Fox News host Martha MacCallum pressed American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten over whether teachers should be teaching the 1619 Project in schools.
Weingarten joined MacCallum for Monday’s broadcast of “The Story,” arguing that there was nothing wrong with teaching the 1619 Project in conjunction with traditional American history courses. (RELATED: ‘You’re Not Listening To Me’: Fox News Host MacCallum Faces Off With NYC Teachers Union Chief)
MacCallum began the segment by noting that the 1619 Project had been converted to learning materials that were ready to be added to curriculums.
“Do you believe that 1619 is a factual program?” she turned the question to Weingarten.
“So Martha, I believe that — I’m a history teacher and a social studies teacher. I believe we should teach history. From everything I can see and understand from the data I see, 1619 was the year that the first slave boat came from Africa to the United States. So that’s a point in history that I think we should be teaching,” Weingarten replied.
MacCallum went on to challenge some of the other assertions put forth by the 1619 Project, adding, “The reason for the revolution and the colonization was because people wanted to preserve, colonists wanted to preserve slavery. The country was founded on the basis of wanting to preserve slavery. But that is not factual. That is not true. In fact, scholars in this area say there’s no evidence that colonists were motivated by that in coming to the United States. So it would be wrong as a historian to want to teach them something that is not true. Because that is the basis that sets up all of these other tenets that lead to teaching kids that we live in a systemically racist country.”
Weingarten argued that she had spoken with author Nikole Hannah Jones and had not reached the same conclusion about the report.
“That’s not my conclusion. That’s from their work,” MacCallum replied.
“I would hope that Fox would be just as focused on let’s get rid of the misinformation about what happened in this election,” Weingarten attempted to redirect the conversation to former President Donald Trump and his claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
“Oh, come on, Randi, come on. This is not the topic. I’m not going to talk about that. We talked about that before. That’s a dodge. Okay?” MacCallum pivoted back to education, noting that American students were falling behind in math and other subjects.
“I’m asking you — you say you’re a social studies teacher. Do you favor teaching students that 1619 is more important than 1776? Do you favor that?” MacCallum asked.
“I favor us teaching about 1776, which I have often done. I favor us teaching about 1619. I also favor us teaching about the holocaust and the genocide in terms of the holocaust,” Weingarten said.
“Absolutely. I learned about all of those things in school,” MacCallum turned back to the 1619 Project then adding, “The problem is — do you think that it’s wrong to suggest to children that if they’re white they belong to an oppressor class and if they’re black they belong to a victim class? Do you have any problem with that?”
“I think we should be lifting up all ethnicities. I don’t think we should say one is an oppressor class and one is a non-oppresser class,” Weingarten said, trying once again to change the topic back to the 2020 election and former President Trump.
“If you’re talking about misinformation now, Martha and I hope you are, I really would hope that Fox would really look at what happened in this election and how we can — because every social studies teacher is wrestling with this concern,” she said.
MacCallum continued to push back until the segment wrapped, saying, “Nobody is hiding anything under any rocks here.”