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While Republican naysayers rail against critical race theory, England comes clean.

It seems impossible that four years have passed since the New York Times published the 1619 Project, a study whose goal was to reframe the country's thinking about slavery and illustrate how deeply intertwined the practice of slavery has been—and continues to be—in the shaping of the United States.

Publication Sunday was a hair-on-fire date for the ignorant and for those whose political leanings disallow them from the admission that Black Americans remain victims of discrimination.

Newt Gingrich railed that it was propaganda, and Benjamin Weingarten, a contributor with the conservative publication The Federalist, tweeted that "the purpose of the 1619 Project is to delegitimize America, and further divide and demoralize its citizenry." (Perhaps he forgot we had already "delegitimized" America by electing a grifting sexual predator president.)

I wasn't surprised by the blowback nor by the point of the 1619 Project. I've read Douglass and DuBois, Baldwin and Ellison, Hughes and Dunbar, Giovanni and Brooks, Morrison and Angelou. That doesn't make me erudite, but it does make me conscious. The literature of those writers evolved from imagination, but their truths came from history and experience.

People like Newt Gingrich and others (including, it appears, Clarence Thomas, who has pontificated to anyone vacuous enough to listen that racism is dead will need to double down, for not to do so would be an admission that we still need voting rights guarantees and some enforcement of equal opportunity in the workplace, education, housing, and health care., not tactics that will foment more inequality.

This past Sunday, the defenders of the 1619 Project received a surprise boost from England when the Manchester Guardian, a U.K. newspaper that can trace its roots back 200 years, published an apology for its own ties to the slave trade by which the paper's owners and workers benefited greatly. Manchester itself, one of the world's first commercial centers, achieved its fortunes through cotton, grown almost exclusively in the West Indies and tended to and picked by enslaved people. The Guardian series speaks to reparations and ongoing support for those harmed by the cotton trade and the economic system through which it flourished.

It's going to be another hair-on-fire week or two for the race-deniers and a further affirmation that the history of the Western world, and in many cases its successes, comprise ongoing, dehumanizing, and often brutal assaults on the dignity of an entire race of people. In 2019 it was the New York Times. Now it's the Manchester Guardian.

The exposés comprised years of demanding research. Much of the blowback came in the form of tweets.

That should tell us something.

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