The Three Rs: Reading, Writing, and Reparations?

The 1619 Project Education Network, in conjunction with the Pulitzer Center, have released a new curriculum for high school students that will convert some math classes into a discussion of reparations and racial justice.  Students will be asked to work out the math on the payment for past years of slavery and racial discrimination. A 2020 report found that prior 1619 Project curriculum proposals have been adopted in over 3,500 classrooms across all 50 states.The program, “Reparations Math and Reparations History,” is designed to have “students apply math skills, research into historical wealth gaps in the U.S., and an analysis of different reparations models to an investigation into whether or not reparations should be paid to the descendents of enslaved people in the U.S..”The 1619 Project has long been controversial due to questions over its historical accuracy, including opposition by some history teachers. The project is most associated with former New York Times writer and now Howard University Professor Nikole Hannah-Smith.  Hannah-Smith has declared that “all journalism is activism.”

As previously discussed, the objections to the 1619 Project concerned some of its sweeping historical claims over slavery being a motivation for the American Revolution and labeling figures like Abraham Lincoln as racists.

According to The Atlantic, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz criticized that work and some of Hannah-Jones’s other work in a letter signed by scholars James McPherson, Gordon Wood, Victoria Bynum, and James Oakes. They raised “matters of verifiable fact” that “cannot be described as interpretation or ‘framing.’” They objected that the work represented “a displacement of historical understanding by ideology.” The Atlantic noted that “given the stature of the historians involved, the letter is a serious challenge to the credibility of the 1619 Project, which has drawn its share not just of admirers but also critics.” Researchers claimed the New York Times ignored them in raising the errors. The New York Times was criticized later for a “clarification” that undermined a main premise of her writing. None of that appeared to concern the Pulitzer Committee.

Under the new program, students would have to do the reparations math over the course of three to four school weeks. Teachers would prompt students to “evaluate whether they think reparations should be paid to descendents of enslaved people.”

This is not the first effort to redesign math curriculum with antiracist themes. Academics at schools like Vanderbilt have denounced math as “racist.”  We previously discussed the view of University of Rhode Island professor (and Director of Graduate Studies of History) Erik Loomis that “Science, statistics, and technology are all inherently racist.” Others have agreed with that view, including denouncing math as racist or a “tool of whiteness.” There are also calls for the “decolonization” of math as a field.

Others have called for “decolonizing” math and, at schools like Bates College, professors proposed redesigning math courses to focus on the concepts of “colonialism and privilege.”

The introduction of a reparations-focused math curriculum comes at a time when many are pushing for payments of as much as $5 million per eligible resident in states like California.

This month, a Biden appointee and law professor called upon the United Nations to act to secure reparations for black Americans and to end “the continuation of slavery” through mass incarceration in the United States. Howard Law Professor Justin Hansford is the only American representative on the United Nations Permanent Forum on People of African Descent.

Recently, Democrats introduced a bill demanding $14 trillion in reparations.

As task forces in states like California have issued recommendations for payments, the demands are presenting a challenge for Democratic politicians who have long campaigned on such payments as a moral imperative. That bill has now come due but politicians like California Gov. Gavin Newsom have sought to pivot away from demands from his own Reparations Task Force for massive payments.

Trust in our public schools has fallen to record lows with a major exodus out of public education. This is due in part to the view that teachers and administrators now put political and social agendas ahead of traditional educational priorities — even as scores continue to fall in many districts.  With some declaring that teaching is “a political act,” parents are increasingly taking their kids to schools with a focus on core subjects and skills.

The Pulitzer/1619 proposals may soon bring the issue to classrooms across the country.

The curriculum asks “should  reparations  be paid for the United  States’ use  of enslaved labor?”  However, the guidelines declare that students would be assessed based on their presentations that seem to assume that reparations should be made:

“A project-based learning rubric will be used to evaluate final presentations created by  students to share their research into the lasting impacts of slavery on the wealth gap for African Americans, and their cases for reparations to descendents of enslaved Africans and African Americans. Their presentations should also share what math function the U.S. should use to determine and provide monetary preparations.”

That “assessment” will likely strike many parents as suggesting more indoctrination than education on the issue.

What is interesting is that Pulitzer/1619 Project designers cite a proposed bill as the basis for the new curriculum. H.R. 40 is the proposal of Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D., Tx).

The bill has failed to pass in Congress, but would be the basis for the new curriculum. Lee recently said “H.R. 40 is 38 years on the books waiting for someone to say yes.” She is now calling on President Biden to use executive authority to unilaterally order the creation of the commission.

