ARKANSAS Senator Tom Cotton said slavery a ‘necessary evil upon which the union was built’ as he called to defund schools that teach the New York Times’ controversial 1619 Project, Your Content can report.
The senator was explaining the need for his new bill that would defund schools that teach the New York Times’ controversial 1619 Project about slavery in the US.
Cotton, an outspoken Republican, made the jarring remark in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Sunday as he promoted a new bill that would defund schools that teach the New York Times’ controversial 1619 Project about slavery in the US.
The senator argued that slavery is a critical piece of American history, saying: “As the founding fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction.”
Cotton later defended his comment by insisting that he was merely citing the founding fathers in a tweet reposted by President Donald Trump, and his office stated that the senator does not personally believe slavery was a ‘necessary evil.’
The 1619 Project, launched by the Times in 2019, examines how slavery shaped and continues to permeate all aspects of American society.
The Times teamed up with the nonprofit Pulitzer Center to create a curriculum based on the project for primary and secondary schools.
Cotton branded the project “left-wing propaganda’ that is ‘factually and historically flawed.”
In his interview with the Democrat-Gazette, Cotton argued: “The entire premise of the New York Times’ factually, historically flawed 1619 Project … is that America is at root, a systemically racist country to the core and irredeemable.
“I reject that root and branch. America is a great and noble country founded on the proposition that all mankind is created equal. We have always struggled to live up to that promise, but no country has ever done more to achieve it.
“We have to study the history of slavery and its role and impact on the development of our country because otherwise we can’t understand our country.”
Cotton’s bill does not have any co-sponsors and is not expected to pass in Congress, despite widespread GOP opposition to the 1619 Project and the curriculum created out of it.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, the project’s creator who won a Pulitzer Prize for her introductory essay to the inaugural issue, reacted to Cotton’s bill on Friday and said it “speaks to the power of journalism more than anything I’ve ever done in my career.”
Hannah-Jones spoke out again on Sunday after Cotton’s interview came out, tweeting: “If chattel slavery – heritable, generational, permanent, race-based slavery where it was legal to rape, torture, and sell human beings for profit – were a ‘necessary evil’ as Tom Cotton says, it’s hard to imagine what cannot be justified if it is a means to an end.”
She continued: “Imagine thinking a non-divisive curriculum is one that tells black children the buying and selling of their ancestors, the rape, torture, and forced labor of their ancestors for PROFIT, was just a ‘necessary evil’ for the creation of the ‘noblest’ country the world has ever seen.
“So, was slavery foundational to the Union on which it was built, or nah? You heard it from Tom Cotton himself.”