Did Sen. Cotton Say Slavery Was a 'Necessary Evil'? - 2020-07-29
As the U.S. grappled with its history of racism amidst police custody killings of Black people in 2020, The 1619 Project, an ongoing initiative named for the year that the first slave ship arrived on American shores, became the center of a debate. The educational curriculum was launched alongside The New York Times Magazine's August 2019 special issue and aims to "reframe the country's history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative." Partnering with the Pulitzer Center, the curriculum is freely available online and is being used by teachers across the country. It includes essays, poems, photographs, and fiction from contributors, and was praised for its examination of slavery's impact on the present day.
As Cotton launched an attack on the initiative by introducing legislation that would prevent the use of federal funds to spread the optional curriculum in classrooms, Snopes readers asked us if in his criticism of the project he had actually called slavery a "necessary evil."