A Republican senator is demanding the National Archives stop putting warning labels on the United States’ founding documents. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., sent a letter to National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) archivist David Ferriero outlining his concern about the “blanket application” of a “Harmful Language Alert” on the nation’s pillar documents.
“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 exclusively obtained by Fox News. “It should be removed immediately.”
NARA told Fox News in an email statement on Thursday that the “Harmful Content Warning is a general warning and is not connected to the U.S. Constitution or to any specific records” and “automatically appears at the top of every page” of the National Archives’ online catalog.
“Our records span the history of the United States, and it is our charge to preserve and make these historical records available to the public,” NARA told Fox News. “Some of the materials presented in the Catalog show or describe violent or graphic events, or use outdated, biased, offensive, or violent language.”
“We do not alter or censor original documents,” they added. “Accordingly, like many of our peer institutions, we have placed a warning in the Catalog so that researchers are not surprised if they encounter such content.” In the letter, Lankford pointed out that NARA’s warning says “some of the materials presented here may reflect outdated, biased, offensive and possibly violent views and opinions” before tearing into the agency.
“This obviously politically-charged qualifier goes leaps and bounds beyond the role of NARA, which has been established to operate as a nonpartisan entity responsible for providing public access to federal government records,” Lankford wrote.