WASHINGTON — Conservative reaction to The New York Times’ “1619 Project” — an attempt to tell the story of slavery and its lasting effect on American political, economic and social structures — has been both disappointing and instructive.

I am not referring here to thinkers (the term is employed loosely) who consciously embrace a philosophy of white supremacy. Though resurgent and repellant, they do not constitute the mainstream of conservative thinking on race.

Michael Gerson’s email address is michaelgerson@washpost.com.

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