Archived Opinion

Warning on archives is just too much

Warning on archives is just too much

To the Editor:

One can find treasures in the most improbable places. For me, the Letters to the Editor captures the flavor, thought, and concern of local residents. Whatever the tenor, whether amusing, strident, or irreverent, the letters offer the spectrum of current concerns. There is seldom universal agreement, but the crux of the matter is that opinions are not just possible, they are encouraged.

Contrast local opinion with the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Incomprehensibly, the federal employees on the Archives staff have posted a warning sign above founding documents, including a copy of the United States Constitution. They warn that our Constitution “may reflect racist, sexist, ableists, misogynistic/misogynoir, and zenophobic opinions and attitudes; Be discriminating towards or exclude diverse views on sexuality, gender, religion and more; Include graphic content of historical events such as violent death, medical procedures, crime, wars/terrorists’ acts, natural disasters and more; demonstrate bias and exclusion in institutional collecting and digitization policies.”

Further, it states that the document is “outdated, offensive and insensitive.” Staff wishes to “forewarn audiences of content that may cause intense physiological and psychological symptoms.”

If this evaluation of the documents which guarantee our freedoms is accurate, then one must expect that the Letters to the Editor page will soon carry a warning label. The same must apply to all printed matter, movies, TV, etc.

Where will government correctness and repression end? Thomas Jefferson said that “A government that is big enough to give you everything that you want is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”

Don’t let them confiscate your freedoms.

Kathryn van Heyningen


Leave a comment


Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.