ESPN analyst Jalen Rose is attempting to cancel the term "Mount Rushmore" because he believes it is "offensive." However, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is fighting back.
Rose posted a video on Twitter this week calling for Americans to stop using the term "Mount Rushmore." The expression – which is named after the monument in South Dakota celebrating former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln – is used to name the top four greatest entities in a certain category.
Rose demanded that the term "Mount Rushmore" be canceled because the monument dedicated to U.S. presidents was built "on top of dead bodies" of Native Americans.
“I want to continue to challenge myself and challenge you to do something. Can we retire using ‘Mount Rushmore?' That should be offensive to all of us, especially Native Americans, Indigenous people who were the first people here before Christopher Columbus," Rose said in a video posted to Twitter. "That land was stolen from them when it was discovered that it contained gold."
"And 25 years later, to add insult to injury, four American presidents were put on what we call Mount Rushmore on the top of the dead bodies that is buried right underneath," the NBA analyst asserted. "So, I call for you and for myself — I'm owning this, too — let's stop using the term ‘Mount Rushmore' when we're talking about our favorite rappers, talking about our favorite movies, talking about our favorite players."
Rose compared the "Mount Rushmore" term to sports franchises changing their names because some consider them offensive.
"Why do you think Washington changed their name from Redskins? I do a show and didn't say that word for eight years. Because it's offensive," the former NBA player bragged. "What about the Cleveland Indians? Same thing. Why did they change the name? Because it's offensive."
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem vowed to defend the American presidents on the monument in her state.
"The four men on Mount Rushmore were amazing, flawed American leaders who helped make America what it is today — the greatest country the world has ever known," Noem stated on Twitter.
The Republican governor then proclaimed, "To the woke leftists obsessed with attacking these leaders, I’ve got news for you: not on my watch."
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial – which covers 2 square miles – was finished being built in 1927. The granite memorial in the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota is on Mount Rushmore – which has an elevation of 5,725 feet. Mount Rushmore was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on Oct. 15, 1966.
Rose caused a stir last summer when he claimed that the Team USA basketball squad only selected Kevin Love because he's white. Rose spouted that Team USA was "scared to make an all-black team representing the United States of America." However, Team USA fielded a basketball team comprised entirely of black players in 2016.