(USA Features) A panel sanctioned by then-President Donald Trump to bring patriotic educational materials to the nation’s public schools that was summarily canceled by President Joe Biden will live on and will make direct appeals to state and local education leaders, its executive director said earlier this week.
In an interview with Just the News co-founder John Solomon, Matthew Spalding, who is also the vice president and dean of conservative Michigan-based Hillsdale College, said that the 1776 Commission is needed now more than ever to counter what he characterized as anti-American and even racist materials like Critical Race Theory and the “1619 Project.”
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“You can abolish a commission, you can take a report off the website, but you can’t erase history,” he said, adding that commissioners involved with the panel are pushing forward and that the commission will soon have a social media and a web presence.
“But what the 1776 report, and the cause of its abolishment, which was an executive order to instigate the federal government’s turn into equity outcomes, these things are intimately connected, really kind of hit a nerve — tapped into something — which is a deep, underlying debate about the nature of America and what it means and how should we look at it? How should we look at its history? How should we look at it today? How should we look at its principles as they’re applied to current questions? And you can’t get rid of that,” he said.
“And this is not merely a narrow, political question that one president or a legislature could come in, and merely reverse, like a regulation. This is a debate that goes to the heart of our country, it’s been going on since the beginning, and it’s the essential debate and discussion that citizens, by right, should have, and are going to have, regardless of what the government does,” Spalding continued.
He added that the ideals and concepts espoused within the 1776 Commission and critical race theory cannot co-exist because they are opposed to each other; the former teaches that America was founded on principles established in the Declaration of Independence while CRT claims the country is unjust, non-inclusive, and inherently racist.
“They had to abolish the commission. And it’s important for everyone to understand that. We don’t have two different conversations going on here, as in one is about 1776 history and the other one is about, you know, identity politics, critical race theory, and these other ideas,” said Spalding.
“The fact of the matter is that this dominant progressive view about systemic racism and critical race theory, identity, politics, equity, whatever term they’re using, they keep changing their terms … that’s not merely an opinion, that must reject the other way of doing things. These things can’t coexist,” he noted further.
“Either ‘all men are created equal,’ which is a claim of 1776 — which is also, by the way, the claim defended by Lincoln, in freeing the slaves, and Martin Luther King, in the Civil Rights movement, right? Either that’s true, or it’s not. Or it’s not. Simple as that. And if it’s not, then it’s merely a matter of will, and who’s the strongest, and who has the most activists, and who can control legislatures and force things into the classroom,” the Hillsdale dean said.