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house Bill H.R. 7358

Prohibiting the Use of Federal Funds to Destroy, Alter, or Remove the Faces on Mount Rushmore

Argument in favor

The four depicted on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial weren’t perfect and had notable flaws, but those are outweighed by the virtues they demonstrated in founding, developing, and preserving the United States of America. It would be a waste of resources to destroy, alter, or remove Mount Rushmore which ultimately would do nothing to move our country forward. We should instead endeavor to learn from those leaders’ contributions & flaws.

jimK's Opinion
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07/03/2020
They are leaders who rightfully or not symbolize the values and ideals that they are believed to have stood for. They do not commemorate the person, they commemorate the values and ideals that these people represent. … … … I am truly hoping that at the July forth trump rally fireworks display- all of these great past leaders are outfitted with appropriate facial coverings. I mean true leaders lead by example.
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GKH101's Opinion
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07/03/2020
How about prohibiting ALL funds to destroy ANY monuments!!
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Chris 's Opinion
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07/03/2020
This destruction of America has nothing to do with blacks or slaves. This is not what Matin Luther King preached for. This destruction is hard Socialist left take over. George Sorus Planned this back in 70’s. Rules for Radicals “ Destroy from Within “. Democrats push push this destruction of America. China virus just 1 more Destroy from Within. Face mask is sharia bullshit face cover up.
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Argument opposed

The Mount Rushmore sculptures depict presidents whose sins & misdeeds cannot be overlooked in American history, and should not be honored. They also serve as an insult to the American Indian tribes who used to call the Black Hills home and saw their treaties with the U.S. government broken. The only adequate solution to this situation is the removal of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial from the landscape.

Brendan's Opinion
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07/03/2020
The Black Hills were illegally stolen from Native Americans and are sacred to tribes in the area. If it was illegal for us to sculpt the monument, there shouldn’t be a law protecting it.
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John's Opinion
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07/03/2020
Mount Rushmore is a Shrine to Theft, Racism, and Ignorance. It is a celebration, on Sacred Tribal Lands, of denial of our history. Let it revert to the Peoples it was stolen from and let them decide what to do. If you are so invested in a memorial, built it with your money on your land!
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davidf's Opinion
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07/03/2020
Mt Rushmore and the Black Hills still belong to the Great Sioux Nation. The Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868 established the Great Sioux Reservation plus additional lands in Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. This included the Black Hills. Paha Sapa (Black Hills) is sacred to the Sioux. In 1980 the United States Supreme Court found the United States had illegally stolen the Black Hills and other land designated in the Treaty of 1868. Financial compensation that now exceeds $1.2 billion was offered. It was refused as they want the land. Technically the Black Hills still belongs to the Great Sioux Nation. To make matters worse, the carving of the faces on Mt Rushmore defaced a mountain holy to the Sioux. The mountain upon which the faces were carved is/was known to the Sioux as the Six Grandfathers. We have defaced one of their most holy monuments on their sacred land, and we’re going to celebrate doing so on July 4th weekend. Think about that.
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What is House Bill H.R. 7358?

This bill — known as the Mount Rushmore Protection Act — would prohibit the use of federal funds to alter, change, destroy, or remove in whole or in part, any name, face, or other feature on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial, known as America’s Shrine of Democracy, depicts the faces of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln with the beauty of the Black Hills of South Dakota as a backdrop. Those four presidents were chosen to represent America’s birth, growth, development, and preservation, respectively.

Impact

Visitors to Mount Rushmore; those would seek to destroy or alter Mount Rushmore; and federal agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 7358

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) introduced this bill to prohibit the use of federal funds to alter, change, destroy, or remove the likeness, name of, or face on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial:

“These presidents championed the cause of freedom. Those seeking to remove these iconic faces are undermining the contributions these leaders made in pursuit of a more perfect union.”

South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem said that she is partnering with the federal government to ensure the protection of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial:

“In recent days, we have seen threats to memorials that honor some of America’s greatest leaders. Some vandals have gone so far as to attack statues of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, the very leaders who brought the Union through the Civil War and ushered in the end of slavery in our country. These are the same men who turned Jefferson’s ideal into reality. Now we’re seeing threats to Mount Rushmore. To those who would threaten America’s Shrine of Democracy, I have one simple message for you: Not on my watch.

