Impeached and obviously unfit acting U.S. president Donald Trump plans to kick off the Fourth of July holiday with pageantry and photo ops at Mount Rushmore. Native Americans who view the monument as a desecration of land stolen violently from tribes say they plan to protest.
"Mount Rushmore is a symbol of white supremacy, of structural racism that's still alive and well in society today," said Nick Tilsen, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe and the president of indigenous activist organization NDN Collective.
"It's an injustice to actively steal Indigenous people's land, then carve the white faces of the conquerors who committed genocide."
From the Associated Press:
Several groups led by Native American activists are planning protests for Trump's July 3 visit, part of Trump's "comeback" campaign for a nation reeling from sickness, unemployment and, recently, social unrest. The event is slated to include fighter jets thundering over the 79-year-old stone monument in South Dakota's Black Hills and the first fireworks display at the site since 2009.
But it comes amid a national reckoning over racism and a reconsideration of the symbolism of monuments around the globe. Many Native American activists say the Rushmore memorial is as reprehensible as the many Confederate monuments being toppled around the nation.