On Monday, Fox News’ Martha MacCallum tussled with American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the subject of the critical race theory-based 1619 Project being taught in schools.

The tense exchange happened during an interview on Monday’s broadcast of “The Story” with Martha MacCallum. 

MacCallum To Teachers Union President: ‘Do You Believe That 1619 Is A Factual Program?’

MacCallum kicked off the segment by asking Weingarten, “Do you believe that 1619 is a factual program?” 

The 1619 Project is a far-left theory that promotes the idea that the United States “really” began in 1619, with the introduction of slavery to the North American continent. 

As the New York Times describes it, 1619 “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States’ national narrative.”

Critics have called it ahistorical and a political narrative.

Weingarten replied, “So Martha, I believe that — I’m a history teacher and a social studies teacher. I believe we should teach history.”

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“From everything I can see and understand from the data I see, 1619 was the year that the first slave boat came from Africa to the United States,” Weingarten said. “So that’s a point in history that I think we should be teaching.”

“That’s a very simplistic take on it,” MacCallum shot back.

The Fox News host pointed out that the 1619 project teaches that 1619 was when the United States began, rather than 1776.

MacCallum then broke down some of the other ideas promoted by the 1619 Project.

MacCallum Breaks Down 1619 Project

According to MacCallum, 1619 promotes the theory that “The reason for the revolution and the colonization was because people wanted to preserve, colonists wanted to preserve slavery. The country was founded on the basis of wanting to preserve slavery.”

“But that is not factual,” MacCallum defended. “That is not true. In fact, scholars in this area say there’s no evidence that colonists were motivated by that in coming to the United States.”

She continued, “So it would be wrong as a historian to want to teach them something that is not true. Because that is the basis that sets up all of these other tenets that lead to teaching kids that we live in a systemically racist country.”

Weingarten said she disagreed with MacCallum. Weingarten cited the author, Nikole Hannah Jones, and said neither she or the author had reached the same conclusion as MacCallum. 

MacCallum replied, “That’s not my conclusion. That’s from their work.”

Then Weingarten brought Donald Trump into the conversation.

“I would hope that Fox would be just as focused on let’s get rid of the misinformation about what happened in this election,” Weingarten said, referring to former President Donald Trump’s claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

“Oh, come on, Randi, come on,” MacCallum shot back. “This is not the topic. I’m not going to talk about that. We talked about that before.”

“That’s a dodge. Okay?” MacCallum said.

The Exchange Becomes Even More Heated

MacCallum then followed up with a question to Weingarten, “I’m asking you — you say you’re a social studies teacher. Do you favor teaching students that 1619 is more important than 1776?”

“Do you favor that?” MacCallum asked.

Weingarten replied, “I favor us teaching about 1776, which I have often done. I favor us teaching about 1619. I also favor us teaching about the holocaust and the genocide in terms of the holocaust.”

“Absolutely. I learned about all of those things in school,” MacCallum responded, but then pivoted back to a major problem she has with the 1619 Project.

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“The problem is — do you think that it’s wrong to suggest to children that if they’re white they belong to an oppressor class and if they’re black they belong to a victim class?” MacCallum said. “Do you have any problem with that?”

“I think we should be lifting up all ethnicities,” Weingarten said. “I don’t think we should say one is an oppressor class and one is a non-oppresser class.”

Weingarten then tried to change the subject. Again.

“If you’re talking about misinformation now, Martha and I hope you are, I really would hope that Fox would really look at what happened in this election and how we can — because every social studies teacher is wrestling with this concern,” Weingarten said.

MacCallum finished by pushing back with, “Nobody is hiding anything under any rocks here.”

 

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