As literal faces of white supremacy carved by a Klan member on sacred land of the Lakota Sioux, I believe we have an optics problem 👀
Washington: Gentlemen, thank you for attending this meeting on such short notice. It has come to my attention that our presence on Mt. Rushmore has become, how they say, a cancellable offense. We must remedy this situation to restore our place in American mythos.
Lincoln: Cancellable, you say? Prithee, what does it mean?
Washington: Yes, a perplexing term. The states are divided on the judicial merits of this charge, but it casts aspersions on our legacy.
Jefferson: Sacré bleu. Who conspires against us?
Washington: All of sound mind.
Roosevelt: Scheming, leprous emasculates! What insipid excuse besmirches the glory of my countenance!
Washington: Black lives matter, I am told.
Jefferson: Oh, fuck.
Lincoln: Do they matter everywhere? Even in society?
Roosevelt: I had dinner with a Black man once.
Washington: Brothers, that is not all. We have, it seems, committed genocide. This owing to our murders and maimings and rapings of Indigenous nations, and treaty violations appertaining thereunto.
Roosevelt: Hogwash! Everybody knows those weren’t real treaties.
Washington: Mr. Roosevelt, it appears the creation of the national parks system was predicated on ethnic cleansing?
Roosevelt: Is that what taffy-pullers call it these days! No, George. The land was available.
Washington: I have you quoted as saying: "I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indian is the dead Indian, but I believe nine out of every ten are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth."
Roosevelt: And this was—bad?
Lincoln: The point is, gentlemen, Washington's news is a grave threat to the A.P U.S. History industrial complex. We must unify the republic on this moral issue.
Jefferson: I hear Marseille is lovely this time of year.
Washington: Lincoln is right. What gesture or gift might absolve this discontent?
Lincoln: A nicely drafted speech? On the Notes app, peradventure?
Roosevelt: Or a tusk? I have many tusks. Elephants, wild boars, hippopotamuses—
Washington: What if we were to—no, no. Never mind.
Roosevelt: Come on, Georgey boy, spit it out!
Washington: What if we were to give the land back? And what if we tendered direct cash payments to those we've wronged as a compensatory, yet piddling reparation for our thefts? We couldn't stop there, of course. Social programs, healthcare, mortgage subsidies, complete tax reform—Jefferson, are you writing this down?—tuition-free universities, drug decriminalization, endowments for historical museums and arts programs, the abolition of both prison and police—
Lincoln: Dammit, Ted! Don’t shoot at George!
Roosevelt: His wooden teeth speak nothing but Antifa!
Lincoln: This is the bardo! We’re already dead!
Roosevelt: IT TAKES MORE THAN DEATH TO KILL A BULL MOOSE
Jefferson: Gentlemen, gentlemen. I've had a thought. What if we made our monument look good?
*an expectant pause*
Washington: But Thomas, the facts are plain.
Jefferson: Exactly, which is why we must distract from them. Let us stage a celebration at our monument. An event so tasteless, so repugnant, that in comparison we look reasonable. Noble, even.
*Jefferson shoves out from his chair, begins pacing*
Jefferson: Imagine, my friends, a cacophonous, crowded gathering with pyrotechnics, processed meats, and songs of propaganda.
Roosevelt: Ooh. I like the meats part.
Jefferson: Glorious, truly, but let us not stop there. Distraction must be coupled with offense. The signature moment of this celebration must needs be a heinous speech—delivered, perchance, by a vile, treasonous despot with very small fingers.
Washington: Thomas, I fear you are sick.
Jefferson: Hardly. This is how the French do it. But speaking of sickness, perhaps we can manufacture circumstance such that an infectious disease will ravage the nation at the time—disproportionately killing the Black and Indigenous people who are the source of our little predicament.
Lincoln: I mean, it’s only fair.
Jefferson: Even better: this event of ours can spread disease by willfully rejecting simple and reasonable medical advice.
Roosevelt: You have outdone yourself, Tommy! I mistook you for a namby-pamby, but I must say, this plan is a vicious masterpiece. When do we begin?
Jefferson: Well, since it was my idea, might I suggest the national holiday commemorating my most famous written work?
Lincoln: The one about all men being created equal?
Jefferson: Dear God, did I write that?
Washington: *adjusts spectacles* I’m seeing a line about "merciless Indian savages."
Jefferson: Ah, yes, that's the one!
Thanks for reading Gemini Mind! Elsewhere, you can find me as @yokizzi 💫