University of Louisville slams alum Mitch McConnell over 1619 Project comments
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) views on the 1619 Project were publicly slammed by the University of Louisville, his alma mater.
McConnell is a longtime supporter of the university and a founder of its McConnell Center.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was slammed by the diversity officer at his alma mater after he casted doubt on the assumptions of the 1619 Project.
As WDRB reports, Sen. McConnell was asked about his positions on the New York Times’ 1619 Project during a May 3 event at the University of Louisville.
“There are a lot of exotic notions about what are the most important points in American history,” remarked Sen. McConnell. “I simply disagree with the notion that the New York Times laid out there that the year 1619 was one of those years.”
[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: College shells out $25,000 to host 1619 Project author for speaking engagement]
University of Louisville Executive Director of Communications John Karman provided Campus Reform with Interim Senior Associate Vice President of Diversity and Equity V. Faye Jones’ statement in response to McConnell.
“As I am sure most of you are aware, the recent statements made by Sen. Mitch McConnell during a press conference in Louisville this week are quite troubling for American descendents [sic] of slaves, our allies and those who support us,” wrote Jones. “To imply that slavery is not an important part of United States history not only fails to provide a true representation of the facts, but also denies the heritage, culture, resilience and survival of Black people in America. It also fails to give context to the history of systemic racial discrimination, the United States’ ‘original sin’ as Sen. McConnell called it, which still plagues us today.”
[RELATED: Poll shows support for teaching history of racism, prof claims it shows support for 1619 Project]
Referring to the school’s vision statement — which says that the University of Louisville community will “commit ourselves to building an exemplary educational community that offers a nurturing and challenging intellectual climate, a respect for the spectrum of human diversity, and a genuine understanding of the many differences” — Jones wrote that “President Bendapudi, Provost Gonzalez and I reject the idea that the year 1619 is not a critical moment in the history of this country.”
Campus Reform asked V. Faye Jones to point out where Sen. McConnell stated that slavery "is not an important part of United States history," but did not receive a response.
The University of Louisville’s McConnell Center is named for the longtime Kentucky Senator, who graduated in 1964 from the university with an undergraduate degree in political science.
A spokesman for Sen. McConnell pointed Campus Reform toward excerpts from a letter that Senate Republicans sent to President Biden regarding the administration’s “Proposed Priorities” on American Civics education.
“This is a time to strengthen the teaching of civics and American history in our schools,” said the letter. “Instead, your Proposed Priorities double down on divisive, radical, and historically-dubious buzzwords and propaganda.”
Follow this author on Twitter: @BenZeisloft