A flaming debate has been stirred on social media by NPR who marked the July 4th holiday with their posting on the ‘flawed’ origins of the United States by tweeting out the Declaration of Independence with some provocative footnotes.
Reading of the 245-year-old historic document has become an annual tradition for NPR to mark Independence Day, but this year’s rendition came with a disclaimer.
The outlet, which receives public funding, explained that after last summer’s protests and the national reckoning on race, the words in the document famously declaring that all men are created equal land differently since women, enslaved people and indigenous Americans were not held as equal at the time.
And that ‘wasn’t all folks’ since, according to NPR, a reference to Scotch & foreign mercenaries was later edited out of the text, but a racist slur about Native Americans (a line denouncing internal strife provoked by merciless Indian Savages) survived the revisions.
NPR also points that the document was stripped of any criticism of the slave trade in a bid to win support from southern colonists. It took a similarly critical approach on Twitter, publishing a thread containing the full text of the declaration with the observation that it contains flaws and deeply ingrained hypocrisies.
Those comments didn’t sit well with many on social media so several users called for NPR to be defunded, while others said that its racial-tinged reporting made them stop donating to the organization.
The moderate ones argued that NPR is being unfair, emphasizing that any political document written more than two centuries ago will be considered flawed by modern standards.