More Trigger Warnings, This Time From America’s Official Historians

It’s bad enough that many groups – the Democratic Party, teachers’ unions, college professors, Black Lives Matter – want to rewrite American history.

Now, the nation’s historians who oversee the official records of the United States have joined the wokesters’ fun.

The National Archives and Records Administration has posted a trigger warning on its website regarding the searchable online database of historic documents and images.

“The [online] 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 As a result, some of the materials presented here may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions.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 agency’s official statement on “potentially harmful content” reads.

“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.”

By the way, those searchable documents include the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, among others that shaped the birth and early development of America.

In a FAQ section of the website, the NARA explains that researchers could uncover documents that “reflect racist, sexist, ableist, misogynistic/misogynoir, and xenophobic opinions and attitudes.

They could also include items “discriminatory towards or exclude diverse views on sexuality, gender, religion, and more [and] include graphic content of historical events such as violent death, medical procedures, crime, wars/terrorist acts, natural disasters, and more. They also could “demonstrate bias and exclusion in institutional collecting and digitization policies.”

The NARA explains that this material exists because its “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.”

And in a only-in-Biden’s-America observation, the NARA notes, “In the past, the National Archives has not had standards or policies to help archivists avoid harmful language.”

The NARA’s steps to address this supposed problem include “revising descriptions and standardized sets of descriptive terms, supplementing description with more respectful terms, or creating new standardized terms to describe materials.”

The NARA is also “evaluating existing processes for exclusionary practices or institutional bias that prioritize one culture and/or group over another [and] making an institutional commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.”

In other words, they will rewrite history when they feel it’s necessary.

As the issue was making the rounds on Twitter on Tuesday, the NARA tweeted a response to inquiring minds.

“This alert is not connected to any specific records,” the NARA’s official account responded to an inquiry, “but appears at the top of the page while you are using the online Catalog.”

Or, viewed differently, the alert applies to all archived records of the U.S. government. 


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