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Tom Cotton Defends Historical Legacy of Pilgrims on 400th Anniversary of 1620, Slams Revisionism of the Cultural Left

The first pilgrims arrived in America in 1620.

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Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas defended the legacy of the American Pilgrims in both a Senate speech and a Fox News op-ed published over the weekend, lamenting that the memory of the settlers of the 13 colonies that became the United States has largely been forgotten by common American culture and the nation’s institutions.

Cotton called out the New York Times’ revisionist 1619 Project’s defamation of the settlers, which ascribes the “true” founding of the United States to the year the first enslaved African arrived in the New World.

November 21st, 2020 represents the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of English pilgrims in what would become the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The date has passed with little fanfare, with the legacy of some of the first English-speaking peoples to arrive in the New World largely forgotten, ignored or slighted. Cultural liberals and academia mostly regard inquiry or celebration of the pilgrims as “racist.”

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In a Fox News op-ed piece on the historical anniversary, Cotton defended the legacy of the pilgrims and pointed out that many elements of American society and governance originate from their culture and customs.

Regrettably, we haven’t heard much about this year’s anniversary because the Pilgrims have fallen out of fashion in elite circles. 

Just this week, The New York Times food section published an article that called the Pilgrim story, including the First Thanksgiving, a “myth” and a “caricature.” In place of these so-called “myths,” the liberal newspaper seeks to substitute its own, claiming the history of our nation is an unbroken tale of conflict, oppression and misery. 

But that’s a lie about our country and its founders. No matter what the revisionist historians at the Times cook up, the truth about the Pilgrims is more remarkable than any story or holiday special. This Thanksgiving, it’s worth reflecting on why we celebrate the Pilgrims and their living legacy for our nation.

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People of varied cultural backgrounds have since immigrated to the United States and made rich contributions to the prosperity of the nation, but few have risked all to built a civilization from scratch in the wilderness of an unknown continent before the Puritans did. All Americans should honor their memory.

Cotton also spoke on the Senate floor to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims’ arrival in the New World.

Culture

Virginia School District Stops Celebrating Dr. Seuss on Read Across America Day Because of the “Racial Undertones” in His Books

It’s all so tiresome.

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The Loudoun County School District in northern Virginia has stopped celebrating Dr. Seuss during Read Across America Day because of the “strong racial undertones” in some of his books.

Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss. Examples include anti-Japanese American political cartoons and cartoons depicting African Americans for sale captioned with offensive language,” the district wrote in a statement.

Given this research, and LCPS’ focus on equity and culturally responsive instruction, LCPS provided this guidance to schools during the past couple of years to not connect Read Across America Day exclusively with Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Dr. Seuss and his books are no longer the emphasis of ‘Read Across America Day’ in Loudoun County Public Schools,” the statement added.

To be clear, this does not mean that Loudoun County School District is outright banning Dr. Seuss’ books. They are still available for children to read in their libraries and classrooms.

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Read Across America Day is celebrated every year on March 2, the day of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and many schools across the country celebrate National Reading Month every March.

The National Education Association, which created National Reading Month and Read Across America Day, started to distance themselves from explicit promotion of Dr. Seuss in 2017 and now promotes non-white authors who write books about “racial justice,” “inclusivity,” and so on.

Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, worked as a political cartoonist in addition to illustrating and writing children’s books. Interestingly enough, Geisel was a passionate supporter of FDR and a lifelong liberal Democrat.

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