Rose had recorded a 90-second video of himself on Twitter discussing at length his problems with the “offensive” term, used to reflect the top four greatest in a category. Johnson criticized Rose’s attempt in a responding tweet.
“I don’t want to dunk on Jalen Rose but canceling Mt. Rushmore isn’t happening,” Johnson wrote.
Johnson introduced a bill in 2020 called the Mount Rushmore Protection Act, ensuring “that no Federal funds shall be used to alter, change, destroy, or remove, in whole or in part, any name, face, or other feature on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.” The lone member from South Dakota has garnered 38 other cosponsors.
“When you look at those four great presidents on Mount Rushmore, they did as much as a person can — as anybody can — to build toward a more perfect union,” the representative said in a press release. “Now is the time we should be rallying around those values: freedom, independence, liberty, equality. But, there are people who want to tear them down.”
The Lakota had named the granite formation Tunkasila Sakpe Paha, meaning Six Grandfathers Mountain. The carving of the faces of former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt began in 1927, shortly after the 1.2 million-acre area became Black Hills National Forest. Their sculptures were finished in 1941, and the location was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on Oct. 15, 1966.