Mount Rushmore is a National Monument, and I am partnering with the federal government and offering the resources of South Dakota to make sure that proper security measures are in place. We will do everything in our power to make sure that Mount Rushmore remains as majestic and inspiring as it is today… I want to make one thing clear: the men honored on Mount Rushmore weren’t perfect; nobody is. They all had flaws. But they all had tremendous virtues as well, and they did incredible things for our country. Today, America is the greatest nation in the history of the world, and that is in no small part thanks to each president memorialized on Mount Rushmore. We can learn from their successes, and we can also learn from their mistakes. And in doing so, we must continue to fight for the American ideal that each of them spent their lives striving for: “All men are created equal.””

The official Democratic Party Twitter account tweeted, then deleted, a tweet criticizing President Donald Trump for his plan to attend an Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore, which read as follows before it was deleted without further comment:

“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 Black Hills region of South Dakota where Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located are considered sacred by several American Indian tribes that inhabited the area at various times, particularly the Oglala Lakota (or Sioux), Arapaho, and Cheyenne. Under the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, the Black Hills were to be set aside for the Great Sioux Reservation, but war between the resident Lakota & white settlers after gold was discovered and neither side honored the terms. The Lakota came to reside in the Black Hills after defeating & driving out the Cheyenne & Arapaho tribes, who had previously defeated & driven out the Kiowa & Crow tribes. In 1877, some of the Lakota bands ceded the Black Hills to the U.S. through a treaty, while other bands accused the U.S. of annexing the land unilaterally & the conflict continued until 1890. In 1980, a Supreme Court ruling awarded eight bands of the Sioux Indians a total of $122 million for their Black Hills land claims, but they have refused the settlement because it would bring a legal end to their demand for the return of the Black Hills. The funding has grown to over $1 billion as of 2011, as it’s held in trust by the Bureau of Indian Affairs accruing compound interest. 

Two Sioux tribal leaders have called for the removal of the Mount Rushmore sculptures. Oglala Sioux President Julian Bear Runner called Mount Rushmore “a great sign of disrespect”. Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier told USA Today that, “Nothing stands as a greater reminder to the Great Sioux Nation of a country that cannot keep a promise or treaty than the faces carved into our sacred land on what the United States calls Mount Rushmore,” and added that, “This brand on our flesh needs to be removed and I am willing to do it free of charge to the United States, by myself if I must.” 

This legislation has the support of 23 cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Republicans.


Of NoteThe construction of Mount Rushmore occurred from October 4, 1927, to October 31, 1941, under the direction of sculptor Gutzon Borglum (who was accused of being a member of the Ku Klux Klan), chief carver Luigi del Bianco, and 400 workers. The National Park Service took Mount Rushmore under its jurisdiction in 1934. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln were chosen to represent America’s birth, growth, development, and preservation, respectively. There were plans to add torsos to the presidents’ heads and Susan B. Anthony, but a lack of funding during the Great Depression resulted in just the presidents’ heads being sculpted. Referred to as the “Shrine of Democracy”, Mount Rushmore attracts more than two million visitors annually.

Elsewhere in the Black Hills, a monument to Oglala Lakota warrior Crazy Horse has been under construction since 1948, and if completed as designed it would be the world’s second tallest statue, behind only the Statue of Unity.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / blackestockphoto)

AKA

To provide that no Federal funds shall be used to alter, change, destroy, or remove, in whole or in part, any name, face, or other feature on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Official Title

