Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton is facing backlash for criticizing the New York Times for calling the story of the Pilgrims a “myth” and for his criticism of the “1619 Project,” which he said was “debunked.”
“Alongside the patriots of 1776, the Pilgrims of 1620 deserve the honor of American founders,” Cotton said Wednesday on the Senate floor. “Sadly, however, there appear to be few commemorations, parades, or festivals to celebrate the Pilgrims this year, perhaps in part because revisionist charlatans of the radical left have lately claimed the previous year as America’s true founding.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Cotton continued. “The Pilgrims and their compact, like the founders and their declaration, formed the true foundation of America.” (RELATED: Moments After Trump Floats Tom Cotton For SCOTUS, Cotton Says ‘It’s Time For Roe V. Wade To Go’)
“Some, too many, may have lost the civilizational self-confidence needed to celebrate the Pilgrims,” the senator added. “Just today, for instance, the New York Times called the story a ‘myth,’ and a ‘caricature.’ In the food section, no less. Maybe the politically correct editors of the 1619 Project are now responsible for pumpkin pie recipes at the Times as well. But I for one still have the pride and confidence of our forebearers.”
A clip of Cotton’s speech went viral on Twitter, racking up more than 1.5 million views.
Sen. Tom Cotton: “Just today for instance The New York Times called the [Pilgrims’] story a myth and a caricature. In the Food Section, no less. Maybe the politically correct editors of the debunked 1619 Project are now responsible for pumpkin pie recipes at the Times as well.” pic.twitter.com/iO83s62UxH
— The Hill (@thehill) November 18, 2020
Critics were quick to take issue with Cotton’s comments.
“When your sense of history doesn’t go beyond your 3rd grade coloring books and actual history terrifies you,” said Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.
When your sense of history doesn’t go beyond your 3rd grade coloring books and actual history terrifies you. https://t.co/gaVeDRgaMW
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 19, 2020
Others made more blunt comments.
Artist and writer Tony Posnanski called Cotton “dumb and racist as f*ck.” Bishop Talbert Swan said Cotton was “a racist piece of trash.”
Wow Sen. Tom Cotton is dumb and racist as fuck,
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) November 19, 2020
Tom Cotton pontificated on the virtue of government, the pilgrims, and the “natural equality of mankind” like the slaughter of Native Americans, and the enslavement, lynching, and dehumanization of Africans and their descendants never happened.
He’s such a racist piece of trash.
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) November 19, 2020
“12 million people will lose their unemployment benefits the day after Christmas but Tom Cotton would rather get fake outraged over pilgrims than actually do something to improve the holidays,” said filmmaker and entrepreneur Adam Best.
12 million people will lose their unemployment benefits the day after Christmas but Tom Cotton would rather get fake outraged over pilgrims than actually do something to improve the holidays. https://t.co/NPTX4AyhNX
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) November 19, 2020
Former Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders staffer Frederick Joseph said that Cotton was an “overt white supremacist.”
The fact that overt white supremacist, Tom Cotton, ran unopposed by a Dem is a great example of why the party needs new leadership. https://t.co/2TBjor3JNm
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) November 19, 2020
Nikole-Hannah Jones, the founder of the “1619 Project,” said “I can be in DC in 45 minutes” when rapper LL Cool J said “1619 project vs Sen Tom cotton.”
I can be in DC in 45 minutes. https://t.co/4iaYoshY8O
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) November 19, 2020
This isn’t the first time Cotton and the New York Times have clashed. In an op-ed published in the Times in early June, Cotton called for the U.S. military to be deployed to “restore order” amidst nationwide protests and riots. After the op-ed was published, multiple staff members openly objected to its publication, with several tweeting the phrase, “Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger.” The New York Times later apologized for publishing Cotton’s op-ed.