Harmful Language Alert: National Archives puts WARNING LABEL on US Constitution and Declaration of Independence


The link on the label leads to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) statement on “potentially harmful content,” defined 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,” among other criteria.

‘Harmful Language Alert’: National Archives puts WARNING LABEL on US Constitution and Declaration of Independence

7 Sep, 2021 22:56

Visitors to the National Archives website looking for the US founding documents are now greeted with labels warning of ‘harmful language’. It isn’t clear when the tags were added, but the move has angered some Republicans.

“Harmful Language Alert” labels can be found on pages displaying the scanned versions of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as well as the first 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights.

The addition caught the eye of Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado), who pointed it out on Tuesday.

[snip]

It was no joke, however. The link on the label leads to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) statement on “potentially harmful content,” defined 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,” among other criteria.

The archivists are told to inform the users about the presence and origin of such “harmful content,” update descriptions with “more respectful terms” and make “an institutional commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.”

It was unclear when the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights were labeled as potentially harmful. Back in July, during its traditional reading of the Declaration on the anniversary of its adoption – July 4, 1776 – National Public Radio added a disclaimer for the very first time, saying that “the words in the document land differently” after “last summer’s protests and our national reckoning on race.”

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