By Helene Fung
US President Donald Trump warned on the eve of Independence Day, that the racial inequality demonstrations targeting statues of historic figures perceived to have benefited from slavery, a “left wing cultural revolution”, threatened the foundations of American society.
“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history … and indoctrinate our children,” said Mr Trump.
He was speaking to a crowd of 7,500, mostly mask-less and packed tightly into an amphitheatre at Mount Rushmore, a landmark famous for rock carvings in the images of past US presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
Mr Trump announced that he plans to sign an executive order for a “National Garden of American heroes, a vast outdoor park with states of the greatest Americans to ever live”, to “raise the next generation of American patriots”.
The mostly supportive crowd started chanting “USA, USA, USA” during Mr Trump’s speech. He also received applause when he announced that the suspected ring leader of the attack on a statue of former President Andrew Jackson had been arrested, and when he mentioned that former President Abraham Lincoln passed the 13th amendment in 1865, which abolished slavery.