To provide that no Federal funds shall be used to alter, change, destroy, or remove, in whole or in part, any name, face, or other feature on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
    IntroducedJune 25th, 2020
    They are leaders who rightfully or not symbolize the values and ideals that they are believed to have stood for. They do not commemorate the person, they commemorate the values and ideals that these people represent. … … … I am truly hoping that at the July forth trump rally fireworks display- all of these great past leaders are outfitted with appropriate facial coverings. I mean true leaders lead by example.
    Like (177)
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    The Black Hills were illegally stolen from Native Americans and are sacred to tribes in the area. If it was illegal for us to sculpt the monument, there shouldn’t be a law protecting it.
    Like (212)
    Follow
    Share
    Mount Rushmore is a Shrine to Theft, Racism, and Ignorance. It is a celebration, on Sacred Tribal Lands, of denial of our history. Let it revert to the Peoples it was stolen from and let them decide what to do. If you are so invested in a memorial, built it with your money on your land!
    Like (135)
    Follow
    Share
    How about prohibiting ALL funds to destroy ANY monuments!!
    Like (95)
    Follow
    Share
    This destruction of America has nothing to do with blacks or slaves. This is not what Matin Luther King preached for. This destruction is hard Socialist left take over. George Sorus Planned this back in 70’s. Rules for Radicals “ Destroy from Within “. Democrats push push this destruction of America. China virus just 1 more Destroy from Within. Face mask is sharia bullshit face cover up.
    Like (60)
    Follow
    Share
    Mt Rushmore and the Black Hills still belong to the Great Sioux Nation. The Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868 established the Great Sioux Reservation plus additional lands in Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. This included the Black Hills. Paha Sapa (Black Hills) is sacred to the Sioux. In 1980 the United States Supreme Court found the United States had illegally stolen the Black Hills and other land designated in the Treaty of 1868. Financial compensation that now exceeds $1.2 billion was offered. It was refused as they want the land. Technically the Black Hills still belongs to the Great Sioux Nation. To make matters worse, the carving of the faces on Mt Rushmore defaced a mountain holy to the Sioux. The mountain upon which the faces were carved is/was known to the Sioux as the Six Grandfathers. We have defaced one of their most holy monuments on their sacred land, and we’re going to celebrate doing so on July 4th weekend. Think about that.
    Like (55)
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    HR 7358 was just proposed on 6-25-20 after the controversial resumption of fireworks after halting them for 10 years due to environmental damage & forest fires caused to Mt Rushmore Park, as well as, recent concerns of COVID-19 spread in a large public gathering, and Native American protests on use of tribal lands. This bill plays on the high emotions surrounding BLM demonstrations & removal of confederate statues, as well as COVID-19 large gatherings and mask requirements. It’s also a play for federal funding for SD. Timeline 7-4-02 Last fireworks display-Bush 7-4-09 Fireworks halted environmental concerns 5-7-19 Gov announces fireworks 5-8-19 Trump tweets fireworks 2-29-20 Environmental Study 4-30-20 NPS staff - fire risk 5-1-20 Trump podcast 6-4-20 Ticket lottery system 6-23-20 NPS Go-NoGo Covid decision 6-25-20 Native American protest 6-25-20 Rep Johnson (R-SD) Bill 6-28-20 Fireworks Forest Fire history 6-30-20 Gov on Fox News Pass out face masks No Req to wear mask 6-29-20 DOT traffic & congestion 7-2-20 Gov pays CA company for show with state funds https://www.keloland.com/news/eye-on-keloland/eye-on-keloland-fireworks-at-mount-rushmore/ https://www.keloland.com/keloland-com-original/latest-updates-mount-rushmore-closes-to-the-public/ https://www.keloland.com/news/local-news/mount-rushmore-brings-fourth-of-july-fireworks-back-after-more-than-a-decade/
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    The Black Hills are sacred to the Lakota Sioux, In the Treaty of 1868, the U.S. government promised the Sioux territory that included the Black Hills in perpetuity. Perpetuity lasted only until gold was found in the mountains and prospectors migrated there in the 1870s. The federal government then forced the Sioux to relinquish the Black Hills portion of their reservation. In South Dakota, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse led various Sioux tribes against the U.S. Army. They had a notable success against General George Armstrong Custer and his troops, but the army's defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn in America's centennial year, 1876, would cause the federal government to redouble its efforts. (Some of the area in which Rushmore stands was eventually purchased by the state of South Dakota and developed as Custer State Park; the rest was part of the Black Hills National Forest.) South Dakota was also the site of the last major defeat of Native Americans at Wounded Knee in 1890, which was actually a massacre whereby hundreds of unarmed Sioux women, children, and men were shot and killed by U.S. troops. In 1927, a Connecticut white man named Gutzon Borglum persuaded South Dakota state historian Doane Robinson the presidents would give his work national significance, rejecting Robinson's initial suggestion that the sculpture honor the West's greatest heroes, both Native Americans and pioneers. The Mt. Rushmore sculpt to many Sioux is an insult because: 1. It was built on land the government took from them. 2. The Black Hills in particular are considered sacred ground. 3.The monument celebrates the European settlers who killed so many Native Americans and appropriated their land. To counter the white faces of Rushmore, in 1939 Sioux Chief Henry Standing Bear invited sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, who worked briefly at Rushmore, to carve a memorial to the Sioux nation in the Black Hills. Korczak Ziolkowski died in 1982, but his family continues to work on this awesome undertaking; Crazy Horse's face was completed and dedicated in 1998.—American Experience I think it’s important to know the history, before making decisions. My question: Has anyone asked the leaders of the Sioux tribe to weigh in?
