On Friday, President Donald Trump will continue his tour of racism and colonialism, moving from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to the sacred Black Hills. Make no mistake, this visit is an attack on Indigenous people.
I visit the Black Hills alongside many other Lakotas every year as part of a tradition we have maintained for thousands of years. Stretching from what is now known as South Dakota into Wyoming, they are a sacred place that I take my family and my children to, like the Vatican for Catholics or Mecca for Muslims. The hills are where I feel most connected to Creator.
The Black Hills are also the site of death, violence and war. They are home to Mount Rushmore — a monument to white colonizers carved by a Ku Klux Klan sympathizer into land stolen from us by the U.S. government in 1877. Two of the men carved into that mountain are slave owners, and one approved the mass hangings of 38 Dakota men in the largest mass execution in the history of the United States.
Trump’s visit to Mount Rushmore, timed to America’s celebration of the Fourth of July, is almost a natural sequel to his rally in Tulsa — originally coinciding with Juneteenth. He is taking his campaign from the site of one of the United States’ most horrific acts of racism to another place with long histories of oppression and state-sanctioned violence. [Continue reading…]