By casting blacks as perpetual victims historically, the loudest racial activists in America right now are hurting — not helping — African Americans, according to Christian civil rights leader Robert Woodson.
To counter the New York Times’ 1619 Project, which provides the premises for rioting and violence against police, Woodson launched 1776 Unites, a collection of scholars to affirm traditional American values of hard-work, honesty and self-determination.
The 1619 Project’s arguments represent “the most diabolical, self-destructive ideas that I’ve ever heard. And what they’re doing is rewriting American history and unfortunately, they are using the suffering and struggle of black America as a bludgeon to beat America and define America as a criminal organization,” Woodson told Fox News.
“And it’s lethal,” he added. “The message that they are saying is all white Americans are oppressors and all black Americans are victims.”
The message of the 1619 Project — named after the supposed date the first slaves arrived in America — is to “exempt the black community from any kind of personal responsibility,” Woodson says.
Recently, a Black Lives Matter protester in Chicago justified looting on television news because the stores have insurance. And hard left firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a congresswoman from New York’s 14th district, said widespread robbery in the Big Apple during protests was just people who “need to shoplift some bread.”
Protests erupted nationwide after May 25th this year when a white cop was filmed kneeling on the neck of an already hand-cuffed and subject black suspect in Minneapolis. Sadly, many of those protests degenerated into arson and vandalism that rose to $2B in damage by one estimate.
Bringing organization to the spontaneous outpouring of rage is Black Lives Matter, a movement started by the L.A. chapter seven years ago. Because the secular media has lionized BLM, many Christians have been drawn into support the good fight despite BLM’s foundations on Marxism and African witchcraft.
Woodson’s 1776 Unites is a viable alternative.
Robert Woodson is an 83-year-old Civil Rights veteran. Thirty-eight years ago, he founded a neighborhood empowerment movement called the Woodson Center in Washington D.C. to train community leaders to effect transformation in troubled cities.
“We go into high-crime, low-income neighborhoods and look for those who are achieving against the odds in these low-income communities and we treat them like venture capitalists without capital,” Woodson says. “We find solutions that are developed by the people suffering the problem.”
One city they have impacted is Milwaukee. At the request of community leaders who wanted to clean up the streets and restore peace to neighborhoods, Woodson himself “parachuted” into the city. He visited Laundromats and barbershops asking people: “Who do you go to in times of trouble?”
Some names kept recurring. For the next two years, Woodson and his workers trained these leaders in conflict resolution and self-propelled community development. The results were astounding. Crime went down, economic development went up, and the city went from high risk to exemplary.
“The Left sees the poor as a sea of victims,” Woodson says on the Institute for Faith, Works and Economics website. “The Right sees them as a sea of aliens. Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (the precursor to the Woodson Center) steps into this void and provides the means of allowing low income individuals to speak for themselves.”
Woodson was inspired to dedicate his life to helping people after he took a job counseling youth in Juvenile Hall. A high school dropout himself, he identified with the troubled teens. He got his GED and a master’s in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.
He was also inspired to give of himself to help people by his faith. Woodson calls himself a “cardiac Christian,” driven not by abstract theology but by a desire to help the neediest people in the streets.
His latest boost to America is the group 1776 Unites, aptly named because it’s a counterpoint to the divisive 1619 Project started by the New York Times which sees slavery as central to America’s history and even says the Revolutionary War was started to conserve slavery, despite the complete lack of primary sources attesting to such a notion.
The revisionist history propagated by the New York Times, formerly a center-left news source, has been criticized by all manner of historians for substituting facts with radical ideology. But their outlandish claims provide fodder for a more violent approach to eradicating racism in America.
The 1619 Project is dangerous, Woodson writes in the Wall Street Journal, because it assails “assumptions such as ‘hard work is the key to success’ and ‘the nuclear family is the ideal social unit’ as examples of ‘white dominant culture’” to be rejected by the black community.
“Those who attribute all failure of blacks in America—academic, occupational and even moral—to an all-purpose invisible villain of ‘institutional racism’ are betraying those they purport to represent,” he says. “Those who shake their fists and proclaim that a change in white America is a prerequisite for black achievement are embracing a version of white supremacy. This debilitating dynamic is exacerbated by the guilt among white liberals, who approach the black community with a combination of pity, patronage and pandering.”
Indeed, black economist Thomas Sowell points out “the poverty rate among blacks fell from 87 percent in 1940 to 47 percent by 1960” without the aid of any the government assistance.
“I have written repeatedly exposing the damage and danger of the Left’s decades-old strategy of portraying Black Americans as helpless victims of racism and the legacy of America’s indelible original sin of slavery,” Woodson says on Philanthropy Daily. “The 1619 Project, supported and propagated by The New York Times, is the latest iteration of this assault.”
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To support journalistic endeavors, Michael Ashcraft sells a bamboo steamer on Amazon.