South Dakota Governor On Defacing Mount Rushmore: "Not On My Watch"

South Dakota Governor On Defacing Mount Rushmore: "Not On My Watch"

The promise to protect the mountain was made in response to a question posted on Twitter by Ben Shapiro.

Image Source: Getty Images/©AnitaBurke

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem vowed to protect Mount Rushmore as statues and monuments associated with slavery are being removed all across the country, reports Newsweek. The mountain has four U.S. Presidents - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt- carved onto it. Amid calls to remove statues of Confederate generals nationwide. Governor Noem has pledged to protect the history of the mountain. “This is no longer about equality,” Noem told Fox News on Wednesday. “This is a rewriting of our history and in South Dakota we won’t stand for it.”


Noem noted “some activity online where people have made threats” that Mount Rushmore could be the site of future protests. The promise to protect the mountain was made in response to a question posted on Twitter by Ben Shapiro. "So, when is our woke historical revisionist priesthood going to insist on blowing up Mount Rushmore?" Shapiro wrote. "Not on my watch," replied Noem, a Republican. "There has been widespread chatter on social media about defacing or destroying Mount Rushmore," a spokesman for the governor's office revealed. Figures or monuments associated with slavery are being taken down in the wake of George Floyd's death that sparked protests against rampant racism in the country. Floyd was a Black man who died in police custody. 


“The more we focus on the flaws of these men that are on our mountain, the less likely we are to recognize the virtues and the lessons we can learn from their lives,” Noem said. “We will make sure that Mount Rushmore stays as majestic as it is today.” When asked about how she was going to tackle protestors, Noem said she planned to “use the resources of the state” to ensure proper security measures are in place. As we reported earlier, New York City’s American Museum of Natural History made the decision to remove the statue of former president Theodore Roosevelt from the entrance as The memorial has long prompted objections as a symbol of colonialism, according to a Tweet by The New York Times.


“Over the last few weeks, our museum community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd,” the museum’s president, Ellen V. Futter, said in an interview. “We have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism.” Futter added that the decision was based on the statue itself — namely its “hierarchical composition”—- and not on Roosevelt, whom the museum continues to honor as “a pioneering conservationist.” “Simply put,” she added, “the time has come to move it.” 


A Roosevelt family member released a statement approving the removal. “The world does not need statues, relics of another age, that reflect neither the values of the person they intend to honor nor the values of equality and justice,” said Theodore Roosevelt IV, age 77, the great-grandson of the 26th president and a museum trustee. “The composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy. It is time to move the statue and move forward.” However, the only one who seemed to have a problem with this unanimous decision, as expected, President Donald Trump, who tweeted: Ridiculous, don't do it.


Recommended for you