188 thoughts on “The Three Rs: Reading, Writing, and Reparations?”

  1. The left sees the black vote slowly drifting away so they will do anything even if it’s criminal and amoral to hold onto their power. They will even indoctrinate your children and in the process insult you by thinking that you will never notice due to your stupidity. Then when you do notice they say that you racist and are trying to ban books. Are you going to vote for them again?

    1. I am not.
      I am brown.
      My parents faced discrimination several times.
      I think I did. But my parents and I both refused to be victims.

  2. I’d be for the $14 trillion reparations if the recipients, upon receiving the money, agreed to return to Africa where the $14 trillion could be spent to lift that continent out of third world status. Jews returned to Israel and rebuilt that country; why can’t Blacks do the same for Africa.

    1. We can borrow the 14 trillion from china and pay the, back with money we print.

  3. It would cost a lot less and have a far more enduring benefit if they were taught the lessons in this book.

    How can we empower America’s children? That question has driven Ian Rowe throughout his career. He served ten years as CEO of Public Prep, a network of charter schools in the South Bronx, and held senior roles at places such as the White House, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and MTV. At each juncture, he noticed that young people—especially those from minority and underprivileged backgrounds—were receiving and unfortunately often absorbing a cultural narrative that devastated their chances of success. Moreover, they were growing up in communities with high concentrations of fragile families, lack of school choice, declines in religiosity, and significant unemployment.


    If a true valuation was conducted the numbers would not advantage those seeking reparations. Considering the actual cost of the Civil War to America’s Debt, the cost of each soldier killed or wounded, the destruction of Northern Assets, President Johnson’s (New Deal), and the list could go on and on.

    If these dreamers continue their pursuit for reparations the populous may well eventually revolt, and that would not be a pretty picture for a minority of 12.6%.

    I only hope the sane minded take hold of this issue and place it in file 13 where it belongs.

      1. Yes thank you D for removing some of the embarrassing comments I make. I can’t help myself. I keep telling Svelaz I am going to get an NA sponsor and do the 12 Step Program for Narcotics Anonymous, then Gigi comes along, gives me a booty bump, and I’m off flying and doing scorched earth. the struggle is real


        1. Aaahhh, Bug.
          I see my comments have been deleted.
          How nice.
          However, it seems Darren left this comment, your comment, to remain.
          Perhaps it is to remind us all the reason why you get deleted?
          “booty bump?” “scorched earth?” “the struggle is real?”
          Poor, poor Bug. Always the victim by his own actions who is not man enough to own up to it.
          Normally I would say that I look forward to my comment getting deleted.
          In this case, to put your sick and twisted mentality on full display for all, I hope Darren does not.

      2. Thank you and our host for weeding out comments that are detrimental to civility, the rule of law and the overall integrity of this great legal blog.

  5. We are being prepped for a civil war. The indoctrination of our children will eventually divide us to the point where there will be pure hatred for each other. It is a very dangerous political game played by people who hate the USA.

    1. M L – instead of a civil war, it is more likely that we will see a movement by southern and western states to secede from the rest of the country. If these states constitute a majority of states, there will probably be no attempt by Washington DC to stop the succession. But this is probably 30 years away, and it assumes that the Democrats remain in power federally.

    2. Indoctrination, started a long time ago. Look at the corporate officers at Target. What universities did they attend? These seeds were planted years ago.

  6. I understand now. Math is no longer racist when it’s used to pay reparations. Crystal clear. If this works, we’ll have math geniuses in abundance and we’ll again be the world’s leader in education again.

  7. Before 1 cent is paid out in additional reparations, calculate the total cost that every effort to end slavery, pass the 13th, 14th, 15th and 24th amendment to the constitution, end Jim Crow through integration in the military, end segregation in schools, Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Fair Housing Act and policies originating out of Johnson’s The Great Society, had on this country. Then add in the costs that all the unintended consequences had from the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, genocide by Planned Parenthood, failure in Public Education, Crime, etc. In the process of calculating those costs, identify the political party fighting to keep slavery, for Jim Crow, opposing those amendments, opposing integration, opposing the Civil Rights Act.

    What is the total calculated damage to the descendants of all non-slaving owning Americans? I know, that’s racist.

    1. OLLY,
      If someone can do all that and show their work, I think they could be up for a Nobel.

      1. 😄 That’s funny UF. As I thought about what I was writing, I was trying to imagine all those variables in an equation. I pictured Will Hunting scribbling away on a chalkboard at MIT, solving an equation few people in the world could figure out.

