ACLU of Iowa calls bill to ban ’1619 Project’ a government attempt at censorship

Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 6:20 AM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The ACLU of Iowa on Wednesday released a statement strongly opposing House File 222, calling it “an incredibly harmful government attempt at censorship.”

House File 222 would reduce funding for any Iowa school district whose teachers use the ’1619 Project’ in their curriculum.

The 1619 Project, a piece of magazine journalism, is an effort to reframe United States history through slavery and show its effects on the nation today.

State Republicans voted Tuesday night to advance House File 222 out of a subcommittee. During the meeting, the bill’s founder, Representative Skyler Wheeler, claimed the project, “seeks to tear down America, and will turn students into activists for leftist policies.”

Waterloo-native Nikole Hannah-Jones, the New York Times journalist who created the project, said there is something wrong with how people learn history today because slavery is treated as a side issue.

The ACLU of Iowa said in a statement, “This bill is an incredibly harmful government attempt at censorship, with the goal of shutting down ideas and preventing students from being exposed to an important discussion on the impact and legacy of slavery in our country.”

See the full statement here.

The bill to ban teaching the "1619 Project" in Iowa schools is moving forward after Republicans voted to advance the bill out of a subcommittee.

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