The Root Attacks 'White' National Review Writer... Who's Actually Black

'Well, I guess if Elizabeth Warren can be Cherokee, I can be white'

Peter Kirsanow, attorney and member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights / Getty Images
January 17, 2020

A left-wing website attacked a "white" National Review Online writer for his perspective on black history, failing to realize the writer in question is black.

Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and a former member of the National Labor Relations Board, argued in a piece published Thursday that the New York Times's 1619 Project has an "obsession" with slavery at the expense of the rest of American history. Michael Harriot, a senior reporter for the liberal African-American publication The Root, responded in a piece titled, "Black History, According to White People." Harriot referred to Kirsanow as white throughout the post.

"As white people are wont to do, Kirsanow framed his argument in the context of Martin Luther King Jr.," Harriot wrote. "White people love to quote King because he is a mythical figure who has been whitewashed by the very version of America that Kirsanow wants to perpetuate ... 'The 1619 Project’s obsession with race, standing alone, is bad enough,' Kirsanow writes, whitely."

Kirsanow was surprised to discover that he is caucasian.

"Well, I guess if Elizabeth Warren can be Cherokee, I can be white," Kirsanow told the Washington Free Beacon. "Wait till my wife finds out."

Harriot did not respond to a request for comment.

National Review Online editor Charles Cooke mocked the error on Twitter Friday, tweeting, "Today I learned that Peter Kirsanow is white."