MSNBC’s “Weekends with Alex Witt,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) reacted to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) letter to the Department of Education criticizing the 1619 Project and other curriculum items by saying that if schools “were to follow his lead, they’ll be turning out a lot of ignorant people.”
Clyburn said that America is great “because we have always been able to repair our faults” like slavery and segregation.
When the interview turned to McConnell’s letter on the 1619 Project, Clyburn said, “I used to teach history. I study history every day, and I would tell my kids — the students in my class, I would tell them all the time, look, don’t bring these dates to me. 1619 is a date when black folks were introduced to this country and we know that. Am I not supposed to know that? 1492 wasn’t the year that this country was discovered. That’s when Columbus found his way here. Native Americans were here all the time. We should put history in the proper perspective. And you don’t do that by ignoring the facts. McConnell ought to be ashamed of himself. If the schools down in Kentucky were to follow his lead, they’ll be turning out a lot of ignorant people. And I would hope that we would do what is necessary so everybody will put history in its proper context. George Santayana admonished, if you fail to learn the lessons of history, you’re bound to repeat them. We need to learn history, learn the lessons of history, and work on doing what is necessary not to repeat certain things about our history so that we can avoid all these pitfalls going forward. Mitch McConnell needs to come on board.”