Bill Nye, the supposed “Science Guy,” offered his sage opinion on American history on Sunday to celebrate June 19.
He got blasted.
“The United States we know today was built with the labor of enslaved Black Americans. The last were not freed (officially) until 19 June 1865. Let us celebrate— and never forget,” Nye tweeted, accompanied by a photo of him holding a pocket copy of the Constitution.
The United States we know today was built with the labor of enslaved Black Americans. The last were not freed (officially) until 19 June 1865. Let us celebrate— and never forget. pic.twitter.com/AtfgkoZ3FN
— Bill Nye (@BillNye) June 19, 2022
Posts on social media pointed out that Nye got it wrong on several counts; the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in America, was passed in 1863 but was not ratified until December 1865, and slavery was still present in several states even after U.S. General Gordon Granger told Texans on June 19, 1865, that the Emancipation Proclamation had been passed in 1863, the date celebrated as “Juneteenth.”
This is not true. Juneteenth doesn’t commemorate the 13th Amendment. It commemorates news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaching Texas. Two union states had slavery until December 1865.
— InvestingLegend (@Investinglegend) June 20, 2022
Not exactly. You’re right about the economy being built on slavery, both north and south, but slavery didn’t end on Juneteenth. It ended December 6, 1865 when the 13th Amendment was ratified. Slavery was STILL legal in the “northern” states of Delaware and Kentucky until that day
— L. Ron James (@CaptainLetdown) June 19, 2022
Too bad Bill Nye was wrong.
The last enslaved people weren't freed until the 13th Amendment was ratified in December 1865.
The Emancipation Proclamation didn't cover Kentucky, along with Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, & Missouri.
Read a history book Bill.
— CatsFanInOhio 🇺🇦 (@michaeldf88) June 20, 2022
Last November, President Biden joined Nye in a much-criticized video supporting Biden’s trillion-dollar infrastructure bill.
Nye has offered his profound wisdom before; in May 2019, he threw a temper tantrum in a video played on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” hysterically proclaiming, “The planet’s on f***ing fire!” and ranting, “Grow the f*** up! You’re not children anymore!”
The video of Nye and his expletive-laden rant was prompted by Oliver, who asserted:
However bumpy its rollout was, to its eternal credit the Green New Deal has succeeded in getting people talking. But that won’t mean anything unless that talk now turns to actions, and putting a price on carbon could potentially be one of them, although let me reiterate, it will not be enough on its own by a longshot. We’re going to need a lot of different policies working in tandem and we have to take action right now.
But you don’t have to just take that from me; instead, I’m happy to say that Bill Nye has actually agreed to help drive the urgency home at this point by actually doing one of his enjoyable lighthearted demonstrations. So Bill, please, please, do you have a fun experiment for us?
The video of Nye showed him in his lab coat accompanied by a globe, a blanket, a fire extinguisher, and a pile of sand. Nye stated, “Here, I’ve got an experiment for you. Safety glasses on.” Donning glasses, he continued, “By the end of this century, if emissions keep rising, the average temperature on Earth could go up another four to eight degrees.” Yanking out a blowtorch, he then announced, “What I’m saying is, the planet’s on f***ing fire!”
Nye torched the globe, then pointed to the sand, blanket, and fire extinguisher on the table with the globe, saying, “There are a lot of things we could do to put it out. Are any of them free? No, of course not, nothing’s free, you idiots!”
Nye yelled, “Grow the f*** up! You’re not children anymore! I didn’t mind explaining photosynthesis to you when you were 12, but you’re adults now, and this is an actual crisis! Got it?!” Removing his glasses, he snapped, “Safety glasses off, motherf*****s!” Nye made a vain attempt to blow out the burning globe, then walked offscreen.
As noted by National Review’s Ian Tuttle:
William Sanford Nye’s scientific bona fides consists of an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell, and a stint at Boeing. But you can be anything you want on television, and in the late 1980s, hard at work pursuing a career in comedy, Nye landed a recurring bit as Bill Nye “the Science Guy” on Almost Live!, a Seattle-area sketch-comedy television show, and a role as Christopher Lloyd’s laboratory sidekick on Back to the Future: The Animated Series.
Even the founder of The Weather Channel, John Coleman, told Climate Depot, “I have always been amazed that anyone would pay attention to Bill Nye, a pretend scientist in a bow tie. As a man who has studied the science of meteorology for over 60 years and received the AMS (American Meteorological Society’s) ‘Meteorologist of the Year’ award, I am totally offended that Nye gets the press and media attention he does.”