Trump fuels racial divide in speech at Mount Rushmore

MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MONUMENT, South Dakota, USA (AP) – At the foot of Mount Rushmore on the eve of Independence Day, United States President Donald Trump made a direct call to disgruntled white voters four months after the elections, accusing protesters demanding racial justice of participating in a “ruthless campaign to erase our history”.

The president delved into the country’s split on Friday, offering a jarring tone to an electorate struck by a pandemic and wounded by racial injustice following high-profile killings of several African-Americans. Trump focused on the desecration by some protesters of monuments and statues honoring those who have profited from slavery, including some former presidents, across the country.

“This movement is openly attacking the legacy of every person on Mount Rushmore,” said Trump, who lamented the “culture of cancellation” and accused part of the political left of “smearing our heroes, eliminating our values ​​and indoctrinating our children. ”According to the president, Americans should speak proudly of their heritage and should not have to apologize for their history.

“They will not scare us, we will not be degraded and we will not be intimidated by bad and evil people,” added Trump. “That will not happen.”

The speech and fireworks at Mount Rushmore were held in the context of a pandemic that has killed more than 125,000 Americans. The President flew to the other side of the country to gather a large crowd of supporters, most of them without a mask, and all of them ignoring the guidelines that recommend not participating in large concentrations.

Discord increased when Trump’s team confirmed during his speech that Kimberly Guilfoyle, one of the campaign’s top fundraisers and a partner with the president’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., had tested positive for the coronavirus while in South Dakota. Both Guilfoyle and Trump Jr., who serves as his father’s delegate, are isolated and have canceled all their public events, according to Sergio Gor, chief of staff for the campaign’s financial committee.

During his speech, the president announced the signing of an executive order to create the National Garden of American Heroes, a vast open-air park that will feature statues of the “best Americans ever to exist.”

With the winds of the campaign against him, the president has focused on his most fervent follower base while his team grows concern that his data in the polls in undecided states that will decide the elections are going down.

In recent weeks, Trump fueled his attacks on “left mafias,” used a racist epithet to refer to the coronavirus, and visited the country’s southern border to show the progress of his 2016 electoral promise to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.

The act, while not a campaign act itself, seemed to be, with a favorable audience that greeted Trump with chants of “Four more years!”, And applauded enthusiastically when he and First Lady Melania Trump, they went on stage.

“They believe that the American people are weak and soft and submissive,” Trump said. “But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow them to take away our country and all its values, history and culture.”

Some Native American groups used the president’s visit to protest the Mount Rushmore monument, noting that the Black Hills where it is located were taken from the Lakota people.

More than 100 people, many of them Lakotas, lined up from Keystone to the monument, carrying signs and playing Lakota music at 35 degrees C (95 F). Some raised their fists at the passing of the cars that were transporting those attending the event. Others displayed signs displaying “Protect the first settlers of South Dakota,” “They are on stolen land,” and “Dismantle white supremacy.”

“The president has to open his eyes. We are also people, and this was our land first, “said Hehakaho Waste, an elderly spiritual leader from the Oglala Sioux tribe.

About 15 protesters were detained after blocking a highway and failing to meet the time set by the police to vacate the site.


Associated Press journalists Jill Colvin and Aamer Madhani in Washington and Todd Richmond in Madison, Wisconsin contributed to this report.

Written by Argentina News

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