A Republican, who is responsible for signing bills passed by the South Dakota state Legislature, will do everything in her power to stop civil unrest from destroying the national Shrine of Democracy.
Kristi Noem will not bow to “radical” activists who are threatening to vandalize the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, 220 miles west of Pierre.
She confirmed there is compelling evidence to suggest protesters plan to target and defile the national treasure.
“We have seen some activity online where people have made threats to [do] that,” she told Fox News’s “Fox and Friends.”
Extreme “anarchist” protests have swept across the nation since Minnesotan George Floyd died in police custody. Local police allegedly handcuffed and kneed Floyd’s throat before he became unresponsive on May 25.
Noem believes demonstrators are asking for much more than their original demand for racial equality, and believes the movement has even become radicalized.
“This is no longer about equality, this is a radical rewriting of our history and, in South Dakota, we will not stand for it,” she said. “This whole conversation has changed, it has gone from equality and it is a radical movement that is rewriting our history, and will take away all the lessons that we want to teach our kids and our grand kids.”
She believes extremists cannot be allowed to ruin the giant sculptures of former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
“It should fire up every American who loves this country,” she said. “Washington was a unifier … Jefferson was an author of the Declaration of Independence, they gave us the all men are created equal. Lincoln made it happen, brought it to reality, [while] Roosevelt was the first man to dine with an African American in the White House.”
The Mount Rushmore State is now working with the Trump administration to ensure tougher security measures are in place for President Donald Trump’s official visit.
“We have the president visiting on July 3 and we are excited about that but we also will know this threat to the mountain will remain in place for quite some time and we are prepared to be there and be diligent about protecting it,” Noem said. “Love this mountain and Mount Rushmore for this country that recognized what it represents to us, and we will do all that we can to … make sure that Mount Rushmore stays as majestic as it is today.”