The National Archives is not backing down from placing warning labels on founding documents, including the U.S. Constitution, despite opposition from Republican politicians. The warning says some of the papers might be “difficult” to stomach.
U.S. archivist David S. Ferriero in a letter to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich says the warnings are there “because the Catalog contains some content that may be graphic or difficult to view.
“Our records span the history of the United States, and it is our charge to preserve and make available these historical records,” he said.
Several Republicans have complained that the warning makes it look as if the documents themselves are offensive.
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., sent a letter to NARA archivist Ferriero outlining his concern about the “blanket application” of a “Harmful Language Alert” on the nation’s pillar documents, Fox News reported.
“Most disturbing is use of the alert for our nation’s founding documents, including the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights,” Lankford wrote in the letter obtained by Fox News. “It should be removed immediately.”
The Oklahoma Republican told the archivist that America “should take pride in our founding documents” and not act as if we are “ashamed” of the freedoms guaranteed to us by our country.
The warning is placed across the top of many Archive webpages with this comment: “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 As a result, some of the materials presented here may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions.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.”
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