And, there have it, the Band-Aid has been pulled off and it is time that Americans reconcile with the inconvenient truth that America was founded on the backs of slaves. The wound is open and oozing because some Americans continue to hold on to the façade of American exceptionalism. Today’s America is the culmination of the work by Blacks and other minorities. Without the labor of people of color, America would not be what it is today.

Tom Cotton (R) is the Senator for Arkansas. He has represented Arkansas since 2013, first at the House of Representatives and now as the Senator, since 2015. According to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette in an article posted on July 26; Bill by Sen. Tom Cotton targets curriculum on slavery, by Frank Lockwood, Cotton said that “As the Founding Fathers said, it [slavery] was the necessary evil upon which the unions was built.”

Cotton is arguing against using federal funds to fund school curriculums using the 1619 Project as material source. The 1619 Project argues that one of the reasons for the American Revolution was to keep the institution of slavery alive. Several scholars disagree with that view of history.

However, Cotton’s point about slavery is often overlooked in Americans’ view of history. Many continue to argue that the American Civil War was about state’s rights, often overlooking the slavery factor. Likewise, the Texas Rebellion that eventually led to the loss of almost half of México and Texas becoming an American state was about slavery, not an oppressive government as often taught in American schools.

Slavery is the backbone of the American experiment.

It is a significant part of what made America. That inconvenient fact needs to be understood, especially now, with the war on immigrants intensifying every day.

Slavery, minority and immigrant labor is what makes America’s economic greatness. It is time that this inconvenient fact be acknowledged by America, as a whole.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...