National Archives' 'Harmful Language Alert' Label on US Constitution Page Angers Republicans
08:01 GMT 08.09.2021 (Updated: 13:23 GMT 06.08.2022)
In July, the US non-profit broadcaster National Public Radio provoked public uproar over its disclaimer that the 245-year-old Declaration of Independence contains a "racist slur against indigenous Americans".
Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) has reacted angrily to "Harmful Language Alert" labels on pages of the US National Archives' website
displaying the scanned versions of the country's Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as well as the first 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights.
"The National Archives have now put a disclaimer on their website that our historical documents may include Harmful Content. They even slapped this warning on the Constitution”, Boebert tweeted on Wednesday.
She was echoed by Ken Cuccinelli, a former deputy Homeland Security secretary in the Trump administration, who reacted to the news by wondering on his Twitter page: "What are we becoming?" and "Are you kidding me?"
The alert links to a statement by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) on "potentially harmful content", which NARA defines as reflecting "racist, sexist, ableist, misogynistic/misogynoir, and xenophobic opinions and attitudes" or being "discriminatory towards or exclude diverse views on sexuality, gender, religion, and more".
"NARA's mission is to preserve and provide access to the permanent records of the federal government. NARA, working in conjunction with diverse communities, will seek to balance the preservation of this history with sensitivity to how these materials are presented to and perceived by users", a statement points out.
It remains unclear when the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights were labelled by NARA as containing potentially harmful language, but it comes amid developments in July, when the non-profit news outlet National Public Radio (NPR) triggered a social media uproar by describing the Declaration of Independence as "a document with flaws and deeply ingrained hypocrisies".
23 December 2020, 06:33 GMT
Every US Independence Day, NPR publishes and reads the Declaration of Independence on the air, but July 2021's edition was quite different from previous years, as the broadcaster argued that following the anti-racism mass protests and riots in the US in 2020 "the words in the document land differently".
The news outlet was referring to the Black Lives Matter protests
that kicked off across the nation in May 2020 after the death of African American George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minnesota.