Daily Show host Trevor Noah slammed Arkansas senator Tom Cotton and mocked the lawmaker’s comments regarding the 1619 Project that seeks to teach American students about the country’s foundation and slavery.
Noah, referring to Cotton’s reservations as “possibly stupidest” take on the education on slavery, was left confused by Cotton’s insistence that teaching slavery to kids is racially divisive.
“Senator Cotton thinks this curriculum is racially divisive? You know what’s really racially divisive? Slavery!” the comedian exclaimed.
The South African added, “This guy thinks racial division doesn’t exist until slavery gets taught in school” explaining that Cotton seems to be arguing a disingenuous position that it is education on slavery that awakens racial consciousness in kids.
The 1619 Project traces the history of the United States from the year the first batch of enslaved Africans were settled in the country from their homes in Africa. The Project seeks to explain how pertinent slavery was to the founding of the country with particular regard to America’s economic might.
But Cotton, an army veteran, believes the Project simply wants to portray the United States as an “irredeemably corrupt, rotten and racist country”.
“As the Founding Fathers said, it [slavery] was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as [Abraham] Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction,” the Republican lawmaker added.
But one of the Project’s contributors, Nicole-Hannah Jones, tweeted in response: “Imagine thinking a non-divisive curriculum is one that tells black children the buying and selling of their ancestors, the rape, torture, and forced labor of their ancestors for PROFIT, was just a ‘necessary evil’ for the creation of the ‘noblest’ country the world has ever seen.”