Associated Press Stealth-Edits Claim ‘White Colonists’ Scalped Native Americans

Old engraved illustration of the killing of the Rappahanock tribe chiefs - stock photo, Ge
Public Domain

The Associated Press, in an article on Wednesday, not only claimed conservatives were responsible for Harvard President Claudine Gay’s resignation after she was found to have plagiarized her academic work almost 50 times, but it also claimed that “white colonists” practiced scalping on Native Americans — a claim it stealth-edited later.

The article, when it first published, said that conservative activist Christopher Rufo, who had looked into Gay’s plagiarism, celebrated Gay’s resignation by posting on X, “SCALPED” — a term often colloquially used by journalists when their reporting leads to someone’s resignation or firing.

However, the AP wrote that Rufo used the word to insinuate that Gay was a “trophy of violence” and was “invoking a gruesome practice taken up by white colonists who sought to eradicate Native Americans.”

As Breitbart News’s John Nolte noted, scalping was instead a “well-known American Indian practice.”

Indeed, Britannica, Inc., the company that publishes the Encyclopædia Britannica and owns the American dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster, noted on its website that records “do not clarify” how widespread scalping was before colonial contact, but cited various Native American tribes that engaged in the practice:

Scalping varied in importance and practice by region. Native Americans in the Southeast took scalps to achieve the status of warrior and to placate the spirits of the dead, while most members of Northeastern tribes valued the taking of captives over scalps. Among Plains Indians scalps were taken for war honours, often from live victims. As a challenge to their enemies, some Native Americans shaved their heads. The scalp was sometimes offered as a ritual sacrifice or preserved and carried by women in a triumphal scalp dance, later to be retained as a pendant by the warrior, used as tribal medicine, or discarded.

The AP later quietly edited its article — a practice known as “stealth-editing” — to add that scalping was “also used by some tribes against their enemies.” However, it kept the claim that scalping was a “gruesome practice taken up by white colonists” against Native Americans.

As Breitbart News noted, one of the authors of the article had repeatedly posted disparagingly about “white” people and “white privilege.”

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on ”X”, Truth Social, or on Facebook. 


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