No One Asked These Mediocre White Guys What They Thought Of Nikole Hannah-Jones’s Pulitzer Prize
Nikole Hannah-Jones was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary, and conservatives are acting like it's “the most disgusting, atrocious thing ever to happen in America." Hannah-Jones was the creator of The 1619 Project, which ran last year in The New York Times Magazine. If you want a quick answer to why Republicans such as Newt Gingrich and Ted Cruz resent The 1619 Project so much, here's the headline from Hannah-Jones's fire-breathing (and now Pulitzer-winning) introductory essay: "Our Democracy's Founding Ideals Were False When They Were Written. Black Americans Have Fought to Make Them True."
THAT IS BRAND NEW INFORMATION! www.youtube.com
This was a blow to the fragile white egos of people obsessed with the myth of America, where the “revolutionary" spirit of great men cast off the yoke of tyranny and went on to build a shining city upon a hill. In reality, these revolutionaries benefited from slave labor and the hill was stolen from native people. Hannah-Jones isn't the first to puncture this myth, but she did so as a black woman in Donald Trump's America.
Twenty years ago or, more specifically, February, Donald Trump gave Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That's normally an honor reserved for people who've made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors" or anyone who's not Rush Limbaugh. There are comic book stories where Lex Luthor received a Nobel Prize but he literally cured cancer. Rush Limbaugh is still Rush Limbaugh — yet no less than the National Review and Ted Cruz applauded the racist windbag for his undeserved honor.
A Pulitzer for commentary doesn't seem nearly as divisive as Limbaugh's Medal of Freedom. Hannah-Jones is allowed to have an opinion, even one as unconventional as “slavery existed and directly influenced America." C'mon, if they can give a Pulitzer to Bret Stephens, they can give one to any motherfucker.
Here are a few of the more absurd freakouts over Hannah-Jones's Pulitzer:
Ben Shapiro somehow thinks “slavery really sucks" is a “divisive" opinion. Yes, he considers The 1619 Project “terrible for the country," but he'll still shamelessly exploit a black woman's labor for his personal financial gain. It's like he's trying to prove her point.
Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of The New Criterion, broke his thesaurus with this explosive, angry tweet:
This is admittedly the first I've heard of Kimball. Does he always sound like Jackie Chiles from “Seinfeld": “It's malevolent, preposterous, and mendacious!" Kimball is a conservative. He should believe that awards aren't “malevolent," people are malevolent. Hannah-Jones isn't preposterous," nor is her work on The 1619 Project, which is neither “mendacious" nor a “fantasy." Seriously, slavery happened. If Kimball's pissed that he's not up for a Pulitzer, someone should remind him that he writes crap like “Covid-19 Is a Weapon of Political Propaganda."
COVID-19 is a formidable bioweapon, not because of its lethality, which is modest, but because of its power as a propaganda weapon
This was published in March. Now 67,000 Americans are dead. GTFOH.
Yr. Editrix had the best response to Captain Bell Curve. I was just going to go full Jules Winfeld on him
I Don't Remember Asking You a Goddamn Thing youtu.be
Finally, this clown believes the black lady has decreased the Pulitzer Prize's property values.
Margaret Mitchell won a Pulitzer in 1937 for Gone With the Wind. Mitchell might turn over in her grave if she knew Hannah-Jones shared the same honor, but it wouldn't have anything to do with the quality of the work.
If you haven't read The 1619 Project, now's a great time to do so as you shelter-in-place. Almost every passage in Hannah-Jones's introductory essay is moving and profound:
The Mississippi of my dad's youth was an apartheid state that subjugated its near-majority black population through breathtaking acts of violence. White residents in Mississippi lynched more black people than those in any other state in the country, and the white people in my dad's home county lynched more black residents than those in any other county in Mississippi, often for such "crimes" as entering a room occupied by white women, bumping into a white girl or trying to start a sharecroppers union. My dad's mother, like all the black people in Greenwood, could not vote, use the public library or find work other than toiling in the cotton fields or toiling in white people's houses. So in the 1940s, she packed up her few belongings and her three small children and joined the flood of black Southerners fleeing North. She got off the Illinois Central Railroad in Waterloo, Iowa, only to have her hopes of the mythical Promised Land shattered when she learned that Jim Crow did not end at the Mason-Dixon line.
This history Hannah-Jones details is real, not “mendacious" or “divisive," and if it causes the true snowflakes to melt, that's their problem. We don't need their approval, and nothing infuriates them more.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."