The Never-Ending ‘1619 Riots’

Back in the summer of 1964, the first of many race riots roiled the nation. They began in Harlem, then spread to Rochester, New York, and then three cities in New Jersey. In the summer of 1965, the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles went up in flames. For the next three years, cities were rocked with violent upheaval, culminating with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in 1968. As American cities burned, the great black conservative journalist George Schuyler explained that the violence was a continuation of the Communist agitation of the 1930s.

The Communist Roots of America’s Race Riots

Schuyler had been around when the Communists had organized the protests about the 1931 Scottsboro case in which eight young black men were sentenced to death for raping two white women in a sham trial. Schuyler saw that the Communist campaign was intended to propagandize against the American justice system for the purpose of fundraising and recruitment. And the longer the “boys” stayed in prison, the better. In fact, it would be even better for the Communist cause if one or more of the prisoners died on the electric chair. Fortunately, this did not happen, but the “boys” lingered in jail for years as the Communists wrested the case away from the NAACP and sabotaged their legal case, while stirring up violent protests across the globe.  

In the 1990s, when Soviet archives were opened, it was confirmed that these white protesters were on the payroll of the Soviets.

In 1964, Schuyler served on the grand jury in the case of police officer Thomas Gilligan, who had shot and killed a black knife-wielding teenager in self-defense in Harlem, which led to rioting. After hearing the testimony of 47 witnesses, the grand jury exonerated Gilligan. This did not matter to the “organized agitators,” as Schuyler wrote in his autobiography, Black and Conservative. They “yelled ‘whitewash,’” and 

Leaflets quickly appeared with Lieutenant Gilligan’s picture and the caption, ‘Wanted for Murder!’, further inciting the mob and adding grist for the agitators’ mill. The loudest of these agitators were known Communists. Others, less flagrant, led and addressed big street demonstrations which the police in their singular indulgence permitted to block traffic. Thanks to the news media, which had a field day over the saturnalia, news and pictures of the shambles were broadcast with the effect of alerting similar criminal elements elsewhere.

The news media ignored Schuyler, who continued to use his column at the black newspaper, the Pittsburgh Courier, where he had been since 1924, and his syndicated column, to slam white socialist “beatnik” and black “civil rights” provocateurs, and newspaper reporters who sought only the opinions of leftist blacks.

Reporters also quoted professors of sociology who focused on “root causes” of unfulfilled expectations, of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 2, 1964. Johnson sought to keep a voting bloc by handing out federal funds to “black leaders” (including the Black Panthers) ostensibly for federal “anti-poverty” programs and to rebuild the riot-torn cities. Subsequent agitators have rebranded their shakedown operations and enriched themselves, while once-stable, middle class black neighborhoods (like Watts and Ferguson) rot.

BLM and 1619 Riots

The playbook continues to be employed. Out of the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 arose Black Lives Matter, a racket that stands ready to spring into action any time a black person dies at the hands of law enforcement. The big payday came in the summer of 2020, when George Floyd, a drug-addled career criminal, had to be subdued in order to be taken into custody. That year’s rioting broke new ground with a multiracial cast and a historical dimension.

The prior year was preparatory. Nikole Hannah-Jones, a biracial New York Times education and race reporter, schemed up a project to “reframe” American history based on a book recommended to her by her high school black studies teacher, a 1960s relic, Before the Mayflower by Lerone Bennett, Jr. She presented her high school reading assignment as revelatory and lashed out when historians took issue with her claims.

Nonetheless, The “1619 Project,” as the special issue of the August 18, 2019, New York Times Magazine was called, demonizes white people and provided an excuse for indoctrinated white masochists to engage in literal boot-licking and self-destructive statue toppling of ancestral “oppressors.” Seeing another lopsided and falsified history on the order of A People’s History of the United States, I decided to add to my Debunking Howard Zinn another debunking,  Debunking The 1619 Project.

But instead of being drummed out of the profession, Hannah-Jones has been rewarded with prizes, exorbitant speaking fees, film roles, and a professorship at Howard University (a place that once graduated and employed legitimate historians such as George Washington Williams and John Hope Franklin).

