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August 11, 2021

Corrupting Official History: The National Archives
[Joe Mannix]

The National Archives (NARA) is an American institution. For anyone who is not aware, the Archives hold primary source documents from throughout American history. Government records go into the Archives. The presidential libraries are part of the Archives system. The Archives handle a ton of FOIA requests. Reports, photographs and original documents like our Declaration of Independence are part of the Archives. As time marched on, more types of materials have been handled, including audio recordings, film and more.

NARA is a national treasure and it is the first stop when looking for official primary source material for research into the United States. I was looking for some materials from the Second World War, particularly around some of the major research activities during that time. I stopped off at the website for the Archives (not everything is digitized, of course, but there is a lot there) and saw something that stopped me dead. Had I been sleeping, I would have awoken in a cold sweat as if from a nightmare.

What I saw was a disclaimer on their catalog search page. It reads:

Harmful Language Alert
NARA acknowledges that historical records may contain harmful language that reflect attitudes and biases at the time. NARA does not alter, edit, or modify original records or original captions, as they are part of the historical record. NARA is working to address harmful language that may appear in staff-generated legacy descriptions.

This is far more distressing than the picture of the White House lit up as a pride flag that NARA features on its home page. The Archives put a trigger warning on history. They aren’t changing the actual documents to “modernize” them (or so they say) but they are rewriting descriptions and summaries to remove “harmful language.” While they aren’t formally rewriting history just yet, they are rewriting history’s index to translate it all into Newspeak.

The implications of this are devastating. American history made us who we are. It is our national identity. Indeed, what other than history can an ephemeral philosophical concept like a “country” or a “people” have to inform its identity? The caretakers and stewards of our official histories are now taking the first steps toward formally rewriting and thus destroying it.

First, they devalue it by warning you about how bad it all is. Well, check the box on that one. They put a trigger warning on it. Then they begin the rewriting process. They’re doing this, too, per their own statement. They’re rewriting the descriptions and summaries. They’re modifying the index. Your entry point into the materials will be recast and remade through a Progressive interpretation of the material. The Progressive biases will be explicit and themselves act as a barrier to the raw material hidden beneath them.

What comes next will surprise no one. Sometime – and probably sometime soon – NARA will begin to edit and if necessary rewrite the source materials themselves. They will be selective about it, focusing their efforts on where the greatest sociopolitical gains can be made. Think race, sex and class materials. Those will be first. After they start that, the suppression will begin. Unedited materials will become harder to find, if not removed from the Archives and destroyed entirely.

They will of course deny that any such thing is possible. Moreover, it is entirely possible – even likely – that no such plans even exist. But it will happen. It has to happen. It is the road they are on. The distance between putting a trigger warning on all of American history and formally rewriting that history is not so great.

The Progressives have apparently not only learned from Orwell, they have embraced his greatest fear. They control the Present, and with that they are actively working toward controlling the Past so as to deliver the Future to themselves and their clique. It not only can happen here, it has officially already begun.

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posted by Open Blogger at 01:19 PM

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