CNN host Don Lemon said former President Barack Obama’s face should be carved “front and center” with the Founding Fathers on Mount Rushmore so that “more people rethink our country in the way we think.”
Lemon said Obama should be “front and center” on Mount Rushmore because he is the first black president of the United States.
“I think, listen … if they are going to put someone on Mount Rushmore, considering the history of the country, the first black president should be front and center,” Lemon said.
CNN host Chris Cuomo agreed with Lemon’s argument for placing Barack Obama in the middle of the Founding Fathers, stating that adding to Mount Rushmore, rather than tearing it down, is a more “salable idea.“
“Add to Mount Rushmore,” Cuomo said. “I think that’s first of all; it’s a more salable idea than the idea of taking away Founding Fathers.”
Lemon said: “So what’s wrong with all of us together thinking or reshaping our country so that more people rethink our country in the way we think and where priorities are so the country it belongs to everyone.”
Cuomo replied, “Nothing is wrong with it.”
Lemon continued: “Maybe some of the people up there on Mount Rushmore, who knows? The name shouldn’t be Mount Rushmore if you talk to Native Americans. It is stolen land. It was only Mount Rushmore 40 years before they started to carve presidents’ faces in it. No one got any money for that.”
“You’re totally right. The premise is where we have to work toward, which is if we all decide. It’s about consensus and collective consciousness.”
Last week, CNN described Mount Rushmore as a “monument of two slave owners,” ahead of President Trump’s rally.
Back in 2008, when Barack Obama visited Mount Rushmore on the presidential campaign trial, CNN made no mention of slavery or racism, instead praising the historical site and its nation-building roots.
CNN anchor Ron Marciano said at the time:
“Barack Obama is campaigning in South Dakota. That state’s primary is Tuesday. Obama arrived there late last night and got a good look around Mt. Rushmore — it’s quite a sight if you haven’t seen it.”
Trump condemned protesters seeking to destroy monuments to American history during his rally on Tuesday.
“I am here as your president to proclaim before the country and before the world: This monument will never be desecrated; these heroes will never be defaced; their legacy will never ever be destroyed; their achievements will not be forgotten, and Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and our freedom,” Trump said.