among some commenters on Twitter

The rediscovered remarks sparked outrage among some commenters on Twitter

The rediscovered remarks sparked outrage among some commenters on Twitter 

‘This is the person Progressives want teaching history to your kids,’ tweeted conservative talk show host Jason Rantz.

‘Founder of 1619 project & outspoken (idiot) communist, says Cuba has the least inequality between Black & White people. She’s correct, because there’s no democrat party to ensure everyone is divided. Also, communism is an equal opportunity oppressor,’ wrote Jonathan T. Gilliam, an ex-Navy Seal turned author.

‘Crazy!’ declared senior writer for the Houston Chronicle Cindy Horswell. 

‘Then let’s send her there! And she can live her dreams!!!’ wrote Ken Hebden.

‘I think one should be required to live in the country one believes is superior for a year before endorsing it as preferred location over one’s own country,’ suggested Twitter user Jerry. 

‘They just allow anyone to be thought leaders these days,’ wrote another social media user. 

‘1619 project creator says Cuba’s dictator government is a model for other countries. The woman Nikole Hannah-Jones is that crazy! She wants America to be like Cuba, a communist country Cuban ppl are protesting for their freedom & are tired of tyranny. This is all u need to know.’ tweeted Steve.

‘Why don’t she move to Cuba then ??? Let her see how the people are treated, for awhile, then see what she thinks !!!’ added Alabama Lady.    

WASHINGTON D.C. - Hundreds of protesters plead for liberty for Cuba in front of the White House in solidarity with the Cuban people. Protesters demanded US intervention to free Cuba

WASHINGTON D.C. - Hundreds of protesters plead for liberty for Cuba in front of the White House in solidarity with the Cuban people. Protesters demanded US intervention to free Cuba

WASHINGTON D.C. – Hundreds of protesters plead for liberty for Cuba in front of the White House in solidarity with the Cuban people. Protesters demanded US intervention to free Cuba

VATICAN CITY - Members of the Cuban community hold flags of Cuba ahead of the Angelus prayer led by Pope Francis, in St Peter's Square at the Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Members of the Cuban community hold flags of Cuba ahead of the Angelus prayer led by Pope Francis, in St Peter's Square at the Vatican

VATICAN CITY – Members of the Cuban community hold flags of Cuba ahead of the Angelus prayer led by Pope Francis, in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Cubans stand in St. Peter's Square to pray with the Pope

VATICAN CITY - Cubans stand in St. Peter's Square to pray with the Pope

VATICAN CITY – Cubans stand in St. Peter’s Square to pray with the Pope

The unearthed remarks come as Cubans have taken to the streets for an unprecedented show of protest against the communist regime, crying for freedom from the communist dictatorship and expressing anger over rising prices, goods shortages, and poor health care amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

More than ten years prior, Hannah-Jones wrote an op-ed where she noted the many overlooked accomplishments that had been made in Cuba including what she touted as a high literacy rate in the country, low HIV infection rate and ‘model’ universal health care system.

She claims the Cuban revolution led to the ‘end of codified racism’ and brought about universal education and access to jobs for black Cubans.

WASHINGTON D.C. - Marisol protests the lack of freedom and a worsening economy in her homeland of Cuba while in front of the White House on Sunday

WASHINGTON D.C. - Marisol protests the lack of freedom and a worsening economy in her homeland of Cuba while in front of the White House on Sunday

WASHINGTON D.C. – Marisol protests the lack of freedom and a worsening economy in her homeland of Cuba while in front of the White House on Sunday

NEW JERSEY - People wave Cuban flags on their car during a protest showing support for Cubans

NEW JERSEY - People wave Cuban flags on their car during a protest showing support for Cubans

NEW JERSEY – People wave Cuban flags on their car during a protest showing support for Cubans

WEST PALM BEACH - Joe Yoko prepares to take part in rally at West Palm Beach city hall to support anti-government protesters in Cuba

WEST PALM BEACH - Joe Yoko prepares to take part in rally at West Palm Beach city hall to support anti-government protesters in Cuba

WEST PALM BEACH – Joe Yoko prepares to take part in rally at West Palm Beach city hall to support anti-government protesters in Cuba

WEST PALM BEACH - People take part in a rally at West Palm Beach city hall to support anti-government protesters in Cuba on Sunday

WEST PALM BEACH - People take part in a rally at West Palm Beach city hall to support anti-government protesters in Cuba on Sunday

WEST PALM BEACH – People take part in a rally at West Palm Beach city hall to support anti-government protesters in Cuba on Sunday 

HAVANA: Cubans participate in a rally to support the government of President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana this weekend

HAVANA: Cubans participate in a rally to support the government of President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana this weekend

HAVANA: Cubans participate in a rally to support the government of President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana this weekend

HAVANA: People carry images of Cuba's former President and First Secretary of the Communist Party Raul Castro during a rally in Havana, Cuba this weekend

HAVANA: People carry images of Cuba's former President and First Secretary of the Communist Party Raul Castro during a rally in Havana, Cuba this weekend

HAVANA: People carry images of Cuba’s former President and First Secretary of the Communist Party Raul Castro during a rally in Havana, Cuba this weekend

Demonstrators use candles to spell out SOS in solidarity with protests in Cuba outside the White House. The protests come amid demonstrations in Cuba over the lack of food, the pace of Covid-19 vaccinations and the government

Demonstrators use candles to spell out SOS in solidarity with protests in Cuba outside the White House. The protests come amid demonstrations in Cuba over the lack of food, the pace of Covid-19 vaccinations and the government

Demonstrators use candles to spell out SOS in solidarity with protests in Cuba outside the White House. The protests come amid demonstrations in Cuba over the lack of food, the pace of Covid-19 vaccinations and the government

The 1619 Project is a project spearheaded by The New York Times that looks into the effects of slavery on U.S. history. 

