White people are “bloodsuckers” and “barbaric devils,” Nikole Hannah-Jones, the reporter behind the New York Times’ “1619 Project,” once wrote in a letter to the editor.
She confirmed Wednesday that in 1995, when she was 19, she wrote the letter to Notre Dame’s student newspaper The Observer, including a caveat that she does not “hate” white people.
But Hannah-Jones accused columnist Andrew Sullivan of attempting to “cancel” her by spotlighting a Federalist article that exposed her letter, Breitbart News reported.
“He has attacked and trolled every prominent Black writer,” she wrote on Twitter, sharing a screenshot of Sullivan’s posting.
“The letter to the editor I wrote when I was NINETEEN [by the way] was in response to this screed written [against] my Indigenous friends who were protesting a Columbus mural,” Hannah-Jones said. “I tried to match the tone to make a point. Of course he had no interest in context or truth and so all this is so rich.”
Sullivan responded: “This is an outright lie. … Briefly noting someone’s past views is not trying to cancel them. I would hate to cancel you. It means I couldn’t criticize your work. No fun!”
In her 1995 letter, Hannah-Jones wrote that “the white race is the biggest murderer, rapist, pillager, and thief of the modern world.”
She insisted there was no difference between Christopher Columbus and Adolf Hitler and claimed African explorers reached the Americas before Columbus and were involved in the construction of Aztec temples.
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“The difference is that Africans had the decency and respect for human life to learn from the Native Americans and trade technology with them,” she said. “The pyramids of the Aztecs and the great stone heads of the Olmecs are lasting monuments to the friendship of these two peoples.”
But the “lasting monument” of whites, she said, “was the destruction and enslavement of two races of people,” Native Americans and Africans.
She said modern white people are “the descendants of these savage people” and are similarly sabotaging black communities.
“The descendants of these savage people pump drugs and guns into the Balck [sic] community, pack Black people into the squalor of segregated urban ghettos and continue ot [sic] be bloodsuckers in our community,” she wrote.
She said white people feel a need to “constantly prove their superiority.”
“But after everything that those barbaric devils did, I do not hate them,” the she wrote. “I understand that because of some lacking, they needed to … constantly prove their superiority.”
Hannah-Jones was awarded a Pulitzer Prize this year for her work on the 1619 Project, which falsely claimed “one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery.”
The New York Times has suffered a rough spate.
Opinion editor and columnist Bari Weiss resigned this week claiming they paper suppresses moderate and conservative voices. In June, an internal revolt over allowing an editorial arguing federal troops should be allowed as a last resort to quell rioting forced the resignation of editorial page editor James Bennet.
Liberty University filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against the Times for claiming the university’s policies had led to a coronavirus hotspot on the campus. In fact, there were no known cases.
In her resignation letter, Weiss described a “hostile work environment” in which she experienced “unlawful discrimination” from colleagues.
“My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views,” she said.
“I do not understand how you have allowed this kind of behavior to go on inside your company in full view of the paper’s entire staff and the public. And I certainly can’t square how you and other Times leaders have stood by while simultaneously praising me in private for my courage,” wrote Weiss. “Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery.”