Should we add Barack Obama to Mount Rushmore?

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Created to bolster tourism in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore famously features the faces of American presidents Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt. Some say it’s time we add the face of our first black president to this otherwise white Wall of Fame, not just because of Obama’s accomplishments, but because he’s a powerful symbol of racial reconciliation in America. His detractors scoff at the idea—why would anyone rank Obama with Washington or Lincoln? What do you think?

 

Some are violently opposed to the idea. Washington led the Continental Army and basically founded the nation. Jefferson authored many of our founding documents. Lincoln preserved the union during the Civil War. What did Obama do that is equal to any of those accomplishments?Others point out that, despite their accomplishments, all four of the presidents on Rushmore were white supremacists (yes, even Lincoln) and two were actual slaveowners. Obama bridged many racial divides to become president—that beats Teddy Roosevelt’s achievements any day.

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