South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) on Tuesday promised to defend Mount Rushmore from radical leftists, who have been demanding the removal of several historic monuments and statues across the nation and, in some cases, lawlessly destroying the structures themselves.
“Not on my watch,” Noem said in response to a question regarding the possibility of far-left activists targeting the famed sculpture:
Not on my watch. https://t.co/U6gGap5Ib6
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) June 23, 2020
Four U.S. presidents are featured on Mount Rushmore — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln — all of whom have been subject to activist wrath over the last month.
A statue of America’s first president was toppled and draped in a burning American flag in Portland, Oregon, last week. Vandals graffitied the structure and its base with the words “Murder,” “BLM,” and “Fuck Cops.”
The George Washington statue in the Hollywood District of NE Portland is the latest one to be vandalized. The statue and sidewalk have been graffitied. @KGWNews #GeorgeWashington #vandalism pic.twitter.com/RIxe9s2utL
— Eric Patterson (@KGWphotog) June 19, 2020
Another flag burning, this time on George Washington’s back. #Portlandprotest #statue #blacklivesmatter #PDXprotests #pdx #oregon #blm #acab #pdx #georgewashington #flagburning#StatuesMustFall pic.twitter.com/diSjnwO3IO
— Garrison Davis (Teargas Glutton) (@hungrybowtie) June 19, 2020
Similarly, a statue of Thomas Jefferson, the nation’s third president, was torn down last week outside of a high school in Portland:
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) June 15, 2020
Additionally, two elementary schools in Berkeley, California — named after the two founding fathers — recently announced they will change their names to better support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Roosevelt and Lincoln have not been spared, either.
Roosevelt’s statue will be removed from New York City’s American Museum of Natural History, with Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) calling it a “problematic statue.”
“The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” de Blasio said in a statement.
“The City supports the Museum’s request,” he added, calling it the “right decision and the right time” to remove it.
Protesters have also vandalized the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Meanwhile, activists in Boston are demanding the removal of the Emancipation Memorial, featuring 16th U.S. president and a freed slave, because “they find the depiction of an emancipated slave in the sculpture to be offensive,” as Breitbart News detailed.
Activists have targeted a number of structures in recent weeks, from Confederate monuments to statues of Christopher Columbus to World War II memorials.
On Monday, protesters in D.C. attempted to topple the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square but were not successful in their endeavors.
President Trump on Tuesday said he will issue an executive order aimed to quell the acts of vandalism and lawlessness as demonstrators continue to deface statues and monuments across the country.
“We are looking at long-term jail sentences for these vandals and these hoodlums and these anarchists, and agitators,” Trump said. “They’re bad people. They don’t love our country, and they’re not taking down our monuments.”
“I will have an executive order very shortly, and all it’s really going to do is reinforce what’s already there but in a more uniform way,” he continued, emphasizing that the people engaging in these acts are not protesters but “anarchists and other things.”