ESPN’s Jalen Rose: Stop Saying Mt. Rushmore, It’s ‘Offensive’

Jalen Rose
Justin Ford/Getty Images

ESPN analyst and former NBA player Jalen Rose has launched a new campaign to cancel Mr. Rushmore because he says the name of “offensive” to all Americans.

Rose posted a video to social media insisting that the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians dumped their Native American names and imagery because it was “offensive.”

He then said he has a new piece of U.S. history he believes should be canceled: Mt. Rushmore.

“I want to continue to challenge myself and to challenge you to do something,” Rose said in his Twitter video. “Can we retire using Mt. Rushmore?”

“That should be offensive to all of us, especially Native Americans,” Rose exclaimed.

“The indigenous people, who were the first people here before Christopher Columbus. Their land was stolen from them when it was discovered that it contained gold,” Rose continued.

“And 25 years later — to add insult to injury — four American presidents were put on what we call Mt Rushmore. On the top of the dead bodies that is buried right underneath,” he added.

“So, I call for you — and for myself, I’m in on this too — let’s stop using the term Mt. Rushmore,” he concluded, “when we talkin’ about our favorite rappers, talkin’ about our favorite movies, we talkin’ about our favorite players.”

“I know you gonna see this video and I know you gonna take action,” he said.

Mount Rushmore, National Park, South Dakota.

Mount Rushmore, National Park, South Dakota. (Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

It was unclear if Rose was speaking metaphorically about the faces of the four presidents carved “on top of the dead bodies” of Native Americans. Or if he mistakenly thinks Mt. Rushmore is some sort of burial ground. But no one is buried on the mountain or immediately below the carvings.

Indeed, the mountain, originally called Tunkasila Sakpe Paha, or Six Grandfathers Mountain, by the Lakota tribe, was used as a sort of church where they went to pray to the gods, not as a burial ground.

But after gold was discovered in the Black Hills, the mountain was annexed by the U.S. government in 1877. And in 1884, New York Attorney Charles Rushmore staked a tin mine near the mountain. It was then renamed in his honor. Then, by 1924, grand plans started being made to carve the faces of several American presidents into its edifice, the work of which did not begin until 1938. Finally, the work was declared finished on October 31, 1941, with the visages of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln staring out over the landscape.

Jalen Rose, though, has decided to erase it all.

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