Across the nation, statues of Confederate generals and leaders are being torn down amid protests against racism and police brutality, following George Floyd’s death while in police custody. The anti-statue push has moved quickly to now include statues of other historical figures, including former U.S. presidents..
According to a report by Fox News, South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem is promising that the famed Mount Rushmore national memorial, located in South Dakota’s Black Hills “will not be next.”
Noem tweeted “Not on my watch,” following a remark by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, who suggested that the national monument featuring the faces of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln could be the next target of the “woke historical revisionist priesthood,” the report said.
Although there has been no indication yet of any serious push against the towering monument, the report noted that the likenesses of figures depicted on the popular tourist attraction have been targeted elsewhere.
While protests initially focused on racism and police brutality, it has escalated into a new phase to include other historical figures, the report said.
According to the report, demonstrators in Portland, Ore., toppled a statue of President George Washington, on Thursday. On Friday, in San Francisco protesters defaced and toppled the statue of former President Ulysses S. Grant, who led the Union Army during the Civil War. An attempt was made on Monday to take down a statue of Andrew Jackson in Washington, D.C.‘s Lafayette Square near the White House, the report said.
President Trump warned, in a tweet on Tuesday, that those involved could be jailed up to 10 years.
“I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent,” Trump tweeted. “This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused,” he said in the tweet.
Trump tweeted, “There will be no exceptions!”
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