Trump commission attempts racist whitewashing of history
(Darren Baker/Shutterstock)

Trump Commission Attempts Racist Whitewashing of History; Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert Probed for Potential Role in Capitol Insurrection; and More

Trump commission’s “1776 Report” attempts racist whitewashing of history

In the highly controversial “1776 Report” released by the Trump administration yesterday, the outgoing GOP party doesn’t just try to present a nonpartisan, “patriotic” look at the nation’s history (as the President had promised the report would do) it fully rewrites the country’s story, downplaying the impact of racism, filling the nation’s narrative and school curriculum with lies and revisionist propaganda.

“It’s a hack job. It’s not a work of history,” American Historical Association executive director James Grossman told the Washington Post’s Gillian Brockell. “It’s a work of contentious politics designed to stoke culture wars.”

Among the problems contained within the 45-page report:

  • It’s not well-researched. “This ‘report’ lacks citations or any indication books were consulted, which explains why it’s riddled in errors, distortions and outright lies,” historian Alexis Coe told Brockell. 
  • It doesn’t paint an accurate picture of slavery in the country. “This report makes it seems as if slaveholding founding fathers were abolitionists; that Americans were the early beacon of the global abolitionist movement; that the demise of slavery in the United States was inevitable,” Boston University historian Ibram X. Kendi tweeted. (Kendi’s book, How to Be an Antiracist appears on DiversityInc’s recommended antiracist reading list.) 
  • It ignores scholarly analysis of history and doesn’t attempt to put events in historical context. “This is written as if no historical scholarship has been produced in nearly 70 years, so it’s bereft of any professional historical sensibility at all,” said Grossman. 
  • “It reduces history to hero worship,” Princeton professor Sean Wilentz told Brockell. “It’s the flip side of those polemics, presented as history, that charge the nation was founded as a slavocracy, and that slavery and white supremacy are the essential themes of American history. It’s basically a political document, not history.”

According to Brockell, the commission Trump established to create the report “began in part as a response to The New York Times1619 Project, a group of essays by historians and journalists about the way slavery has shaped the nation” — a project that Wilentz was also critical of.

 

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert probed for potential role in Capitol Insurrection Attempt

Freshman Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert — a guns rights advocate and QAnon supporter — is at the center of controversy swirling around Washington D.C. following the attempted insurrection on the Capitol earlier this month.

CNN has reported that multiple individuals claim to have seen Boebert leading a large group on a private tour of the Capitol in the days leading up to the attack, in what some have called a reconnaissance mission, providing inside details of office locations and building layouts to Trump supporters in advance of their Capitol break-in. The claims are currently under investigation by a number of different law enforcement agencies.

“We saw Boebert taking a group of people for a tour sometime after the 3rd and before the 6th,” Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen told CNN’s Jim Sciutto. “Now whether these people were people that were involved in the insurrection or not, I do not know.” He then added: “It was pretty clear that … she’s not on the home team. She was with the visitors.”

For her part, Boebert has so far denied the claims, saying the only people she had with her the day of the tour were members of her family and that the group was simply taking pictures.

Still, just days into her first term as a state representative, Boebert has generated plenty of headlines. She has refused to stop carrying her personal gun — a Glock — on Capitol Hill citing her 2nd Amendment rights to have the weapon. Her first communications director has already resigned after less than two weeks on the job. Colorado Democrats Kerry Donovan and Dylan Roberts have already announced plans to run for Boebert’s position, unseating the lawmaker whose popularity levels have plummeted in her home state. And San Francisco Giants owner Charles B. Johnson, who (along with his wife) donated $5,600 to Boebert’s campaign has asked for a refund, citing intense anger from the team’s fans over her actions and behavior in just her first few days in office. More is surely to come…

 

Biden names transgender woman for assistant health secretary.

In a continuing effort to create an administration that looks like America, President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine for the position of Assistant Secretary of Health. If confirmed by the Senate, Levine would become the highest ranking openly transgender federal official in the country’s history, The Associated Press has reported.

“Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic — no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability — and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond,” Biden said in a statement following the announcement. “She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts.”

According to AP reporter Will Weissert, Levine is currently the Health Secretary for the state of Pennsylvania. Prior to that role, the pediatrician and alumna of both Harvard University and Tulane Medical School served as the state’s physician general.

Levine would join Dr. Anthony Fauci, Human Services secretary nominee Xavier Becerra, coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients, infectious-disease specialist and appointed director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Rochelle Walensky, surgeon general Vivek Murthy and Yale epidemiologist Marcella Nunez-Smith. As the nation’s top health care workers, they have been collectively tasked to manage the equitable distribution of the vaccine and to lead the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

 

D.I. Fast Facts

 

73

The declining percentage of misinformation being spread about the 2020 election via social media in the week following President Trump’s ban from Twitter
Washington Post

 

2 to 3 times

Rate at which white Americans are being vaccinated for COVID-19 compared to the vaccination rate for Black Americans
Atlanta Journal Constitution

 

47

Percentage of Netflix workforce that was female in 2020, up from 40% in 2017.
Bloomberg

 

5 inches

The thickness of the bible (a 127-year-old family heirloom) President Joe Biden will be sworn in with on Wednesday, Jan. 20
The Today Show

 

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.

 

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