New York Times journalist and “1619 Project” creator Nikole Hannah-Jones attempted to lecture a survivor of Mao’s Cultural Revolution about oppression in a fierce exchange online.
Hannah-Jones, whose most prominent contribution to journalism is her set of New York Times Magazine essays claiming that America was founded by the British colonists in order to safeguard and promote slavery, sparred with CRT opponent Xi Van Fleet on Twitter Sunday after the Maoist survivor challenged Jones’ rejection of “American exceptionalism.”
In a three-part thread, Hannah-Jones argued that Black history is under attack because “our very presence on these lands is the greatest rebuke to the narrative of American exceptionalism.”
“Yourself and I, an immigrant from China with 200 borrowed dollars in my pocket when I arrived more than 30 yrs ago, are the proof of American Exceptionalism,” Van Fleet fired back.
When pressed to elaborate by Hannah-Jones, Van Fleet argued that natural rights are unique to America’s founding, telling Jones that because “of it we were able to abolish slavery, Jim Crow, anti-Chinese laws … to allow individuals to succeed.
“What is not unique to America is slavery, which still exists today,” she added. “Ppl fighting for human rights in China are jailed by CCP.”
“Ma’am,” Hannah-Jones retorted, “the idea of natural rights may have been unique, but 1/5th of the population was enslaved at our founding and had no “natural rights.” Further, you do not think protesters in the US face state violence and arrest? You think the US has no political prisoners?
Hannah-Jones then instructed Van Fleet to watch “episode five” of her Hulu docuseries to educate herself on the enslavement and oppression, before remarking, “I’m afraid your vision of America does not match the reality.”
Van Fleet responded that her interpretation of America is not a “vision” as Hannah-Jones suggested, but is a “lived experience under the enslavement of Communism, freedom in America, and the current Woke Revolution aiming to undo America.”
“Black Americans are enslaved no more thanks to the persevering principles and humanity of this country,” she told Hannah-Jones.