The Constitution Was Signed On This Date In 1787. Meanwhile, The National Archives Thinks Some May Find It “Offensive”

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That would be Democrats and progressives, presumably. They’d have this country under their thumb permanently it it weren’t for that damn thing. This whole day must be traumatic for them.

I’d vote for a different party to be in control of the White House and Congress just to stop utter crap like this.

The National Archives Records Administration placed a “harmful content” warning on all documents across the Archives’ cataloged website, including the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, labeling the founding documents of the United States as “harmful or difficult to view.” The warning:

The Catalog and web pages of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provide access to many millions of descriptions and digital copies of the permanent records of the United States federal government. The Catalog and web pages contain some content that may be harmful or difficult to view. NARA’s records span the history of the United States, and it is our charge to preserve and make available these historical records. As a result, some of the materials presented here may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions. In addition, some of the materials may relate to violent or graphic events and are preserved for their historical significance.  The National Archives is committed to working with staff, communities, and peer institutions to assess and update descriptions that are harmful and to establish standards and policies to prevent future harmful language in staff-generated descriptions….Some items may:

  • reflect racist, sexist, ableist, misogynistic/misogynoir, and xenophobic opinions and attitudes;
  • be discriminatory towards or exclude diverse views on sexuality, gender, religion, and more;
  • include graphic content of historical events such as violent death, medical procedures, crime, wars/terrorist acts, natural disasters and more;
  • demonstrate bias and exclusion in institutional collecting and digitization policies….”

This is despicable presentism and anti-American propaganda, but it was obviously coming. In June, the National Archives’ racism task force claimed that the Archives’ rotunda, which houses founding documents, is an example of “structural racism.” The task force pushed to include trigger warnings around displays of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, which are all in the rotunda. 

Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma—guess which party— sent a letter to National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) archivist David Ferriero objecting the “blanket application” of a “Harmful Language Alert” on the founding documents. “It should be removed immediately,” Lankford said, adding that the warning’s description of the documents as striking some as “outdated, biased” and “offensive” was itself biased and offensive. “This obviously politically-charged qualifier goes leaps and bounds beyond the role of NARA, which has been established to operate as a nonpartisan entity responsible for providing public access to federal government records,” Lankford wrote. “While our nation undoubtedly has stains on its history, we have, from our founding, created the most free and diverse society on earth, nevertheless, the people of the United States have continued their mission of forming a more perfect union.”

I want to see someone in the White House press corps ask Jen Psaki if President Biden agrees that the Founding Documents are offensive.

8 thoughts on “The Constitution Was Signed On This Date In 1787. Meanwhile, The National Archives Thinks Some May Find It “Offensive”

  1. I would feel bad for President Biden if he found those documents offensive, especially the Constitution, what with him swearing on a Bible to uphold it and defend it and all.

    Actually, no I wouldn’t…

    Remember Schoolhouse Rock on Saturday mornings when we sang the Preamble in between cartoons? Wow, that was offensive!!!

  2. I heard Pelosi making statements today in a sense threatening Great Britain should they not treat Ireland fairly in trade negotiations. She indicated that if Britain does not act as she expects a trade deal with the US is unlikely.

    Who the hell is running the Executive branch who is responsible for trade negotiations or the Senate who ratifies treaties. The House has no role in such matters. Has Pelosi decided she is the defacto President?

  3. This kind of story is just mind-blowing.

    We are discouraging the learning of history. You can’t learn history if you are squeamish (and unapologetically so).

    Lately, I have been making my way through several books of slave narratives I own.

    [side-note and maybe worth an ethics post: during the depression, the WPA project sent writers out to interview former slaves and record their recollections of slavery, freedom and their life. Much like the Jewish project for interviewing Holocaust survivors, they compiled interviews of thousands of former slaves. They are relatively short, 3 to 10 pages each, but, taken together, they provide a vivid record of the time and some poignant portrayals of people whose existence, perhaps but for this, would be lost to time. More info here: https://www.loc.gov/collections/slave-narratives-from-the-federal-writers-project-1936-to-1938/articles-and-essays/introduction-to-the-wpa-slave-narratives/wpa-and-the-slave-narrative-collection/
    ]

    If the N-Word offends you, slave narratives would be impossible to read. They literally contain graphic depictions of human enslavement, human trafficking, terrorism, lynching, murder. They are inherently offensive to the perpetually offended. And, there is no better way to keep such people from reading such accounts than to scare them off with a warning.

    Truly, the only appropriate warning on almost any piece of work should be: “The following work May contain authentic depictions of the human condition, including instances of its brutal imperfections. Exposure to such materials may result in enlightenment of the curious, revulsion of the weak-minded, and the amusement of the depraved.”

    -Jut

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