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    If I have learned anything in my life it is to never say never. One cannot say Federal monies cannot be spent to change this monument. What should happen if there is a natural disaster which damages it? You just let George lay where he falls? You don’t fix it? Another President can never be put up there? The first Woman? It’s a ridiculous bill.
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    The Black Hills belong to the Sioux Nation. I encourage everyone to read the Fort Laramie Treaty and the 1980 Supreme Court decision United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, 448 U.S. 371.
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    What Trump is doing at Mt Rushmore is against all real & normal ideas for a monument. First: Hr DOES NOT HAVE PERMISSION FROM THE INDIAN TRIBE WHO OWNED THE LAND. THEY ARE NOT HAPPY. GOD FIRBID HE WOULD ACTUALLY ASK PERMISSION. 2. He is endangering the sculptures at Mt Rushmore with stupid people & fireworks?!?!! 3 He is endanger the forest around the monument because of the dry conditions- the fireworks could start a forest fire. 4. He is endangering his people by having people herded together when the Us has more cases of COVID19 PER DAY THAN CHINA HAD AS A TOTAL.
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    This is a no brainer If allowed they’ll want to remove the Washington monument, the White House, statues of Abraham Lincoln. ENOUGH!!!!!
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    Too close to book burning in my opinion.
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    I don't have a problem with Mt. Rushmore and don't think it should be torn down or defaced, but I also don't think it should be added to (sorry, Mr. "President"), because we should stop making so many memorials to people of dubious morality. I am happier about the Crazy Horse monument being built nearby, which will be larger when finished and be a better memorial to the true owners of this land, the indigenous people who were here for at least 15,000 years before white people even landed. I don't think that federal funds should be used to change this memorial at all, but I am ok with federal monies being used to preserve it, as long as they are also used to preserve monuments to notable women, indigenous heroes, black heroes, latinx heroes, Asian-American heroes, and LGBT+ heroes. It should be equal.
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    WE CANNOT CHANGE THE PAST! OUR CHOICE IS TO DWELL THERE OR MOVE POSITIVELY FORWARD TO A BETTER TOMORROW! People change. If Washington and Jefferson were alive today, which side of history do you think they’d side? My strong conviction is that they would feel the way I do about the current state of our politics and country. They would be sick to their stomachs when faced with what has happened to the country they so carefully tried to prepare for us. What follows are the reasons I think these four leaders men are depicted. 🙌 George Washington, First President: Born 1732, died 1799. Washington led the colonists in the American Revolutionary War to win independence from Great Britain. He was the father of the new country and laid the foundation of American democracy. 🙌 Thomas Jefferson, Third President: Born 1743, died 1826. Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence. 🙌 Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President: Born 1858, died 1919. Roosevelt provided leadership when America experienced rapid economic growth as it entered the 20th Century. He was instrumental in negotiating the construction of the Panama Canal, linking the east and the west. He was known as the "trust buster" for his work to end large corporate monopolies and ensure the rights of the common working man. 🙌 Abraham Lincoln, 16th President: Born 1809, died 1865. Lincoln held the nation together during its greatest trial, the Civil War. Lincoln believed his most sacred duty was the preservation of the union. Now should the government have taken the sacred land, NO! Should the US hand oversight to the native Americans, HELL YES! In April of 2017 a National Park Service report shows tourism to Mount Rushmore National Memorial creates $184.2 million in economic benefit to the local community. That economic benefit should be split down the middle, half to the Native Americans and half to the National park Service and local community.
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    Agree with KansasTamale(?).....and you can bet your sweet a$$ Trump has been DREAMING of having his ugly mug up there.
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    Needless action to spur division. More culture war crap. No one is going to change Mt. Rushmore anytime soon. Can we just calm down?
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    Leave it like it is
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    Leslie, it’s ungodly how they waste our money, just so the Narcissistic-in-Chief can salve his ego. Yet they bitch over whatever pittance we make them throw our way! Sickening, to say the least! I’d vote for that split, JunnaLayn! 😊
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    Gutzon Borglum, who is best known for carving Mount Rushmore. This man was a member of the KKK. So as far as I am concerned, this monument is a racist, hate filled place. No wonder the trumplicans want to make sure nothing happens to it. This is the exact same reason why trump picked this of all places to go to celebrate the 4th of July.
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