Fox News contributor and former history teacher Leo Terrell said on Tuesday that the American Federation of Teachers president “lied” about the “importance of critical race theory” and that the American Revolution was predicated on preserving slavery.
“Look, it’s very clear that 1607 and 1619 and the slave issue was discussed and being discussed in American history but to make the premise that the American Revolution was fought on slavery is an outright lie. And I submit to you, that this union president, was afraid of losing her job if she said the wrong thing,” Terrell told “Fox & Friends,” adding he was “very upset” by AFT President Randi Weingarten’s comments.
“It’s very insulting because what’s at issue here is not only the credibility of American history, but lying to our school children about American history. This is what’s so frightening about this critical race theory,” Terrell said.
“The Story” host Martha MacCallum tangled with American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten Monday over her support of The New York Times’ controversial “1619 Project” and critical race theory being taught in classrooms across the country.
MacCallum questioned Weingarten’s push to implement a curriculum based on certain parts of the 1619 Project, published in 2019 by the Times.
The project is based on the belief that the first importation of the slaves to American shores in 1619 constituted the nation’s true founding, “and that the reason for the revolution and the colonization was because people wanted to preserve slavery,” MacCallum explained.
Weingarten, a self-described “history and social studies teacher” defended the controversial belief, claiming that “from everything I can see and understand from the data that I see, 1619 was the year that the first slave boat came from Africa to the United States. So that’s a point in history that I think we should be teaching.”
“That’s a very simplistic take on it,” MacCallum fired back. “The Story” host explained that the project indoctrinates children to believe that “the country was founded on the basis of wanting to preserve slavery.”
“But that is not factual. That is not true,” MacCallum told viewers. “In fact, scholars say there’s no evidence that colonists were motivated by that in coming to the United States. So it would be wrong as a historian to want to teach them something that is not true, because that is the basis that sets up all of these other tenants that lead to teaching kids that we live in a systemically racist country.”
Weingarten claimed that she had “several conversations” with 1619 Project founder Nikole Hannah-Jones and that she has “not arrived at the same conclusion from her work as [MacCallum has].”
Terrell, a civil rights attorney, said that during his tenure as a teacher, he did not “lie” to his students about the American Revolution. Terrell said the teachings of critical race theory imply that teachers have been lying to children for decades.
“In the American Revolution, we fought against the British for our independence, not to preserve slavery. That is a lie, and yes, that union president is afraid. I hope she is listening. She is afraid to tell the truth because no one believes that the American Revolution was fought to preserve slavery.”
Fox News’ Yael Halon contributed to this report.