The decade's most triggering comedy
WASHINGTON – The National Archives Museum, home of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, now puts woke ideologies like Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project alongside the nation’s founding principles.
The museum made a hard Left turn under the leadership of former Archivist David Ferriero, a 2009 appointee of then-President Obama who also had a hand in the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation of former President Trump. Ferriero, who called January 6, 2021, “the worst day of [his] life,” as The Washington Post reported, resigned in April 2022 to ensure that a Democrat selected his replacement.
“It’s important to me, that this administration replace me,” said Ferriero, whose accusations about Trump taking items from the White House reportedly led to the Washington grand jury that approved a search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. “I’m concerned about what’s going to happen in 2024.”
Even though he’s gone, Ferriero’s mark on the National Archives is obvious to visitors. The official cathedral of our nation’s history, the Archives’ museum on Constitution Avenue, reflects a decidedly negative and partisan slant.
Visitors to the museum first enter the David M. Rubenstein Gallery, sponsored by a hedge fund magnate who bought the Magna Carta and at whose Nantucket home Joe Biden stayed last year. Rubenstein formerly chaired the Duke University Board of Trustees, and Ferriero was a vice provost at the school. The exhibit focuses almost entirely on America’s failure to live up to its founding ideals.
“Americans of African descent were barred from exercising the rights guaranteed to all citizens,” says a sign near the front, with additional text explaining that slaves built the White House. Next is a section titled “Reproductive Rights,” which says that Margaret Sanger, the eugenicist founder of abortion provider Planned Parenthood, was a nurse who “dedicated herself to the women’s rights struggle.”
The exhibit highlights topics like the persecution of Native Americans and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, with headers like “Separate & Unequal,” “Denied the Right to Vote,” “We the (Straight) People,” and “Murder on Christmas Day.” It paints restrictions on immigration as racist, with signs saying, “Klan women press for quotas” and “No idiots, criminals, or paupers.”
The gift shop sells the 1619 Project book — which, despite historians’ overwhelming rejection of its premise, claims that colonists fought for independence from Britain to preserve slavery — in not just one, but multiple locations. One bookshelf in the gift store consists of titles like “Who Was Harvey Milk?”, “What Is Juneteenth?”, “Who Is Michelle Obama”, and “I Am Sonya Sotomayor.”
An apparent sports section consists of a cookbook from Shaquille O’Neal and books about Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Venus and Serena Williams. The gift shop even has mousepads featuring Ketanji Jackson, the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Despite the heavy focus on paraphernalia about black Americans who often had little to do with American history, one black man who did was conspicuously absent. When asked whether anything about Clarence Thomas was available, a clerk looked confused.
“We’ve got a kids’ book about the Supreme Court that has Clarence Thomas in it, but we don’t have anything about Clarence Thomas,” she said.
Critical Race Theory advocate Ibram X. Kendi’s book, “Stamped,” is for sale, as is a book simply titled “U.S. Presidents,” whose cover features Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and George Washington, but not Donald Trump.
The board of the National Archives Foundation, a nonprofit which raises money for the government entity, is advised by leftist filmmaker Ken Burns and identity politics-obsessed former CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien. The store is a veritable shrine to Kamala Harris, featuring busts, bobbleheads, socks, and purported inspiring quotes from a woman best known for being an embarrassingly bad public speaker.
On the second floor, museum visitors are treated to what comes across as a plea to abolish the filibuster, with headlines blaring, “The Majority Loses?” and “When having the most votes isn’t enough.” Only the Rotunda, which houses the nation’s founding documents, remains relatively untouched by partisanship.
The moment visitors exit the museum, they are confronted with a different reality. Directly outside the door, a sidewalk vendor was doing brisk business on a recent day selling paraphernalia mocking President Joe Biden.
“Let’s go Brandon!” an African immigrant shouted approvingly at the vendor as he walked past.