President Trump uses New York Times’ 1619 Project to reduce illegal immigration
Carlos Delicto, Reporting from the US-Mexico border
President Trump is using the New York Times 1619 Project in a way unanticipated by the Old Gray Lady.
The Times’ promotes its sales of reprint of the original rollout of the project with this tease about its content:
“Four hundred years after enslaved Africans were first brought to Virginia, many Americans still don’t know the full story of slavery, or understand the many ways its legacy continues to shape society in the United States. The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times to correct the record, reframing the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the national narrative.”
But it seems that the best laid plans of the Old Gray Lady and her reporters have gone astray (credit author John Steinbeck).
The Department of Homeland Security has begun distributing booklets profiling the 1619 Project to those traveling north to seek asylum in the U.S. The distribution effort is focused on migratory groups within one-hundred miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as groups from Central America about to cross into Mexico with the intent to reach the U.S.-Mexico border.
The booklets are attractively printed in Spanish, and they give a detailed overview of the 1619 Project that convinces migrants that America is as great as the Times’ says it is.
After reading the booklets – those able to read – many immigrants have turned back to their home country. For those unable to read, there’s a cartoon appendix that pictorially displays the problems they’re likely to encounter in the U.S.
One immigrant, a Mexican national named Juan Gomez, was about to travel at night across the border between Arizona and Mexico when he read the booklet. He said, “After reading about the 1619 project, I now think that white male patriarchy is in America’s blood, and that it cannot be cured. I want to go home to avoid the high carbon levels, and the sexist and racist lifestyle up America. Most of all, I do not want to be a slave!”
Many Central American immigrants, planning to cross into Mexico and then travel through Mexico to get to the U.S., had a similar response.