The Democratic National Committee in a since-deleted tweet accused President Trump of “glorifying white supremacy” with his upcoming visit to Mount Rushmore to kick off Independence Day weekend.
“Trump has disrespected Native communities time and again,” The DNC’s official Twitter account tweeted Monday night before deleting it Tuesday morning. “He’s attempted to limit their voting rights and blocked critical pandemic relief. Now he’s holding a rally glorifying white supremacy at Mount Rushmore — a region once sacred to tribal communities.”
The DNC added a link to an article published by The Guardian last week that quotes Native American activists interviewed about the history of Mount Rushmore and called for the massive carving of the four presidents to be removed.
“Mount Rushmore is a symbol of white supremacy, of structural racism that’s still alive and well in society today,” Nick Tilsen, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe and president of a local activist organization called NDN Collective told the Guardian. “It’s an injustice to actively steal Indigenous people’s land, then carve the white faces of the colonizers who committed genocide.”
Trump on Friday plans to hold an Independence Day rally that will include a display of fireworks at the iconic landmark national memorial that honors former Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The four former Presidents faces are known as the “shrine to democracy” and were chose by the creators for their leadership during four phases of American development — Washington led the birth of the nation; Jefferson sparked its westward expansion; Lincoln preserved the union and emancipated slaves; Roosevelt championed industrial innovation.
The Trump campaign immediately seized on the DNC since-deleted tweet, tweeting that “Joe Biden’s Democrat Party says Mount Rushmore and 4th of July celebrations ‘glorify white supremacy.’”
“To stop this insanity, you have to vote on November 3rd,” the campaign tweeted.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem(R) said the July 3rd will be a “large event” where Trump will deliver remarks to a crowd capped at 7,500 people. It also will be the first fireworks display at the National monument since 2009 and will include fighter jets.
Many Native American activists and protesters are planning to protest the president’s visit.