The Battle Over Mount Rushmore Has Reached Peak Stupidity

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Yesterday, people gathered in Washington D.C. in view of the National Mall to enjoy the yearly fireworks display. Having seen it in person several times, it’s one of those events that can almost make you forget all the other insanity that goes on in that city.

Yet, over Mount Rushmore, which is also federal property, there were no loud booms and sparkling displays. That’s because Joe Biden’s administration refused to allow the annual fireworks show there to take place.

Ostensibly, they blamed COVID. After all, it would have been so very dangerous to have fireworks over a massive expanse of wilderness or something. Never mind that we’ve now known for the better part of a year that outdoor spread is essentially non-existent, and that’s not even taking into account the now widespread nature of vaccinations and natural immunity.

In other words, the idea that it was safe to do fireworks in Washington but not at Mount Rushmore makes no sense whatsoever. So what was the real reason? I’d suggest it’s because of the growing, woke sentiment that suggests the storied monument is built on “stolen” land.

In fact, while I won’t embed it due to language and obscene gestures being displayed, a viral tweet from yesterday that reads “Hey America-**** you for desecrating our sacred mountain. #Happy4th” illustrates this ridiculous narrative perfectly.

Of course, having any knowledge of basic history would be helpful for “Lakota Man” (the name of the Twitter account) and the other woke warriors who think like him. For example, is he aware that the Lakota fought Cheyenne and Crow tribes to “steal” the land Mount Rushmore sits on, evicting those who were left? If so, why does he not feel shame? Why is he not stumping to return the land to those who had it before his ancestors did?

That’s not to say that the United States treated the greater Sioux tribes fairly, but it is to say that history is complicated, and the idea that settlers of European descent were somehow uniquely evil is an ahistorical reading of the situation. The entirety of human history across the globe is rife with wars, treaties, bad deals, and the “stealing” of land to produce nations. At some point, the current reality that the United States exists has to be accepted, especially when that reality is well over two centuries old. Other countries do not obsess over these kinds of things, no matter how left-wing they may otherwise be.

But being woke means ignoring context and drawing completely arbitrary lines when it comes to matters like this. The idea that Mount Rushmore should be “returned” is gaining popularity on the far-left, and there’s little doubt in my mind that the nonsensical decision to cancel the fireworks there this year was purely political. Don’t doubt me. Next year, when COVID is no longer a viable excuse, there will be an entire battle over whether doing the fireworks there is insensitive and need to be stopped for good.

On that front, Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota needs to get in front of this battle. It’s not enough to send tweets pointing out Biden’s hypocrisy in allowing fireworks elsewhere. She needs to come right out and say what the real reason behind all this is. If a fight isn’t put up, another great American tradition will end up dying.