The death of George Floyd as policeman Derek Chauvin tried to subdue him was used to add evidence to Hannah-Jones’ thesis that the United States was founded as a “slavocracy” and remained a “slavocracy” to the present. Chauvin was not as fortunate as Thomas Gilligan. He is now serving 22-and-a-half-years in prison.

Another casualty of the 2020 riots was our nation’s history. The emblems of our “slavocracy”—from Thomas Jefferson to a Prairie mother—were attacked in what were dubbed the “1619 riots.” As I recounted, “In a tweet, Nikole Hannah-Jones proudly embraced the ‘1619 riots’ label as an ‘honor’” and explained in a public radio interview, “’I think [The 1619 Project] has allowed many Americans, particularly white Americans, to connect the dots they weren’t connecting before,’ namely between ‘police violence and inequality.’” Yet, Hannah-Jones complained when retailers locked up merchandise after police were ordered to ignore shoplifting.

Hannah-Jones selectively focuses on race when it comes to the news, in the manner of her “history.” In commenting on George Floyd’s death, she described “an agent of the state” kneeling on Floyd’s “neck until all of the life [was] leached out of his body.”

1619 Riots, Three Years On

On May 1, another disturbed black man, Jordan Neely, needed to be subdued. It happened on a New York subway and no police were around. So 24-year-old Marine veteran, Daniel Penny, with the assistance of two men, one black and one Hispanic, subdued Neely, who was acting in a threatening manner. Unfortunately, Neely died.

Since then, events have progressed according to the “1619 Project riots” script.   

We can see the agitation over the death of Neely as a call to another summer of rioting, as in 2020. The usual Democrats have jumped in stirring up the mobs funded by left-wing billionaires. Protesters shut down a subway station in Manhattan and continued protests a couple days later that led to arrests for using amplified sound, fighting with other protesters and police, and blocking traffic.

Touré gleefully described the “killing of Neely” that has “plunged New York City into protests that have a ferocity not seen since the protests about George Floyd’s death back in 2020,” during his interview with two members of Warriors in the Garden, the group organizing the “actions.” Fifteen more are being planned for this month.

Hannah-Jones did her part. She took to Twitter, casting the Neely incident as a “vigilante killing” of a “poor” person, who was even more “reviled” because he was also “Black.” She even criticized the release of black people’s rap sheets. Neely’s included an outstanding warrant and more than 40 arrests. After assaulting and seriously injuring a 67-year-old woman, he spent over a year awaiting trial, then pleaded guilty and was ordered to spend 15 months in a treatment facility, but left after 13 days. He even tried to push riders onto the tracks, according to his would-be victims. They were luckier than Michelle Go, who was killed by an oncoming train after she was pushed on the tracks by another homeless man, and luckier than other riders killed in New York’s subways.

But Hannah-Jones mocks frightened subway riders and ignores evidence that does not comport with her narrative.  The Neely story for her is a case of “a man strangling another to death because he didn’t like how he was behaving.” She felt like crying, she said, in response to another tweeter’s comment about Neely being “hungry and homeless and thirsty and tired.” She asked why “nobody just, like, offered Jordan Neely a swig from their water bottle” or tried to “pry off the guy literally strangling him to death. . . .?” (She should consider that two nonwhite men, recognizing the threat, assisted Penny.) 

She also found it “fascinating how many of the same people who spent the last few weeks bemoaning a society where people get killed for knocking on the wrong door and other mundane acts find it somewhat acceptable to die for being mentally ill and yelling at people.” She was referring to Ralph Yarl, a black teenager shot by a white homeowner when he simply—allegedly—rang his doorbell. The case of Kaylin Gillis, who was shot and killed by a homeowner in Hebron, New York, while a passenger in a car whose driver had turned around after realizing they were at the wrong address, has been memory-holed. 

