WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Various monuments with links to racism have been under fire in the wake of protests and Mt Rushmore is in danger.
- Presidents Washington and Jefferson have links to slavery and Mt Rushmore is in Native American Indian territory.
- President Donald Trump has already ordered arrest and jail time for anyone caught vandalizing or destroying historical monuments.
The George Floyd case not only sparked police brutality protests but also reawakened the fight against systemic racism. Historical monuments, murals, paintings that have links to racial injustice are in danger of being vandalized or toppled down.
President Donald Trump has even ordered arrest and jail time to anyone caught vandalizing or destroying any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison. This came after the Lincoln Memorial and World War II Memorial and St. John’s Church was vandalized and Andrew Jackson’s statue Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. was defaced.
Another monument which has come under fire is the national memorial at Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. There has been rising talks on social media to deface or blow up the Rushmore monuments as Washington and Jefferson were known enslavers and have a controversial history in relation to the native American tribes. Mt. Rushmore is an unceded Lakota Territory and still belongs to the tribe.
This prompted South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem to say, it wouldn’t be taken down “on my watch.”
As History tells, Thomas Jeffersons’ Louisiana Purchase and the California Gold Rush drove Native American Indians out of their lands and The Indian Appropriations Act provided for reservations which became federal lands. One of these was the Black Hills of the Sioux Nation of Indians which was forcibly taken from them.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 1980 ruled 8-1 that the federal government violated the Fifth Amendment by seizing the Black Hills. The Sioux Nation of Indians declined compensation in hopes of the land someday being returned, which even with numerous efforts, has not been realized.