Nikole Hannah-Jones is an American investigative journalist known for her coverage of civil rights in the United States. She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2017 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2020 for her work on "The 1619 Project," which, among other things, argues that slavery is a foundational American institution.
When she recently tweeted out that African Americans' "very presence on these lands is the greatest rebuke to the narrative of American exceptionalism," it did not set will with first generation immigrant Xi Van Fleet of the Independent Women's Forum.
She tweeted back that both she and Hannah-Jones are proof of American exceptionalism -- or the belief that the United States is either distinctive, unique, or exemplary compared to other nations.
"She has nothing but privilege," Xi Van Fleet tells AFN about Hannah-Jones. "She lived in a society that allowed her to succeed. With her false narrative, she was able to get a professorship position in [a] major university in America. She knows nothing about oppression."
After a little more back-and-forth on Twitter, Hannah-Jones claimed that Van Fleet's vision of America does not match reality. Van Fleet, however, corrected her to say that hers is not a vision, but a lived experience.
"When those people complain about slavery, have any of them spent a day working in a plantation, in a field? I did," she tells AFN. "I was forced to work in a communist plantation when I was 16, and I worked there for three years."
Van Fleet says "wokesters," as she calls them, are driving America to an authoritarian, socialist dystopia – a push some say is an unintended consequence of woke culture.
"I think they know," she responds. "I'm not talking about average people. People like Nikole Hannah- Jones, she knows. She knows exactly what she's doing."
Fox News notes that Van Fleet, who endured Zedong's Cultural Revolution before traveling to the US at 26, recently argued before a Virginia school board that CRT ideology teaches American children to "loathe our history and our country," recounting her own experience emigrating from China to the US, where she was provided with freedoms and opportunities she had been deprived of before.