UPDATE: The original version of this article misidentified the Park Ranger based on the information provided by our initial sources. We have since independently confirmed the identity of the Park Ranger in question as Holly Holst, and have corrected the article.
A federal employee of the National Park Service who offers guided tours of Independence Hall in Philadelphia — the birthplace of the Constitution — stunned a group of tourists this week by telling them the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were the product of “class elites who were just out to protect their privileged status.”
Holly Holst provided a tour Monday afternoon at Independence Hall laced with factual inaccuracies and disparaging comments about the Founders and the Constitution.
Several attendees of her tour group on Monday told PJ Media that Holst had explained to them that “the Founders knew that when they left this room, what they had written wouldn’t matter very much.” Holst told the group that the “most important part of the Constitution written at Independence Hall was the ability to change it.”
Holst also inaccurately told the tour group that “King George III paid more attention to Parliament” than the colonists “because they were right there and could remove him from office.” Parliament did not possess the power to remove the king from office in the 1770s, and does not possess that power today.
“It is astounding how many times the first draft of that Constitution protected slavery,” Holst told her tour group Monday afternoon.
The text of the Constitution in 1787 did not mention slavery even once.
The only oblique reference to slavery is in Article I, Section 2. There, the Constitution refused to give southern states political power based on slaves inhabiting those states. Instead, the Constitution diluted the power of slave states by counting slaves only at a rate of 60 percent in allocating seats in Congress. Southern states wanted slaves to count 100% toward apportionment of seats. This “three-fifths” provision hurt slave-holding states, it did not “protect” them.