In honor of the Fourth of July, National Public Radio (NPR) tweeted the Declaration of Independence. Sounds like a pretty reasonable thing to do on such a holiday, right? Well, as it turns out, not everyone thought so.
This year, however, NPR decided to broadcast the Declaration on Twitter as well as on air. “This year we mirrored that tradition on Twitter as a way to extend to social media what we do on the air,” NPR Spokeswoman Isabel Lara told the Washington Post. “The tweets were shared by thousands of people and generated a lively conversation.”
Let’s take it back to tenth-grade history class for a second: The Declaration of Independence was drafted in 1776 during the Revolutionary War, when the desire for full independence in the Colonies was stronger than ever.
When NPR began tweeting out verses from the Declaration of Independence, some Twitter users seemed to be confused. More specifically, Trump supporters thought that NPR was tweeting propaganda against the president or just spamming their feeds.
Trump supporters started getting defensive when NPR got to the section of the Declaration that outlined the atrocities of Britain’s King George III against the Colonies, including lines like, “A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”
And of course, some tweeted out their disapproval of others’ ignorance. User @LoveRunandPray tweeted, “Incredible. You may be on the wrong side of history if you think the Declaration of Independence is describing Trump and then call it ‘trash.’”
Fortunately, there were some sensible people who realized the error of their ways and went on to tweet an apology.
@JustEsrafel tweeted, “I took NPR out of context and had a stupid moment,” after accusing them of pushing a violent agenda. “Never underestimate one’s capacity to learn. Sometimes it’s painful. But it’s valuable above pride.”