South Dakota's Republican governor has, unsurprisingly, confirmed that she won't allow Mount Rushmore to be dynamited. "Not on my watch," Gov. Kristi Noem said when conservative commentator Ben Shapiro asked in a tweet: "So, when is our woke historical revisionist priesthood going to insist on blowing up Mount Rushmore?" There is no sign yet of "any serious push" against the monument in the Black Hills, though statues of two of the four presidents depicted, slaveowners George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, have been targeted elsewhere, Fox reports. Noem and President Trump plan to visit Mount Rushmore, which also depicts Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, for a July 3 fireworks display.
The governor later told Fox & Friends that she wouldn't stand for "radical rewriting of history" and she will make sure the monument "stays as majestic as it is today." Asked how she plans on "stopping it if it does go that far," Noem said: "This is obviously a federal mountain, it is a national monument, it is something that we will partner with them and use the resources of the state to make sure that we have security measures in place." The Sioux Falls Argus Leader notes that controversy over Mount Rushmore dates back many years: It was carved between 1927 and 1941 on land that Native American tribes had been granted 'in perpetuity" in an 1868 treaty, but were forced to relinquish eight years later after gold was discovered. The Sioux Nation is still fighting for the return of the Black Hills. (Read more Mount Rushmore stories.)