Just when you think you’ve heard it all… You haven’t until you’ve heard that the National Archives’ Task Force on racism recommends “trigger warnings” for the Rotunda, which houses the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The report came out earlier this year but it has resurfaced.
The National Archives is an incredible place, loved by all who visit it. You can view a virtual tour of the archives online if you’ve never been there. Going into the Rotunda, people develop reverential respect and quiet like they would visiting the Grand Canyon. Sensible people admire that these documents have stood the test of time and are available for all to see.
So, why a trigger warning? What hostile, angry, hateful feelings could possibly be engendered by the Rotunda? Let’s try to figure this out.
Is it the statues called “Guardianship” and “Heritage” on the Constitution Ave. entrance? OR the saying on the pedestal, “Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty?” No, maybe it’s the artwork inside the Rotunda.
There are murals by New York artist Barry Faulkner entitled “The Declaration” and “The Constitution.” These murals depict some of the men who were at the signing of these documents. Bingo. I think we are on to something. Wealthy white men are pictured, but no other races, genders, or colors appear in these murals. If you believe that 230-year-old history must include who you feel comfortable with or who some press, politician, or professor says that you have been cheated by, then you may need a tissue, a pill, or a therapist to handle your triggered feelings. What you fail to realize is that 230 years from now, people will hold the same judgments against you, someone they have never met, as you have held against a generation whom you couldn’t possibly judge in a worthwhile manner. This is because you hold biases of today against an era of imperfect people who valued freedom and were willing to begin to fight for it.
The National Archives Rotunda is guarded by all types of American military members who signed up to defend our nation. They didn’t ask for the woke credentials of the Founding Fathers. They are serious people who take their responsibilities seriously.
When the Founders said “all men are created equal,” they meant it. They struggled to achieve it. But that isn’t good enough for today’s triggered society. They demand perfection of humankind that they themselves never achieved, nor will they.
Here’s what triggers me: stupidity. And another thing: hysterics who try to erase the truth and replace it with a sanitized version of non-facts.
You can run from the truth, but you can’t hide. You can suppress the truth, but it will surface. You can post trigger warnings and hold therapy sessions on-site, and still, lies will never win. The truth will find you out.
If I have the good fortune to return to the National Archives, I will endeavor to wear a shirt that says, “I’m not triggered by Freedom, Courage, Bravery, Truth, or my God-given Rights.”
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. 🇺🇸