National Archives Deems US Constitution 'Racist'

Written By BlabberBuzz | Saturday, 11 September 2021 08:30
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The National Archives has attached a 'harmful language alert' label to the nation's founding documents including the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as part of a new 'anti-racism' policy put in place by a task force.

The move by the institution, which is also considering retiring the term ‘charters of freedom’ since the founding documents did not grant liberty to everyone, has prompted fiery reactions online.

The agency implemented the new policy as per the recommendation of an anti-racism task force that was named last year after the police-involved killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd.

Earlier this year, the task force produced a 100-page report slamming its own headquarters' Rotunda for 'structural racism' over paintings it displays which are said to depict the United States' white founding fathers in too positive a light.

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According to the authors, the Rotunda's famed murals depicting scenes like the sighting of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution are insufficiently tempered with depictions of Native Americans being driven off their land by settlers.

Included in the task force's report is a spreadsheet of terms that are described as 'legacy descriptions that use racial slurs and harmful language to describe BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) communities', which it stresses are further examples of structural racism.

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According to the spreadsheet, words such as 'crippled,' and 'illegal alien' should be removed and avoided being used together ever again.

It also highlights the use of offensive anti-Asian slurs used throughout the archive, and recommends adding a 'trigger warning' about texts containing words, to 'forewarn audiences of content that may cause intense physiological and psychological symptoms.'

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This will result in anyone who clicks the section containing the PDF versions of the country’s founding documents seeing a warning that they ‘contain harmful language that reflects attitudes and biases of their time.’

A link attached to the label takes a user to the NARA’s ‘statement on potentially harmful content.’

'The Catalog and web pages contain some content that may be harmful or difficult to view,' the statement reads.

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'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.

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'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.'

The NARA suggests that some of the historical documents may ‘reflect racist, sexist, ableist, misogynistic/misogynoir, and xenophobic opinions and attitudes.’

The documents also could allegedly be ‘discriminatory towards or exclude diverse views on sexuality, gender, religion, and more.’

The new policy elicited fury online.

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