ESPN analyst and former NBA player Jalen Rose has launched a new campaign to cancel Mr. Rushmore because he calls the name “offensive” to all Americans.
Rose posted a video on social media insisting the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians dropped Native American names and images because it was “offensive.”
He then said he has a new piece of US history he thinks should be scrapped: Mount Rushmore.
“I want to keep challenging myself and challenging you to do something,” Rose said in his Twitter video. “Can we retire using Mount Rushmore?”
“This should be offensive to all of us, especially Native Americans,” Rose exclaimed.
Here’s why using Mount Rushmore to define greatness should be retired immediately. pic.twitter.com/mtYYTtKFSa
— Jalen Rose (@JalenRose) August 3, 2022
“The natives, who were the first here before Christopher Columbus. Their land was stolen when it was discovered to contain gold,” Rose continued.
“And 25 years later – to add insult to injury – four American presidents were placed on what we call Mt Rushmore. On top of the dead that is buried right below,” he added.
“Well, I’m calling on you – and for myself, I’m also on this – let’s stop using the term Mt. Rushmore,” he concluded, “when we’re talking about our favorite rappers, we’re talking about our favorite movies, We’re talking about our favorite us players”.
“I know you’re going to see this video and I know you’re going to take action,” he said.
It was not clear whether Rose was speaking metaphorically of the faces of the four presidents carved “over the dead bodies” of Native Americans. Or if he mistakenly thinks Mount Rushmore is some kind of burial ground. But no one is buried on the mountain or immediately below the carvings.
Indeed, the mountain, originally called Tunkasila Sakpe Paha, or Six Grandfathers Mountain, by the Lakota tribe, was used as a kind of church where they went to pray to the gods, not as a burial place.
But after gold was discovered in the Black Hills, the mountain was annexed by the US government in 1877. And in 1884, New York Attorney General Charles Rushmore staked a tin mine near the mountain. It was then renamed in his honor. Then, by 1924, grand plans began to be made to engrave the faces of several American presidents on its edifice, work on which had only begun in 1938. Finally, the project was declared complete on October 31, 1941, with the portraits of George H. Washington , Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln look out over the landscape.
Jalen Rose, however, decided to erase it all.