Donald Trump has threatened to defund California schools that are using The 1619 Project in their curriculum.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning set of essays and photos, which was collected by the New York Times, sets the beginning of the United States’ history at 1619 when slaves first arrived in Virginia, rather than in 1776 when the country became independent from the UK.
But the President vehemently opposes the idea and took to Twitter on Sunday to warn schools thinking of going ahead with the change.
He said: “Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded!”
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton is among the Republicans supporting Trump’s desire to quash The 1619 Project as he looks to go one step further by banning it from being taught through legislation called ‘Saving American History Act of 2020’.
The act would ‘prohibit the use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project by K-12 schools or school districts. Schools that teach the 1619 Project would also be ineligible for federal professional-development grants’.
The move from Trump comes just days after he banned federal agencies from carrying out racial sensitivity training related to ‘white privilege’ and ‘critical race theory’.
A two-page memo was released to federal agencies by Russell Vought, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, telling the organisations to stop this type of training.
It read: “Employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend training where they are told that ‘virtually all White people contribute to racism” or where they are required to say that they ‘benefit from racism’.
“These types of ‘trainings’ not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce.
“The President has directed me to ensure that federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions.”