A very large Straw Man hanging over Mount Rushmore

Today, the Times published a concerning factual article about the history of Mount Rushmore and its four faces.

It is pertinent background, since Trump has decided to hold some sort of July 4 celebration there. Given that the places Trump is visiting nowadays send rather obvious messages — mostly racist — to his cult (I mean, to his base), it’s not a bad idea to learn about why Mount Rushmore has attracted him.

Per the Times’s wont, it tweeted a notice about the article. Here’s the tweet:

Mount Rushmore was built on land that belonged to the Lakota tribe and sculpted by a man who had strong bonds with the Ku Klux Klan. It features the faces of 2 U.S. presidents who were slaveholders. 

All of that is factual.

In reply, Josh Barro, one of those journalists apparently in conflict with his past beliefs, and flailing around trying to figure things out, tweeted this:

stop trying to cancel Mount Rushmore

(I’ve become aware of a thing called “cancel culture.” It seems to involves shaming someone who makes a statement you don’t like. Instead of, say, arguing against the statement.)

Josh Barro gives us an excellent example of a Straw Man (in this case, I guess, four Straw Men). Relating the factual history of this monument, which includes hard-to-dispute criticism, in no way suggests anybody, let alone the Times, is trying to cancel the monument.

I’m calling Josh Barro on his pretty weak Straw Man attack, unless he thinks he was being funny.

By the way, a Straw Man would be seriously vulnerable to the July 4 fireworks display, as is the dry land surrounding Mount Rushmore. So Trump’s foolish celebration might manage to set a blazing fire to the foliage, as well as spread COVID-19.

The four faces, carved out of rock, will not burn or get sick, but if Josh Barro wants to lug his Straw Man to the Black Hills of South Dakota, it’d make a spectacular bonfire.

Marshmallows, anyone?

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