For the last 32 years, National Public Radio’s Morning Edition program has marked July 4 with a reading of the Declaration of Independence by its staff.
But this year NPR prefaced its annual tradition by stating in a commentary published on its website that “After last summer’s protests and our national reckoning on race, the words in the document land differently.”
“It famously declares “that all men are created equal” even though women, enslaved people, and Indigenous Americans were not held as equal at the time,”‘ and leaves in “a racist slur about Native Americans,” lamented NPR.
NPR quoted author David Treuer who is from the Ojibwe tribe about Native American’s feelings about our founding document.
“On one hand we are keenly aware of the ways in which this country has attempted to both take our homelands and to eradicate us. And yet a huge number of Native people are deeply patriotic. Native American people have fought in every war America has fought up until today,” he says. “We remain committed to forcing this country to live up to its own stated ideals.”
Note that Treuer didn’t call any passages racist based on what NPR published.
Before the reading of the declaration began NPR took one last jab stating that “the declaration is a document with flaws and deeply ingrained hypocrisies,” adding that “it also laid the foundation for our collective aspirations, our hopes for what America could be.”
That last line is meant to soften the blow after largely criticizing the declaration lest they appear to be completely un-American.