        1. OLLY,
          The 2008 The Day The Earth Stood Still, where Klaatu and the professor solving the math problem on the chalkboard is what came to my mind. We do not know what they solve, only that it is very complex.
          I think it is great we use movie references! 🙂

            1. I haven’t seen the movie, but that level of math has always interested me. My math literacy capped out at pre-calculus. Not for any other reason than I couldn’t make it click. I wanted to know more, to understand the principles, but never had that aha moment. I read Hawking’s A Brief History In Time and learned that I will always be an outside observer of an area of study that fascinated me. If only…

            2. Estovir,

              Not to burst your bubble but that movie was nothing more than Hollywood sticking racism into one of man’s greatest accomplishments. Which is sad because there is a cool story there without the b.s. Look up interviews of the actual women the movie is about. The main villainous character didn’t even exist in real life and the bathroom scene is exaggerated.

              Katherine Johnson – “I didn’t feel the segregation at NASA, because everybody there was doing research,” says the real Katherine G. Johnson. “You had a mission and you worked on it, and it was important to you to do your job…and play bridge at lunch. I didn’t feel any segregation. I knew it was there, but I didn’t feel it.” Even though much of the racism coming from Katherine’s coworkers in the movie seems to be largely made up (in real life she claimed to be treated as a peer),


              1. Read her book My Remarkable Journey: A Memoir. It is a quick read, ~256 pages.

                She wrote about her life, her parents, her mentors and black astronaut Ed Dwight at NASA in the 1960s, all who experienced racism, particularly Dwight. She tackled racism differently than the black Marxists in America today, aka BLM, but that does not negate the fact she did face racism and she confronted it straight on.

                The movie was just that. Allowing for poetic license is a given, given the 2 hours compressed time, much like directors do for Biblical themed / Christian films and movies and the popular The Chosen series

            3. Estovir, since we have talked about the Holocaust, I have two movies for you and others to see. The first is 1945. It is a Hungarian film and one of the best-directed films I have seen. It might now be dubbed in English. The one warning is that one should watch it in quiet without interruption. It will appear a bit slow at the beginning putting one into a particular mindset, but a sophisticated person will feel the tension grow at which time the point will become clear.

              The second one is Two Barns, also of great interest and evoking tremendous feeling. It is more of a documentary about a singular incident.

              The films are not there to blame but rather to show what can happen under stress in certain environments. They are not films for everyone.

  8. [?] Are the Immigrants coming over our Boarders Legally and Illegally today, Slaves?
    Why is it any different than in 1619 [?]

  9. What is interesting is that Pulitzer/1619 Project designers cite a proposed bill as the basis for the new curriculum. H.R. 40 is the proposal of Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D., Tx).

    Misery loves company, depravity gives birth to more depravity, so it all makes sense. If Sheila had her way, all of us would be her Stupid Motherfu******.

    The Constitution Is 400 Years Old and More Pearls From Sheila Jackson Lee

    You Stupid Motherfu****** and Other Friendly Nicknames

    Jackson Lee has a well-documented history of being the worst employer on Capitol Hill. With plenty of job security representing a safe Democratic district, she goes out of her way to demean and abuse members of her staff. As Jonathan Strong, then of the Daily Caller documented in 2011, she constantly referred to one staff member as “You Stupid Motherfu****** ,” threw her cell phone at another and demanded to be chauffeured by car when travelling between House office buildings (which are connected by tunnels) and that staffers run to the supermarket at 2 a.m. to buy garlic supplements for her. The congresswoman was also known to proclaim angrily ‘”What am I a prostitute? Am I your prostitute? You can’t prostitute me.”

  10. The Left never gives up….never goes away voluntarily….and shall always find ways to advance its agenda which is based upon brain washing the young….and they are succeeding.

    This is yet another demonstration of that.

    There is but one. way to deal with Communists…..and ultimately we shall see that begin to happen.

    The question is shall they be successful and destroy the World’s one best experiment at individual freedom that has ever been tried.

    The one Professor’s rejecting the young woman’s research study is analogous to what is going on in the United States today.

    The Left (the Professor) dictates to the young (the Student) what terms and conditions of speech are allowed and must be complied with…..when given the power to do so.

    That young Woman had a choice….stay and comply….or drop the course and take a different route to her degree.

    So it goes for us in general today….we either knuckle under and start living on our knees or stand up and put an end to all of this and force the Left to accept theirs is not the acceptable way.

