The New York Times' Dark History of Slave Ownership

Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at Family Research Council. This article appeared in CNS News on July 24, 2020.

The radical-left doesn't just want to destroy statues. It wants to rewrite history using politically convenient narratives.

Starting in 2019, the New York Times has embraced a false narrative about the founding of America entitled the "1619 Project." Instead of our country beginning with the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the Times argues it started in 1619 when approximately two dozen slaves were transferred to colonial Virginia.

The 1619 Project is an attempt to look at all American history through the prism of race and slavery.

While embracing the false "alternative history" promoted by many Marxist college professors such as Howard Zinn, the Times proclaims that the American Revolution was all about America's desire to keep its slaves. It believes when the Founders were defending liberty and freedom, they were secretly doing their best to protect slavery. James M. McPherson, the dean of Civil War Historians, historian Gordon Wood, and other scholars have thoroughly debunked this outrageous claim.

Secondly, the 1619 Project claims that the functioning of American capitalism is predicated on the plantation system. Therefore, it is equating all American entrepreneurs to slave masters.

Why would the New York Times, a once-respected newspaper, embrace such foolish revisionism? Because it wants Americans to tie everything in American politics to the original sin of slavery as an excuse to elect more radical progressives and expand the welfare state.

The New York Times has done a disservice to black people. The 1619 Project has won the Pulitzer Prize, and major cities like Washington, D.C., and Buffalo, New York have mandated it be taught in schools.

The New York Times has targeted businesses, schools, and individuals with past ties to slavery. Georgetown UniversityState University of New YorkNew York Life InsuranceGeorge WashingtonJames Monroe, and even Catholic nuns are not spared from blistering attacks.

Now, there has been a startling revelation that the family that owns the New York Times also owned slaves. Bertha Levy Ochs, mother of Adolph Ochs, the former publisher and owner of The New York Times, supported slavery and the Confederacy during the Civil War. She was caught while smuggling medicine in a baby carriage for the South.

In total, at least three members of the Ochs family fought for slavery.

According to New York Post writer Michael Goodwin, Adolph Ochs' support of the pro-slavery South was evident in an editorial in 1990 for the Chattanooga Times, which described the Democratic Party, which he supported, as that which "may justly insist that the evils of negro suffrage were wantonly inflicted on them."

Six years afterwards, the Times published a favorable profile of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy on what would have been his 100th birthday, referring to him as "the great Southern leader." Also, Ochs reportedly donated to build the same rebel memorials that many cities are eliminating today.

This a disturbing past for the Times, which the paper would like to sweep under the rug.

Is it time to "cancel" The New York Times? If the paper was held to the same standards they hold others to, then they must be.

Sadly, it has actually been the welfare state that is the modern 20th-century plantation system. Generations of black families have been devastated through this cycle of dependency and many once great cities have been turn into killing fields.