“I guess it’s good you no longer pretend to be a journalist anymore,” Hannah-Jones wrote to Kelly
Journalists Nikole Hannah-Jones and Megyn Kelly got into a fiery Twitter exchange on Saturday after Kelly tweeted in support of a recent U.S. Dept. of Education announcement pulling back on efforts to prioritize race-related curricula in schools.
Parents Defending Education (PDE), an organization that says it works to “reclaim our schools from activists promoting harmful agendas,” tweeted a press release Saturday applauding U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on the Education Department’s recent decision to simply “encourage” schools to apply for grants for race-related educational materials rather than “prioritizing” it.
In a Friday blog post, Cardona explained the new “invitational” priorities that the Department would like to see in schools’ grant applications, but they will not require them to adhere to these priorities.
He said one of the Department’s priorities was encouraging “projects that incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives into teaching and learning,” adding that the Department “recognizes the value of supporting teaching and learning that reflects the rich diversity, identities, histories, contributions, and experiences of all students.”
Kelly, a conservative journalist whose FOX News show was canceled in 2018 following comments she made defending blackface, tweeted in response to PDE’s tweet about this decision, igniting the back-and-forth between her and Hannah-Jones.
LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA – OCTOBER 02: Megyn Kelly speaks onstage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2018 at Ritz Carlton Hotel on October 2, 2018 in Laguna Niguel, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Fortune)
“This is great! The ppl pushed back against the feds rewarding schools that teach Kendi & the 1619 project and it worked! Remember: the loudest voices on Twitter (which is far-Left)/the news (which is “woke”) do not represent the majority of Americans. Your voice matters,” Kelly said.
Hannah-Jones replied less than an hour later: “I guess it’s good you no longer pretend to be a journalist anymore. Be well.”
Hannah-Jones’ 1619 Project is among the educational resources many schools are using to teach students about America’s long and ongoing history of racism towards Black Americans. The Pulitzer Prize winner has faced extreme backlash for the project, which even led to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC) rescinding their offer to give Hannah-Jones a tenured faculty position.
Kelly fired back at Hannah-Jones’ response right away. “Says the woman who quietly tried to cleanse her dishonest “reporting” without even having the spine to own her shameful errors. This is why scholars from the L and R have panned your work as anti-historical & dangerous. It belongs nowhere near K-12 education,” she said.
Hannah-Jones delivered the final blow shortly thereafter: “If only I’d done penetrating journalism like, Special Report: Santa is White.”
The report Hannah-Jones referenced was a 2013 FOX News report claiming that both Santa Claus and Jesus Christ are verifiably white.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 19: Nikole Hannah-Jones attends the “Neutral Ground” premiere during the 2021 Tribeca Festival at Pier 76 on June 19, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)
As a result of UNC declining to offer her a tenured position, Hannah-Jones announced earlier in July that she was turning down the university entirely to teach at HBCU Howard University instead.
“I’ve decided to decline the offer,” Hannah-Jones told Gayle King during a CBS This Morning interview. “I will not be teaching on the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was a very difficult decision to make. And instead, I’m going to be the inaugural Knight Chair in Race and Journalism at Howard University.”
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