The New Patriotism of Mount Rushmore, 2
ourselves to be moral individuals when we only extend virtuous considerations to the limits of others who are just like ourselves.
Indeed, this has been a very difficult fact for many Americans to cope with. We are in the middle of an ideological tug of war over what it means to be American. With the recent election of Barack Obama as president of the United States, for the first time the nation looks not to an Anglo-American middle-aged male for leadership, but to a young multi-ethnic African American. The blinders which have limited the breadth of the vision of what it means to be an American are being removed, and we are collectively beginning to embrace the cultural plurality of what it means to be an American.
This is our hope not just for the future, but for our appreciation of Mount Rushmore. The monument's varied history is now ready for honest examination and reevaluation. The permanence of the monument ensures that its history cannot simply be ignored, indeed willful ignorance is the very opposite of everything that the modern day equivalent of American virtue stands for. We have reached the tipping point, started with the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 60's, where ethnic and subcultural pluralism is becoming the shining example of forward thinking that the United States is broadcasting to the world.
In the case of Mount Rushmore, the new attempts to balance the perspectives and story of the past which is told there to include the history of the Black Hills and the Native Americans are
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