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The National Archives blurred out signs criticizing Trump in an exhibited photo of the Women’s March

2020-01-18 13:00:30

womens march 2.0
womens march 2.0

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

  • The National Archives blurred out signs that insulted President Donald Trump or mentioned women’s genitalia in an exhibited photo of the 2017 Women’s March, The Washington Post reported

  • Archives staff blurred the word “Trump” on marchers’ signs that read “God Hates Trump” and “Trump & GOP — Hands Off Women.” 

  • On a sign that read “If my vagina could shoot bullets, it’d be less REGULATED,” the word “vagina” is erased. And on one that declared “This Pussy Grabs Back,” “Pussy” is blurred.

  • An Archives spokeswoman told The Post that the Archives doesn’t alter images that are presented as artifacts, but reserves the right to alter those that are used as “graphic design components” or “promotional display[s].”

  • Following widespread criticism, the Archives announced on Saturday afternoon that it had “made a mistake” and would remove the display and replace it with an unaltered version of the photo. 

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The National Archives blurred out signs that insulted President Donald Trump or mentioned women’s genitalia in a photograph of the 2017 Women’s March on display in Washington. 

The exhibit, “Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote,” celebrates the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage and features a 49-by-69-inch photo of thousands of women protesting on the day after Trump’s inauguration. When viewed from another angle, the image turns into one of women marching in Washington for the right to vote in 1913.

But Archives staff decided to blur certain signs carried by marchers pictured in the 2017 photo, according to The Washington Post. They blurred the word “Trump” on signs that read “God Hates Trump” and “Trump & GOP — Hands Off Women.” 

On a sign that read “If my vagina could shoot bullets, it’d be less REGULATED,” the word “vagina” is erased. And on one that declared “This Pussy Grabs Back,” “Pussy” is blurred.

An Archives spokeswoman told The Post that the Archives doesn’t alter images that are presented as artifacts, but reserves the right to alter those that are used as “graphic design components” or “promotional display[s].” She said the signs concerning women’s body parts could be inappropriate for young viewers. 

“As a non-partisan, non-political federal agency, we blurred references to the President’s name on some posters, so as not to engage in current political controversy,” Archives spokeswoman Miriam Kleiman said in a statement to The Post.

She added, “Our mission is to safeguard and provide access to the nation’s most important federal records, and our exhibits are one way in which we connect the American people to those records. Modifying the image was an attempt on our part to keep the focus on the records.”

But following widespread criticism, the Archives announced on Saturday afternoon that they were “wrong to alter the image” and would remove the display and replace it with an unaltered version of the photo. 

“We made a mistake,” the Archives account tweeted. “We apologize, and will immediately start a thorough review of our exhibit policies and procedures so that this does not happen again.” 

The Post reporter who first revealed the alterations said he stumbled upon them while visiting the Archives for a different story. 

Historians and journalists widely condemned the photo alteration. 

“If you don’t have transparency and integrity in government documents, democracy doesn’t function,” Karin Wulf, a professor of history at the College of William & Mary, told The Post. 

Some said the move belonged better under a fascist regime than a democracy. 

“This feels like some real North Korean stuff,” Molly Jong-Fast, an editor-at-large for The Daily Beast, tweeted.

“When the guardian and protector of facts blurs or alters them, then the truth itself is under threat,” tweeted Richard Stengel, former under secretary of state under Obama. “It was Stalin who famously had people blurred or removed from official photographs. Let’s not go that route.”

Read the original article on Business Insider




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