US President Donald Trump has led a rally against the “cancel culture” of those who tumbled monuments during recent anti-racism protests. He denounced toppling monuments.
He gave a speech to mark 4 July at Mount Rushmore. He said that the South Dakota landmark would “stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and our freedom”.
He told the crowd, “This monument will never be desecrated, these heroes will never be defaced,”
“One of their political weapons is cancel culture,” he said. He suggested the protesters’ action led to “totalitarianism”.
According to the international news agency, Mount Rushmore features the carved faces of four US presidents.
Those who attack “symbols of national heritage” would face “the fullest extent of the law”. He further said that those who destroyed statues could be thrown into jail for 10 years, mentioning a recent executive order he had signed for the protection of monuments.
“The left-wing mob and those practicing cancel culture are engaging in totalitarian behavior that is completely alien to American life – and we must not accept it,”
South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem welcomed people to the event. He accused accusing demonstrators of “trying to wipe away the lessons of history”.
“This is being done deliberately to discredit America’s founding principles,”
President Trump had led the gathering during coronavirus pandemic, as he tried to prepare his supporters for November’s presidential election.
The fireworks were the first at Mount Rushmore in over a decade, after a ban was imposed over environmental concerns.