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Ross: America’s heritage started long before Mt. Rushmore

President Donald Trump watches a flyover by the U.S. Navy Blue Angles at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Friday, July 3, 2020, near Keystone, S.D. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Trump spoke at Mount Rushmore over the weekend, talking about the nation’s heritage and the threat to that heritage today.

And at one point he quoted Martin Luther King:

“Dr. King saw that the mission of justice required us to fully embrace our founding ideals,” Trump said. “He called on his fellow citizens not to rip down their heritage, but to live up to their heritage.”

And I think I found the speech he was referring to – it was given at a high school graduation in Cleveland in 1967:

“And we must never again be ashamed of ourselves, we must never be ashamed of our heritage; we must never be ashamed of the color of our skins …”

And King went on to describe that heritage:

“Before the pilgrim fathers landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before Jefferson etched across the pages of history the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence, we were here… ”

King’s point being that America’s heritage started long BEFORE the presidents on Mt. Rushmore came along.

Which brings me to my metaphor – if you’ve ever seen Mt. Rushmore from the air, you see that those carvings are only a small part of the mountain behind them, a small part of the heritage we’re still chipping away at, trying to decide if we really want to see what the rest of it looks like.

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