South Dakota Governor Vows To Defend Mt. Rushmore From Anti-Monument Activists

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As statues and monuments across the nation are being torn down—whether or not the subjects had anything to do with racism, slavery, or oppression—the eyes of the leftist historical revisionist mob have now turned to Mount Rushmore.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) says that the iconic monument to four of the nation’s past presidents nestled in the Black Hills of her state will not come to any harm on her watch.

In a tweet earlier this week, The Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro said of the statue-toppling trend, “So, when is our woke historical revisionist priesthood going to insist on blowing up Mount Rushmore?”

Gov. Noem responded firmly in the negative.

According to USA Today, it’s more than just the slave-owning past of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson that is the subject of controversy:

Native American tribes were given the Black Hills in perpetuity in the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. But miners seeking gold came into the area in an expedition led by Gen. George Custer in 1874 and demanded the U.S. Army’s protection. The Indian Appropriations Act of 1876 cut off all rations until the Lakota ended hostilities and ceded the Black Hills to the federal government.

The U.S. Court of Claims found in 1979 that the Sioux Nation was entitled to $17.1 million in compensation due to the federal government’s seizure of the Black Hills. The following year, U.S. Supreme Court decided 8-1 that the federal government had violated the Fifth Amendment and the tribes were entitled to compensation in United State v. Sioux Nation of Indians. The tribes declined the compensation because it would legally end their demand for the Black Hills to be returned to them.

Several requests were denied in the early 1980s to return millions of acres of the Black Hills to the tribes, as well as bills in Congress that would have returned some of the land.

Efforts to settle the dispute over the land were reignited back in 2009, USA Today adds, noting that in 2012 the United Nations issued a report calling for the indigenous land, including the Black Hills, to be returned.

The monument, which also features the likenesses of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, will soon be the focus of attention again when President Donald Trump and Noem visit on July 3 for the monument’s first fireworks display in over a decade.

In a memo of disapproval, Oglala Sioux President Julian Bear Runner said that the president failed to consult with tribal leaders about the visit to the Black Hills, which the Sioux consider part of their Great Sioux Reservation and claim was never ceded to the United States government. Therefore, Bear Runner said, Trump’s visit required consultation between the tribes and the federal government.

Bear Runner also believes that the monument should come down.

“I don’t believe it should be blown up, because it would cause more damage to the land,” he said, noting the process could cause unintended damage. “Removed but not blown up.”

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