mount rushmore
© Reuters / National Parks Service handout
Democrats and their allies in the media are so obsessed with running contrary to President Donald Trump, their crusade against 'problematic' monuments is now targeting his July 4 celebrations and the iconic Mount Rushmore.

The South Dakota mountain is famous around the world for the 60-foot (18-meter) faces of four US presidents - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt - that were carved out of its side between 1927 and 1941. Almost a century later, however, the Democrats declared it an insult to Native Americans and described Trump's July 4 celebration there as "a rally glorifying white supremacy" in a now-deleted tweet.

If you thought that was the end of it, you'd be mistaken. On Wednesday, the New York Times denounced Mt. Rushmore for being "built on land that belonged to the Lakota tribe and sculpted by a man who had strong bonds with the Ku Klux Klan," and featuring two presidents who owned slaves - meaning Washington and Jefferson.


The Washington Post also joined the attack on Borglum, describing him as "deeply involved" with the KKK during his work on the Stone Mountain confederate monument in Georgia.


As usual, the full story is far more complex. While the KKK did partly sponsor Stone Mountain and Borglum was said to have been a member, he broke with them in 1925, walked off the project and destroyed all his designs and notes. None of his work on Stone Mountain remains, except the experience he put to use in carving Mount Rushmore.

In the words of his son and assistant Lincoln, the monument to four presidents was "an accomplishment born, planned, and created in the minds and by the hands of Americans for Americans." In the eyes of people who actually campaigned to remove the monuments to all four presidents featured there, that's one more reason Mt. Rushmore has to go.

While it is tempting to think this is about Trump - there was no such invective against the mountain back when Barack Obama was president, and the same media dreamed of his face being added to the quartet there - the laundry list of "arguments" being used against Mt. Rushmore suggests that there's a deeper antagonism here.

The fireworks could set off wildfires, say the suddenly concerned. The event might expose some 7,500 in attendance to the coronavirus, say the media outlets insisting that the mass protests and riots of the past month had nothing to do with the spread of the virus. The monument's very existence violates the 1868 treaty with the Lakota, say the same people who cheered when Washington tore up the INF arms control pact just last year.

"Lakota see the faces of the men who lied, cheated and murdered innocent people," the New York Times quotes one of their leaders, urging the outright removal of the mountain.


That's a profoundly racist statement, given that none of the four people depicted on the mountain had actually harmed the Lakota personally. Yet the paper that has sought to reimagine US history as irredeemably racist and evil, through the prism of its 1619 project, did not seem inclined to object.

All four presidents depicted on Mt. Rushmore have recently been targeted for "cancellation" by social justice warriors - even the original progressive Roosevelt and the emancipator Lincoln. For all that they owned slaves, without Washington and Jefferson there would have literally been no United States: no Declaration of Independence, no victory over the British crown, no Constitution.
Nebojsa Malic is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic