National Archives task force cites Rotunda as ‘racism’ example

The National Archives’ task force on racism claimed in a little-noticed report back to the US’s high librarian that the Archives’ personal Rotunda – which homes the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights – is an example of “structural racism” and that the Founding Fathers and different White, traditionally impactful Americans are portrayed too positively.

The report was accomplished in April and launched this month however has up to now flown below the media radar. The task force claims that structural racism “unequivocally impacts” how National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) staff work together with one another, prospects and the historic data themselves.

Some examples of “structural racism” have been offered within the abstract of the report, together with “legacy descriptions that use racial slurs and harmful language to describe BIPOC communities,” which incorporates precise racial slurs alongside phrases such as “elderly,” “handicapped” and “illegal alien.”

Additionally, the report categorized the National Archives’ Rotunda as one other example of “structural racism” as it “lauds wealthy White men in the nation’s founding while marginalizing BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and other People of Color], women, and other communities.”

The task force suggests methods to “reimagine the Rotunda,” together with staging “dance or performance art in the space that invites dialogue about the ways that the United States has mythologized the founding era.” 

Inside the Rotunda of the National Archives.
The task force advised staging “dance or performance art in the [Rotunda] that invites dialogue.”
Alamy Stock Photo

The report additionally known as for “trigger warnings” to be put in place with historic content material to “forewarn audiences of content that may cause intense physiological and psychological symptoms.”

“Providing an advisory notice to users gives us an opportunity to mitigate harm and contextualize the records,” the report reads. “It creates a space to share with the public our ultimate goals for reparative description, demonstrate our commitment to the process, and address any barriers that we may face in achieving these goals (i.e., the size and scope of the Catalog and the ever-evolving knowledge we gain regarding what is harmful).”

The task force’s report additionally requires a change to language on OurDocuments.gov — an internet site on American “milestone documents” such as the Constitution and Declaration of Independence — to be much less celebratory of traditionally impactful Americans, such as former President Thomas Jefferson.

The United States Declaration of Independence.
The National Archives’ task force advised an internet site on American “milestone documents” be much less celebratory of traditionally impactful Americans like Thomas Jefferson.
Getty Images

“OurDocuments.gov features transcripts and historical context of ‘100 milestone documents of American history’ but often uses adulatory and excessive language to document the historical contributions of White, wealthy men,” the report reads earlier than taking purpose at Jefferson.

“For example, a search of Thomas Jefferson in OurDocuments.gov brings up 24 results. He is described in this sample lesson plan as a ‘visionary’ who took ‘vigorous action’ to strengthen the ‘will of the nation to expand westward,’” the report continues.

“The plan does not mention that his policy of westward expansion forced Native Americans off their ancestral land, encouraged ongoing colonial violence, and laid the groundwork for further atrocities like the Trail of Tears,” it added.

Oil painting of the Trail of Tears.
The task force’s experiences said the Rotunda “lauds wealthy White men in the nation’s founding while marginalizing BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and other People of Color], women, and other communities.”
Alamy Stock Photo

Additionally, the report requires “the creation of safe spaces in every NARA facility” and says NARA has “a responsibility to eliminate racist language in archival descriptions and revise the policies and practices that led to it.”

The task force mentioned that “racist language” consists of “not only explicitly harmful terms, such as racial slurs, but also information that implies and reinforces damaging stereotypes of BIPOC individuals and communities while valorizing and protecting White people,” the report reads. “Descriptive terminology cannot be divorced from its context.”

Cassie Smedile, government director of conservative group America Rising, mentioned that the report is “the radical Left’s latest attempt to sow division and rewrite our history.”

The Constitution of the United States.
America Rising government director Cassie Smedile argues the report is “the radical Left’s latest attempt to sow division and rewrite our history.”
CQ-Roll Call, Inc by way of Getty Images

“With Democrats controlling every lever of our government, these efforts have only become more flagrant and pervasive. No institution, agency or classroom is off limits,” Smedile advised Fox News in an e mail. “The American people deserve to be made fully aware of the radical Left’s schemes, and we’ll continue to expose them.”

National Archivist David Ferriero commissioned the task force in response to George Floyd’s loss of life final yr, the report notes. Ferriero has served within the place since 2009, after he was nominated by former President Obama and confirmed by the Senate. The place has an indefinite time period size. 

NARA didn’t reply to Fox News’ request for remark.

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