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The Nominations Are In for Trump's Garden of Heroes

Suggestions from outside the administration are much more diverse
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 31, 2020 6:25 PM CDT

(Newser) – George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Sacagawea. The guy who invented air conditioning. Americans' suggestions of statues for President Trump's planned National Garden of American Heroes are in, the AP reports, and they're considerably different from the names the administration has locked in for many of the pedestals. The outside nominations are more activist, less white, and far more indigenous—for the most part. The administration also is leaving open the possibility of a statue of Trump himself in the Trump-created statue park after receiving what it said were "multiple nominations" of the president. Trump ordered up the statue park during a Fourth of July speech at Mount Rushmore and set up a task force. The all-white task force asked state and local officials for suggestions, and its findings are due to the president by Tuesday.

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Many of the nominations stand in stark contrast to the Trump administration's list, which mandated including a few dozen mainstream and conservative figures, from John Adams to Antonin Scalia. Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and a few other Black leaders made the administration's hero list, but not anyone known for their Native American, Hispanic, or Asian heritage. Suggestions from many Republican governors, by contrast, were heavy with civil rights leaders. In Colorado, Douglas County nominated an 18-year-old high school senior shot to death last year while lunging at a gunman in class. "If Kendrick Castillo isn’t a hero, I don't know who is," one official said. Most governors dismissed the call for suggestions. "I haven't given it a moment's thought," Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said. "I have other things to do." (Trump on Mount Rushmore sounds good to Trump.)


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