There Is Only the Narrative

Facts do not matter. The full video of George Floyd trying to escape was ignored. The case of Tony Timpa, a white man who, unlike Floyd, was not fighting police and was mocked by the officers holding him down as he died, was ignored by Hannah-Jones and the commentariat in their efforts to make a racial case.

The longer video of the Neely incident shows that Penny released Neely after he had been subdued and put him in the recovery position with the help of the two other men. That footage has been ignored.

Penny is now facing charges of second-degree manslaughter by District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who rather than letting a grand jury decide (as was the case with Lieutenant Gilligan) waited for the mobs to decide. Mayor Eric Adams changed from expressing caution about jumping to conclusions to releasing a statement referring to the “killing at the hands of a fellow passenger” as connected to “racism that continues to permeate throughout our society [which] allows for a level of dehumanization that denies Black people from being recognized as victims when subjected to acts of violence.”

Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy at Neely’s funeral. The Neely family attorney is calling for charges of murder instead of second-degree manslaughter.

“If Jordan Neely were not homeless, mentally ill and Black, and another passenger had strangled him to death on the train,” Hannah-Jones wrote,  “the coverage would look very different.”

She is correct, but not in the way she intends. A similar case occurred last year, not on the subway, but at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Tampa, Florida, where 27-year-old Corey Pujols punched 77-year-old Vonelle Cook so hard that he died. Pujols, who is black, claimed that Cook, who is white, had called him a racial slur. No doubt, Pujols did not intend to kill Cook, who nonetheless was only using words (allegedly) and not threatening the safety of him or others.

The Washington Post, like most other outlets, only briefly reported on Pujols, who received no jail time as he pled down to the charge of felony battery. He received two years of house arrest, then three years of probation and 200 hours of community service. A spokesman for the Hillsborough County state attorney’s office said that the “outcome holds the defendant accountable while taking into account the totality of the circumstances—the aggressive approach and despicable racial slur used by the victim, along with the defendant’s age, lack of criminal record, and lack of intent to cause the victim’s death.”

But Bragg did not consider “the totality of the circumstances,” the “despicable” and dangerous behavior of Neely, “along with the defendant’s [even younger] age, lack of criminal record [indeed service to the country], and lack of intent to cause the victim’s death.” Penny did not intend to kill Neely.

Pujols assaulted and killed an elderly man, who posed no physical threat to him, out of anger, for being called a bad name. Penny restrained a man roughly his own age who evidently was sane enough to pick easy targets—the women, children, and elderly that he chose to attack. Penny was protecting others. As the case gets distorted by the media and tweeting academics, the cries will come for a conviction similar to Derek Chauvin’s.      

It’s a ruse intended to eliminate the color-blindness of our legal system.     

In 1964, George Schuyler saw through the Communists’ racialized ruse. For his truth-telling, Schuyler has been memory-holed by historians. Nearly a century later, we have propagandists like Hannah-Jones, rewriting history and “proudly” seeing to it that the riots never end.

Get the news corporate media won't tell you.

Get caught up on today's must read stores!

By submitting your information, you agree to receive exclusive AG+ content, including special promotions, and agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms. By providing your phone number and checking the box to opt in, you are consenting to receive recurring SMS/MMS messages, including automated texts, to that number from my short code. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help, STOP to end. SMS opt-in will not be sold, rented, or shared.

About Mary Grabar

Mary Grabar, Ph.D., a resident fellow at The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, is author of Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation against America and Debunking "The 1619 Project.” She currently is writing a biography of George Schuyler.

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Notable Replies

  1. I am glad to see that someone finally gets it, although it should be “1920 Riots” rather than “1619 Riots.” That is the year the USSR instructed American Communists to start recruiting blacks. The irony regarding Hannah-Jones is that her radicalism came from her far-left white mother rather than her US Army veteran and apparent patriot father. The woman is a product of “black history” which is mostly appropriation and outright lies, as with the 1619 myth.

    Incidentally, I outlined the whole sordid mess in a recent Subtstack post on my Tennessee Flyboy account.

Continue the discussion at community.amgreatness.com


Avatar for SamMcGowan Avatar for system