South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem made it clear that vandals won’t be touching the presidents carved into Mount Rushmore.
Noem, a Republican, responded to a tweet from conservative commentator Ben Shapiro asking if Mount Rushmore could be the next monument targeted by protesters and vandals who have yanked down statues honoring Ulysses S. Grant, George Washington, and many other historical figures.
“So, when is our woke historical revisionist priesthood going to insist on blowing up Mount Rushmore?” Shapiro tweeted on Monday.
“Not on my watch,” Noem replied Tuesday morning.
Mount Rushmore is located in South Dakota’s Black Hills region. The massive carving of former Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln was completed in 1941. The monument is part of the U.S. National Park Service.
The destruction of Mount Rushmore has become an online joke of sorts as the bar for which monuments are vandalized and called to be destroyed by protesters. The fad of toppling monuments started with destroying statues of slave traders and Confederate soldiers and has become increasingly more broad to include monuments to Lincoln and World War II veterans.
President Trump announced on Tuesday that he has authorized federal law enforcement to use the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act to punish anyone caught vandalizing monuments on federal land. The statute carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.