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Conservatives went insane over the New York Times’ ambitious slavery project — but why?

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Last week, The New York Times published a powerful and unusual feature called the “1619 Project,” which marked the 400-year anniversary of a pivotal, but largely forgotten, event that defined everything about America as first a British colony, and then a nation, through history and up to the president day: the first recorded arrival of a ship loaded with enslaved Africans.

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One of the curious responses to the 1619 Project, however, was the massive explosion of outrage from Republicans and conservative commentators. Why, exactly, did an in-depth discussion of slavery trigger such a firestorm from the right?

To understand, it helps to look at the specifics of some of their complaints, which differ in details but converge on a central grievance.

Benjamin Weingarten of The Federalist blasted the feature as an attempt to “delegitimize America” and “divide and demoralize its citizenry”:

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Right-wing commentator Erick Erickson claimed that it is a “neo-Confederate worldview” to assert that slavery was a founding principle of America, and listed off a litany of principles and events that he thinks outweigh slavery in defining America:

Perhaps the most ludicrously over-the-top reaction came from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who raged on Fox News that the Times didn’t give credit to the “several hundred thousand white Americans” who died in the Civil War — and that the whole thing was somehow an underhanded plot to impeach President Donald Trump:

Some commentators, like Elie Mystal, have noted the absurdity that all these complaints seem to center on the idea that no one would like America if a full and complete history of slavery and its brutality was debated publicly.

But there is another, deeper common thread that runs through all these complaints. Conservatives seem to be bristling at the idea that slavery is not just something in our past, but something that shapes what our nation is to this day.

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They don’t want to grapple with the structures we have cyclically built and rebuilt to reduce black Americans to a state “almost” like slavery, from mass incarceration to attacks on voting rights. They don’t want to talk about how stereotypes we formed about black people during slavery affect everything from how willing employers are to hire them to how willing doctors are to prescribe them pain medicine. And they also don’t want to hear how white people were not, in fact, selfless saviors who swooped in and ended slavery in 1863, because that forces them to confront how unwilling they are to address its lasting effects now, from civil rights to reparations.

The 1619 Project brings all those issues bubbling to the surface. And as such, conservatives find it unacceptable.


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The DOJ is suing Omarosa over the same law Brett Kavanaugh is accused of violating: Ex-White House ethics chief

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On Monday, former Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub noted a massive double standard at the Justice Department, pointing out that government attorneys are suing Omarosa Manigault Newman for financial disclosure violations — while giving a free pass to Brett Kavanaugh, who is accused of even more serious financial disclosure violations.

In fact, noted Shaub, not only is the DOJ not pursuing that allegation, Attorney General Bill Barr is giving the DOJ employees who helped fast-track Kavanaugh through Supreme Court confirmation hearings a prestigious award, usually reserved for prosecutors who take down terrorists and mob bosses:

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2020 Election

Trump’s longshot bid to win New Mexico has political leaders baffled: ‘He’s a batsh*t racist’

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Despite losing New Mexico by eight points in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump and his campaign manager Brad Pascale are making big plans to win the state in 2020 -- and that has political observers baffled.

With Trump appearing in New Mexico on Monday night, Politico reports the president has his work cut out for him in a state that saw the GOP lose the governorship and one House seat in 2018.

"The Land of Enchantment has voted for a Republican presidential candidate only once since 1992. With a considerable nonwhite voter population and all-Democratic congressional delegation, it’s not exactly fertile ground for a surprise GOP victory," the report notes before adding that Parscale feels they can make inroads this go-around.

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Oil prices soar more than 10% after Saudi plant attacks

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Oil prices surged more than 10 percent Monday after attacks on two Saudi Arabian plants that slashed output in the world's top producer by half, with Donald Trump blaming Iran and raising the possibility of a military strike on the country.

West Texas Intermediate jumped 10.68 percent to $60.71 and Brent climbed 11.77 percent to $67.31 in early Asia trading following the blasts at facilities run by state-owned giant Aramco.

The attack by Tehran-backed Huthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply.

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