‘Of Course They Released It on MLK Day’: Trump Admin’s ‘1776 Commission’ Report Roundly Condemned for ‘Historical Amnesia’

Trump White House

Photo credit: Drew Angerer, Getty Images

Two days before Donald Trump’s term expires, his administration released a report on the nation’s history by its 1776 Commission — and it was quickly condemned by historians and others online for attempting to whitewash the country’s history of slavery and institutional racism.

The commission was announced by Trump on Constitution Day four months ago, in a highly partisan proclamation that went to great lengths to attack “cancel culture” and “mobs” tearing down statutes, saying “the left has warped, distorted, and defiled the American story with deceptions, falsehoods, and lies.” Trump then singled out the New York Times’ Pulitzer-Prize winning essay collection, The 1619 Project, making little pretense that his commission was to produce a culture war rebuttal to that piece.

The commission’s final product, however, came under immediate criticism from historians and others for downplaying the nation’s sordid sin of endorsing slavery in its founding document and for trying to indict the Civil Rights Movement and “identity politics” as having distorted American principles.

Some skeptics accused the White House of tone deaf timing by releasing its report on a day reserved for honoring the Civil Rights hero, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Others noted the report’s Table of Contents, which not-so-subtly lumped “progressivism” into a list of evil, failed ideologies like fascism and communism.

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