News and Commentary

NYT Lays Out Case Against Mount Rushmore; Critics Remind Paper Of Its Own Problematic Past
Tourists visit Mount Rushmore National Monument on July 01, 2020 in Keystone, South Dakota. President Donald Trump is expected to visit the monument and make remarks before the start of a fireworks display on July 3. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The New York Times published an article and a promotional tweet on Wednesday laying out the case against one of America’s most iconic monuments, Mount Rushmore, a move that came within a couple of days of a quickly deleted tweet by the Democratic Party expressing a similar sentiment.

In a since-deleted tweet Monday night, the Democratic Party  described President Trump’s upcoming Independence Day celebrations at the famous monument as “glorifying white supremacy at Mount Rushmore — a region once sacred to tribal communities.”

“Trump has disrespected Native communities time and again,” the party tweeted. “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.”

On Wednesday, The New York Times published a piece effectively expanding on the Democrats’ swipe at Mount Rushmore.

In a tweet summarizing some of the article’s key points, the Times wrote: “Mount Rushmore was built on land that belonged to the Lakota tribe and sculpted by a man who had strong bonds with the Ku Klux Klan. It features the faces of 2 U.S. presidents who were slaveholders.”

The article, titled “How Mount Rushmore Became Mount Rushmore,” details how “the South Dakota landmark has drawn criticism over the land it occupies, the main sculptor behind it and the legacies of the men it memorializes.”

A few excerpts on the Times’ report on the “big, big piece of Americana” [formatting adjusted]:

Before he was recruited to create Mount Rushmore, Mr. [Gutzom] Borglum had been involved with another project: an enormous bas-relief at Stone Mountain in Georgia that memorialized Confederate leaders. It was eventually completed without him, but Mr. Borglum formed strong bonds with leaders of the Ku Klux Klan and participated in their meetings, in part to secure funding for the Stone Mountain project. He also espoused white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideas, according to excerpts from his letters included in “Great White Fathers,” a book by the writer John Taliaferro about the history of Mount Rushmore. …

Mount Rushmore is built on land that had belonged to the Lakota tribe. “Wherever you go to connect to God, that’s what the Black Hills are to the Lakota,” said Nick Tilsen, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe and the president of NDN Collective, an Indigenous activist group. Prospectors seized the land during a gold rush in the 1870s, violating the Fort Laramie treaty of 1868, which recognized the Black Hills as belonging to Native Americans, Mr. Tilsen said in an interview.

Like the Democratic Party’s rapidly pulled tweet, the Times’ post promoting its Mount Rushmore piece was met with intense criticism online.

Below are just a few examples of the flood of overwhelmingly negative responses to the Times’ apparent push to “cancel” the beloved monument, including many pointing out that the Times has its own “problematic” past:

The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers with the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  NYT Lays Out Case Against Mount Rushmore; Critics Remind Paper Of Its Own Problematic Past