Hannah-Jones, a New York Times reporter won the Pulitzer Prize for the 1619 Project which ‘reframed’ American history to focus on when the first Africans arrived to Virginia as slaves.

But the 2019 series of essays has come under withering criticism for portraying American history as fundamentally racist and also containing historical inaccuracies and generalizations.

She tweeted at the time: ‘You do not produce a project like this and not expect pushback. History, in general, is contested. Historians debate, disagree and interpret differently the same set of facts. Historians also produce history from a vantage point. This project unsettled many. I think that is good.’ 

WASHINGTON D.C.: A woman holds a sign with the Cuban flag calling for 'FREEDOM FOR CUBA'

WASHINGTON D.C.: A woman holds a sign with the Cuban flag calling for 'FREEDOM FOR CUBA'

WASHINGTON D.C.: A woman holds a sign with the Cuban flag calling for ‘FREEDOM FOR CUBA’

WASHINGTON D.C.: A man holds a sign that reads 'THE REGIME IS KILLING HUMANS FOR SPEAKING' at an protest outside the White House this weekend

WASHINGTON D.C.: A man holds a sign that reads 'THE REGIME IS KILLING HUMANS FOR SPEAKING' at an protest outside the White House this weekend

WASHINGTON D.C.: A man holds a sign that reads ‘THE REGIME IS KILLING HUMANS FOR SPEAKING’ at an protest outside the White House this weekend

WASHINGTON D.C.: A man is pictured draped with the Cuban flag outside of the White House

WASHINGTON D.C.: A man is pictured draped with the Cuban flag outside of the White House

WASHINGTON D.C.: A man is pictured draped with the Cuban flag outside of the White House

Behind the New York Times’ hotly-contested 1619 Project: Critics claim the series was riddled with inaccuracies because authors ignored fact-checker’s notes

The 1619 Project won the Pulitzer Prize in 2019. It was praised by some as shining a light on untold history, but lambasted by others, including former President Donald Trump, for what he said was a jaundiced view of the US

The 1619 Project won the Pulitzer Prize in 2019. It was praised by some as shining a light on untold history, but lambasted by others, including former President Donald Trump, for what he said was a jaundiced view of the US

The 1619 Project won the Pulitzer Prize in 2019. It was praised by some as shining a light on untold history, but lambasted by others, including former President Donald Trump, for what he said was a jaundiced view of the US

In August 2019 the New York Times Magazine published the 1619 project, a collection of essays, photo essays, short fiction pieces and poems aimed to ‘reframe’ American history based on the impact of slaves brought to the US.

It was published to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in the English colonies.

It argues that the nation’s birth was not 1776 with independence from the British crown, but in August 1619 with the arrival of a cargo ship of 20 to 30 enslaved Africans at Point Comfort in the colony of Virginia, which inaugurated the system of slavery.

The project argues that slavery was the country’s origin and out of it ‘grew nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional.’

That includes economic might, industry, the electoral system, music, public health and education inequities, violence, income inequality, slang, and racial hatred. 

However, the project is debated among historians for its factual accuracy.

In March 2020 historian Leslie M. Harris who served as a fact checker for the project said authors ignored her corrections, but believed the project was needed to correct prevailing historical narratives.

One aspect up for debate is the timeline. 

Time Magazine said the first slaves arrived in 1526 in a Spanish colony in what is now South Carolina, 93 years prior to the landing in Jamestown. 

Some experts say slaves first arrived at present-day Fort Monroe in Hampton, instead of Jamestown. 

Others argue the first Africans in Virginia were indentured servants as laws on lifetime slavery didn’t appear till 17th century and early 18th century, but worked essentially as slaves.    

Princeton historian Sean Wilentz criticized the 1619 Project’s ‘cynicism,’ according to the Atlantic magazine. 

He distributed a letter signed by historians that asked the newspaper to correct what it said were factual errors.

The letter said the series was ‘ displacement of historical understanding by ideology.’

Newt Gingrich in a 2019 USA Today article said the project was a lie and that ‘there were several hundred thousand white Americans who died in the Civil War in order to free the slaves.’

In March 2020, the New York Times wrote a seemingly half-hearted ‘clarification’ to part of the 1619 project on a part of the series that said one of the primary reasons the colonists fought in the American Revolution was to protect slavery.

The clarification read: ‘We recognize that our original language could be read to suggest that protecting slavery was a primary motivation for all of the colonists. The passage has been changed to make clear that this was a primary motivation for some of the colonists. A note has been appended to the story as well’

Also that month, a professor, Leslie M. Harris, who helped fact-check the project wrote in Politico, said that she’d repeatedly argued against Hannah-Jones against the idea that the people who fought in the American Revolution to preserve slavery.

‘I vigorously disputed the claim,’ she wrote in the Politico op-ed. ‘Although slavery was certainly an issue in the American Revolution, the protection of slavery was not one of the main reasons the 13 Colonies went to war.’

Despite the expert’s advice, the Times published the story without changing the inaccuracy, something that ‘stunned’ Harris, she wrote. 

‘In addition, the paper’s characterizations of slavery in early America reflected laws and practices more common in the antebellum era than in Colonial times, and did not accurately illustrate the varied experiences of the first generation of enslaved people that arrived in Virginia in 1619,’ Harris said, listing another inaccuracy.

Harris did contend that slavery was ‘central to’ the United States’ story, but that it was ‘not, in fact, founded to protect slavery.’

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