OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace tore into Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of the “The 1619 Project” when she appeared on his new CNN+ interview show, “Who’s Talking To Chris Wallace?”
The two had an amicable conversation at first, but that changed when Wallace took aim at Hannah-Jones claims in “The 1619 Project.” Particularly her belief that “the Greatest Generation,” had suppressed democracy for black people in America after many had served in World War II, The Daily Wire reported.
“‘Without the idealistic, strenuous, and patriotic efforts of black Americans, our democracy today would most likely look very different. It might not be a democracy at all. We like to call those who lived during World War II the Greatest Generation, but that allows us to ignore the fact that many of this generation fought for democracy abroad, while brutally suppressing democracy for millions of American citizens,’” Wallace said, quoting her.
“Again, I am in no way minimizing our terrible racial legacy. But in some of these things, aren’t you overstating?” the host said.
“If you have half of the country, where it’s in some states majorities, in many other states pluralities, 25% of the population, 40% of the population cannot vote, have their vote violently suppressed, where they’re a single one-party, one-race rule in a region where about 30% of the population is black. Would you consider that democracy?” Hannah-Jones said to Wallace, rather than answering the question directly.
Wallace argued that there was a time when women did not have the right to vote, which Hannah-Jones said was also not “democracy.”
“But here’s where I take some objection. You’re talking about if you say the country that we were fighting for democracy overseas, and we were not living in, walking the walk, talking the talk at home, I completely agree with you,” the host said. “But you specifically say the Greatest Generation brutally suppressing, many of this generation brutally suppressing democracy for millions of Americans. To me, and I think Tom Brokaw when he originally wrote the book, ‘The Greatest Generation,’ was talking about 20-year-olds, 30-year-olds who came out of the farm fields of the Midwest, who came out of ethnic neighborhoods in Brooklyn and South Philly and stormed the beaches of Normandy and and, you know, fought to defeat the most, the worst regime, I would argue in, in world history. And to say that they were 20, 30-year-olds, the country was brutally suppressing blacks, but the Greatest Generation wasn’t.”
“Well, they were,” Hannah-Jones responded.
“No, they weren’t, you’re telling me that a farm, that a kid coming off a farm in Indiana or a kid who came from Brooklyn, is was suppressing black people,” Wallace fired back.
“So Indiana had the largest population of the Klan in the United States. The Klan was reached first in Indiana,” Hannah-Jones said.
“I understand, but that wasn’t the 20-year-old kid who risked his life,” Wallace said before Hannah-Jones interrupted: “You don’t think 20-year olds were in the Klan?”
“I didn’t think many of them were, no,” the host said.
“I mean, I don’t know what evidence you have of that,” Hannah-Jones argued.
— Tommy moderna-vaX-Topher (@tommyxtopher) April 7, 2022
“Well, what evidence do you have that they were, since you wrote it,” Wallace pointedly responded.
Hannah-Jones said that she never accused 20-year-olds of being in the Klan, but Wallace responded, “You said many of this generation was brutally suppressing democracy for millions of Americans.”
“And that’s factually inaccurate how?” Hannah-Jones said.
“I’m just asking,” the host said. “That’s a broad, a broad brush, that you’re willing to paint, the 20- and 30-year-olds who defended democracy, I’m not talking about the leaders. I’m not talking about the laws. I’m not talking about the country. I’m talking about the young people who risked their lives. For instance, on the beaches of Normandy, they were brutally suppressing African Americans.”
She said that it wasn’t fair to draw a line and say that “the government was violently suppressing but everyone else, they weren’t. They were glorious.”
She said that, during World War II, the military was segregated, and, “This trying to parse off who gets guilt or who does not for our collective history — we have to be more honest about piercing that mythology not to destroy our country, but to, if we can honestly face who we are, then we can actually become the country that we want to be. But we can’t do that by suppressing the truth and to ask a black person whose view of the Greatest Generation was black people are getting lynched.”