Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan shared a post on social media over the Independence Day weekend calling Mount Rushmore a “symbol of white supremacy.”
“Mount Rushmore is a symbol of white supremacy, of structural racism that’s still alive and well in society today. It’s an injustice to actively steal Indigenous people’s land, then carve the white faces of the colonizers who committed genocide,” said the post, which Flanagan shared on her Instagram.
Donald Trump did not mention Lincoln’s First Inaugural address in his speech commemorating the spirit of American Independence at Mount Rushmore on Friday night. But the president’s speech—perhaps his most forceful and eloquent to date—vibrated with the same energy and existential commitment that fired Lincoln in March 1861.
Lincoln came to office at a time of crisis. His election had precipitated the secession of seven Southern states. His inaugural address was both a plea for conciliation and unity as well as a warning that violence would be stopped with force. “We are not enemies, but friends,” Lincoln said.
President Donald Trump will kick off Independence Day weekend with an event at Mount Rushmore, which has prompted some local leaders to call for the removal of one of the nation’s most iconic monuments.
Several groups led by Native American activists are planning protests for Trump’s July 3 visit. The event is slated to include fighter jets thundering over the 79-year-old stone monument in South Dakota’s Black Hills and the first fireworks display at the site since 2009.