The author of the preposterous 1619 Project seems miffed by the growing grass-roots backlash against the force-feeding of her anti-historical rubbish and it’s offshoots to American schoolchildren. Over in Virginia, for example, Gov. Younkin kicked off his term with an executive order banning Critical Race Theory in Virginia’s public schools. And down in Florida Gov. De Santis is pushing a bill to do much the same.
“Many in mainstream media got caught up in the Republican propaganda campaign, which tried to conflate the teaching of a more accurate (italics mine) history, the teaching of structural racism, with trying to make white children feel badly about themselves or guilty,” whined Nikole Hannah-Jones during a recent interview with the Associated Press.
Ms Hannah-Jones seems to imply that she’s a hard-nosed investigative historian who shrewdly and instantly detects propaganda and inaccuracy. Well:
“Education is the cornerstone of the (Cuban) revolution. Nearly everywhere among the magnificent Havana architecture signs speak of equality and liberation through education," said a euphoric Nikole Hannah-Jones after a Potemkin tour of Stalinist Cuba.
“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted,” famously boasted Vladimir Lenin
Appropriately enough, Castroite Cuba’s most famous “elite” high school is named for Vladimir Lenin.
“This summer (2008) I (Nikole Hannah-Jones) traveled to Cuba with six journalists, documenting the experiences of the African diaspora in the Western Hemisphere for the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies in North Carolina. While there, I found a Cuba you may not know. A Cuba with a 99.8 percent literacy rate, the lowest HIV infection rate in the Western Hemisphere, free college and health care…When Castro took power, fewer than one-quarter of Cubans were literate. Many couldn't afford school. One of Castro's first acts was to universalize education…. Cuba's universal health care system is seen by many as a world model.”
Fact-Check: In fact, when Castro took power, which was barely 50 years after a devastating war of independence that cost Cuba almost a fifth of her population, Cuba boasted almost 80 percent literacy and budgeted the most (23 percent of national expenses) for public education of any Latin American country.
Fact-Check: In 1958, Cuba had a higher standard of living than Ireland and Austria, almost double Spain and Japan’s per-capita income, more doctors and dentists per capita than Britain and lower infant mortality than France and Germany — the 13th lowest in the world, in fact. Today, Cuba’s infant-mortality rate — despite the hemisphere’s highest abortion rate, which favorably skews the figure -- is much lower from the top. So relative to the rest of the world, Cuba’s health care has worsened under the Castros and a nation with a formerly massive influx of European immigrants needs machine guns, water cannons and Tiger sharks to keep it’s people from fleeing, while half-starved Haitians a short 60 miles away turn up their nose at any thought of immigrating to Cuba.
Without Castro, Cuba’s full literacy would have come about probably as quickly and without firing squads, mass graves and a political incarceration rate higher than Stalin’s. Most countries in Latin America with lower literacy rates than Cuba in 1958 have done just that.
Better still, before the Castros and Che Guevara converted Cuba into an intellectual, moral and material sewer, Cubans were actually educated —not indoctrinated with worthless Marxist claptrap, as will many U.S. schoolchildren if Biden’s Education Department in cahoots with such as Nikole Hannah-Jones prevails.
Instead of being force fed essentially the same Marxist imbecilities the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory force-feed its hapless victims, children in pre-Castro Cuba were allowed (encouraged, actually) to read such as George Orwell and Thomas Jefferson not just the arresting wisdom and sparkling prose of Che Guevara. A specimen:
"To the extent that we achieve concrete successes on a theoretical plane — or, vice versa, to the extent that we draw theoretical conclusions of a broad character on the basis of our concrete research — we will have made a valuable contribution to Marxism-Leninism, and to the cause of humanity."
I quote "this intellectual, this most complete human being of our time" (Jean Paul Sartre’s description of Che Guevara) exactly. Cuba’s prisons aren’t its only torture chambers. With such reading assignments Cuba’s classrooms amply qualify for an inspection by Amnesty International.
“Black Cubans especially are wary of outsiders wishing to overthrow the Castro regime,” Nikole Hannah-Smith reported after her Potemkin Cuban tour. “They admit the revolution has been imperfect, but it also led to the end of codified racism and brought universal education and access to jobs to black Cubans. Without the revolution, they wonder, where would they be.”
They would have been spared the boot-heel, lash and slave-yoke of a totalitarian regime which jailed and tortured the longest-suffering black political prisoners in the modern history of the Western hemisphere, that’s where. Many Cuban blacks suffered longer incarceration in the dungeons of Che and the Castros than Nelson Mandela suffered in South Africa’s. Eusebio Penalver, Ignacio Cuesta Valle, Antonio Lopez Munoz, Ricardo Valdes Cancio and many other Cuban blacks suffered almost 30 years in the Castros’ prisons. Bloodied in their fight against Hannah-Jones’ tour guides, they remained unbowed.
But have you ever heard any of their names mentioned by the U.S. media? Eusebio Penalver became a U.S. citizen and lived in Miami for almost 20 years. He would have been a cinch for the media to track down. Has CNN interviewed any of them? Have you ever see any of them on “60 Minutes,” or read about them in The New York Times? Have you ever heard of them on National Public Radio during Black History Month, seen them on the History channel or A&E? Has the NAACP or Congressional Black Caucus mentioned them?
As Ernesto “Che” Guevara wrote in his famous “Motorcycle Diaries” (but was “overlooked” in the famous movie), "The Negro is indolent and spends his money on frivolities and drink, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent." And as he famously sneered at a black Cuban questioner during a press conference in early 1959 who asked him what the revolution planned for blacks: “We’ll do for Cuban blacks exactly what Cuban blacks did for the Cuban revolution. By which I mean: nothing!”
Che was much too modest. “Nothing” is not at all an accurate description of Castroite treatment of Cuba’s blacks. In fact, these lily-white European soldiers' sons (Fidel and Raul) along with Che forcibly overthrew a Cuban government where Cuban blacks served as President of the Senate, Minister of Agriculture, Chief of Army, and Head of State (Fulgencio Batista, a grandson of slaves who was born in a palm-roofed shack). Not that you’ll learn any of this from the liberals’ exclusive educational source on pre-Castro Cuba: the Godfather II movie, or –gulp—if Biden’s Education Department gets its wish, from the writings and blathering of Nikole Hannah-Jones.
In fact: “(Pre-Castro) Cuba had probably the nearest thing to perfect equality between whites and blacks in the world.”
“Aaaaw come ON, Humberto!” some amigos snort. “I mean, let’s not get carried away here! It’s one thing to correct the left’s historical exaggerations! But let’s not exaggerate in the other direction. Puh-leeeze!”
Fair enough, amigos. Fine, then don’t take it from me. Take it from Life Magazine (not exactly a bastion of “embittered- right-wing-Cuban-exiles-with-an-axe-to-grind), where the “perfect equality between races” statement formed the headline on an article they wrote about Cuba in November 1938.