In a controversial tweet on July 4th, Ben & Jerry’s called on America to return “stolen indigenous land,” starting with Mount Rushmore. On “Fox & Friends” Thursday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem defended her state’s historic landmark, saying it is a source of “inspiration” and the “greatest symbol of our freedom.”

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GOV. KRISTI NOEM:I’m not going to listen to a bunch of liberal Vermont businessmen who think they know everything about this country and haven’t studied our history. Right now, Mount Rushmore is the greatest symbol of our freedom and history of the United States of America. We can learn from the men on that mountain. We can do better. But, boy, they led us through some challenging times. And I think Americans in this country need some inspiration, and we can gain it from a monument like that. We should be proud of America and knock off what Ben & Jerry’s is doing. They don’t have any idea what they’re doing.

Kristi Noem

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem takes the stage at a campaign rally Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022 in Sioux Falls, S.D. The Republican governor was looking to shore up support for her reelection bid with a series of events with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves) (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

Ben & Jerry’s was not feeling patriotic this Independence Day, putting out a call to return “stolen indigenous land” on Tuesday morning.

“This 4th of July, it’s high time we recognize that the U.S. exists on stolen Indigenous land and commit to returning it,” the ice cream maker tweeted.

The company said that while Independence festivities like fireworks, parades and barbecues are entertaining, they “distract” from the fact America was settled on stolen land.

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“The only problem with all that, though, is that it can distract from an essential truth about this nation’s birth: The US was founded on stolen Indigenous land,” Ben & Jerry’s said.

“This year, let’s commit to returning it.”

In a company article, Ben & Jerry’s explained the U.S. should start the return of lands with Mount Rushmore due to its significance to Native Americans.

“But what is the meaning of Independence Day for those whose land this country stole, those who were murdered and forced with brutal violence onto reservations, those who were pushed from their holy places and denied their freedom?” Ben & Jerry’s said. “The faces on Mount Rushmore are the faces of men who actively worked to destroy Indigenous cultures and ways of life, to deny Indigenous people their basic rights.”

The ice cream company argued that even the Supreme Court agreed with them, ruling in 1980 that the land that Mount Rushmore was on was stolen from the Sioux tribe. The court awarded the Sioux $105 million in damages, but the tribes refused the payment.

“The US exists on stolen land. We have to acknowledge that—today and every day. In the case of Mount Rushmore, the Supreme Court already did!” Ben & Jerry’s wrote.

NY Business’ Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed to this report.

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