KEYSTONE, SD - South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) on Tuesday (June 23) vowed to not let activists tear down Mount Rushmore in response to conservative alarm about protesters targeting monuments to members of the Confederacy and other historical figures with ties to racism and slavery around the country.
Responding to a tweet from conservative columnist Ben Shapiro, Noem said that the destruction of the federal monument, which is controlled by the Department of the Interior, would not happen on her watch.
According to a story from the Associated Press on Thursday, some Native American activists are comparing Mount Rushmore to Confederate monuments that are being removed around the nation.
The article says that many Native Americans consider the Black Hills sacred and see Mount Rushmore as a desecration of land that was stolen. Nick Tilsen, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe told the Associated Press that he'd like to see the monument removed altogether and the Black Hills returned to the Lakota.
Tilsen called Mount Rushmore, "A symbol of white supremacy, of structural racism that's still alive and well in society today."
Thursday Congressman Dusty Johnson also introduced the "Mount Rushmore Protection Act." It’s a bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds to change, remove or destroy the Mount Rushmore National Memorial