National Archives Slaps 'Harmful Content' Warning On Constitution, All Other Founding Documents

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Leroy N. Soetoro

Sep 21, 2022, 1:25:56 PMSep 21
The National Archives issued a blanket ‘warning’ on cataloged documents,
cautioning readers against ‘racist, sexist, misogynistic, and xenophobic

The National Archives Records Administration placed a “harmful content”
warning on the Constitution, labeling the governing document of the United
States as “harmful or difficult to view.” The warning applies to all
documents across the Archives’ cataloged website, including the Bill of
Rights and the Declaration of Independence.

“NARA’s records span the history of the United States, and it is our
charge to preserve and make available these historical records,” the
administration said in a statement. “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presented here may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly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

The NARA, which is responsible for preserving and protecting documentation
of American heritage, noted that so-called harmful historical documents
could “reflect racist, sexist, ableist, misogynistic/misogynoir, and
xenophobic opinions and attitudes; be 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.”

Along with committing to diversity and equity, the NARA said it would
“[work] in conjunction with diverse communities, [and] seek to balance the
preservation of this history with sensitivity to how these materials are
presented to and perceived by users.”

This isn’t the first time the National Archives has catered to a leftist
view of history. In June, the National Archives’ racism task force claimed
that the Archives’ rotunda, which houses founding documents, is an example
of “structural racism.” The task force also pushed to include trigger
warnings around displays of the Declaration of Independence, the
Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, which are all in the rotunda.

The warning is a blanket statement atop all documents in the archived
catalogs that links to a “Statement on Potentially Harmful Content.”

As news of the website’s warning circulated on Twitter, the NARA issued a
standard response to those concerned by the “harmful” label on the

Tom Kattman
Sep 7, 2021
Replying to @AgnesClaire
Dear @USNatArchives - this
newsletter&utm_campaign=daily&utm_content=firefly seems a bit dense. The
Constitution has a “Harmful Language Alert”? ??

US National Archives
This alert is not connected to any specific records, but appears at the
top of the page while you are using the online Catalog

To learn more about why the alert about harmful language appears in our
Catalog, please go to
NARA’s Statement on Potentially Harmful Content
The Catalog and web pages of the National Archives and Records
Administration (NARA) provide access to many millions of descriptions and
digital copies of the permanent records of the United States
1:11 PM · Sep 7, 2021

“This alert is not connected to any specific records, but appears at the
top of the page while you are using the online Catalog. To learn more
about why the alert about harmful language appears in our Catalog, please
go to ‘NARA’s Statement on Potentially Harmful Content,’” the tweet said.

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