The Democratic National Committee’s official Twitter account Tuesday accused President Donald Trump of “holding a rally glorifying white supremacy” before quickly taking the tweet down, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reports.
Several people managed to get screengrabs of the tweet before it was removed. The tweet referenced Trump’s July 3 visit to Mount Rushmore in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, ahead of the Independence Day weekend. The event will also include fireworks and a military aircraft flyovers.
According the screengrab, the now-deleted tweet read:
“Trump has disrespected Native communities time and again. He’s attempted to limit their voting rights and blocked critical pandemic relief. Now he’s holding a rally glorifying white supremacy at Mount Rushmore — a region once sacred to tribal communities.”
The website promoting the event says, “There will be hoop dancers and Lakota storytellers sharing the state’s Native American culture, performances by the United States Air Force Academy concert band, and many other talented people.”
But despite Native American participation at the event, Mount Rushmore, with the giant carvings of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt on its face, has become a target as activists have pulled down and defaced statues of Confederate leaders, Founding Fathers, and others in recent weeks.
“Mount Rushmore is a symbol of white supremacy, of structural racism that’s still alive and well in society today,” Nick Tilsen, a Oglala Lakota tribe member and president of NDN Collective told the Mail. “It’s an injustice to actively steal Indigenous people’s land, then carve the white faces of the colonizers who committed genocide.”
Not all share Tilsen’s thoughts, however. Some want the native people to share in the economic benefits of the region, the Mail noted.
Many people who take issue with Rushmore, note the sculptor Gutzon Borglum, was member of the Ku Klux Klan, according to Mount Rushmore historian and writer Tom Griffith — though Griffith notes Borglum joined the racist organization mainly to raise funds for his Stone Mountain relief to Confederate leaders.
Sill Borglum was known to have shared anti-Native American sentiments as well.
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