  11. Like many of Turley’s articles, it is just too depressing to read past the first few paragraphs. Usually, you can just add something like, “And they were all racists, America is horrible, Marxism is great, you owe us money, Ukraine is the best, the Bidens are the best too, Trump is a criminal, Hunter did nothing wrong, there are six thousand genders, etc.

  12. I am a New World Hispanic, a Caustizo, while of predominantly European ancestry I have around 20% non-White blood including an amount from West Africa.

    Do I get my share of reparations, prorated of course down to the amount of black ancestry?

    Or are reparations reserved only for victim type, b@@ch and moan leftist minorities?

    I am asking for answers from our morally superior leftist readers. Please help!

    I predict reparations will never happen unless upper middle class and wealthy, virtual signaling s@@tlibs are given some type of out (i.e. Gavin Newsom’s speech, buying anti-racism credits, more yard signs, demonstrations).

    Only “bad” whites will be required to pay reparations. They deserve it, right?


  13. Democrats are the brainiacs that defund the police, decriminalize shoplifting, promulgate no cash bail and then complain when there are no stores in a crime infested area.

    Liberal policies always harm the people they want to help, as well as everyone else.

  14. (1) The infiltration of the basic three Rs (reading, writing, ‘rithmetic) with political propaganda is about as low as it gets, forever polluting young minds with agenda-driven nonsense.
    I’ve been gone for several days, but while in my vehicle, listened a great deal to NPR. Its consecutive programming constituted alleged victimhood after victimhood after victimhood, almost entirely about Blacks and LBGQTs. I note that at the end of at least one broadcast (I did not listen to the end of each program), the speaker mentioned program credits as “sponsored by Remake America.”
    (2) When I returned home, I read about a Midwestern university professor who docked grades for a student who made the mistake of using the phrase “biological women” in a research project proposal about the presence of trans women in girls’ locker rooms and competitions.This student was a cross-country and track athlete in high school and the beginning of her college career and wanted to research the effect of trans girls on student athletic teams–apparently a subject frowned upon by Woke professors.

    The professor gave the student a failed mark because the term “biological women” was forbidden to use in the class. The professor noted, “Olivia, this is a solid proposal. However, the terms ‘biological women’ are exclusionary and are not allowed in this course as they further reinforce heteronormativity. Please reassess your topic and edit it to focus on women’s rights (and not just ‘females’) and I ‘ll regrade.”

    You can read all about this nonsense by doing an internet search of student’s name, “Olivia Krolczyk.”
    This is what our poor students must go through every day, swimming upstream against a wave of censoring, rebuking, criticizing, dismissing, discrediting, and rejecting their attempts to critically dissect, research, and come to their own conclusions.

    Yup, this is really happening across America, everyone.

    1. Lin,
      Glad to see you back. Hope you had a good trip.
      Yes, the few times I have recently listened to NPR, it was nothing but victimhood, victimhood, and more victimhood.
      One article they were lamenting how some trans guy was in a male prison. Later they mentioned a women’s right group against biological males in women’s prisons. What they FAILED to mention the reason this women’s group was against biological males in women’s prisons was the men RAPED the women and two got pregnant.
      Real stellar reporting there.
      I agree, it really is happening.

      1. Hello there, Upstate, we were commenting to each other at the same time! Good company, always.
        (I didn’t hear those NPR segments, but your point is well-taken about selective-fact reporting. I really don’t care what NPR chooses to focus on, but I greatly resent that it portrays itself as the flagship purveyor of objective, educational reporting.)

  15. Just yesterday KJP stated that having a busload of illegals shipped to CA or NY is dangerous and needs to be stopped as we have had 6 million come over the border since this tools team was put in place.

    Inflation will come down, the war in Ukraine will end, crime will eventually abate after the people are sick enough of it and Biden will be gone and even the woke and trans garbage for our kids will turn….but the 10 million illegals that arrive during his 4 years will be here forever.

    1. HullBobby,
      You are right about that.
      Inflation will come down in the upcoming/already here recession. Nothing says beating inflation with layoffs and unemployment, yay.
      Like to think the Ukraine war will come to an end without the mushroom clouds on the horizon. You see the NYT finally acknowledge some Ukraine units have links to neo-Nazis and journalists ask the troops to remove their Nazi patches?
      All those woke cities that defunded their PD are trying to recruit new LEOs as their crime rates have spiked. But LEOs are not buying it. Why would they? They know city councils will abuse them, and there is a large numbers of woke leftists who do not support LEOs.
      Louisiana Senate passes ban on transgender treatments for minors.
      But the Southern border is not secure no matter how much the Biden admin gaslights us.

Leave a Reply