At over 20,000 feet above sea level, the majestic peak up ’til now known as Mount McKinley is North America’s tallest mountain peak. It was named after the USA’s 25th president, William McKinley. A Republican (surprise, surprise) McKinley served in office from 1897 until his assassination in September 1901, six months into his second term.
But that doesn’t mean much to our Commander-in-Chief.
Yesterday the White House said Obama made the decision to ‘rename’ the mountain as a major symbolic gesture to Alaska Natives on the eve of the president’s visit to Alaska. Obama is renaming the mountain, “Denali.”
“With our own sense of reverence for this place, we are officially renaming the mountain Denali in recognition of the traditions of Alaska Natives and the strong support of the people of Alaska,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
Not everyone is happy about it.
By renaming the peak Denali, an Athabascan word meaning “the high one,” Obama has incensed lawmakers and residents alike of the state of Ohio. McKinley was born in Ohio and as as president assassinated while in office, enjoys ‘favorite son’ status in the Buckeye State. Obama’s move to strip the mountain of its name honoring former President McKinley has drawn condemnations from Ohio lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner, who said he was “deeply disappointed” in the decision.
“This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans, and I will be working with the House Committee on Natural Resources to determine what can be done to prevent this action,” said Representative Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio.
The announcement comes just as Obama embarks on a three-day visit to Alaska aimed at infusing fresh urgency into his unrelenting war on ‘climate change.’ The trip is set to showcase melting glaciers and other doomed natural wonders in Alaska. Doomed by you and your Ford Explorer, according to Obama.
The amount of disdain this president clearly holds for America’s founding, traditions and history could scarcely be more on display – that he would actually take the step of removing the name of an assassinated president from a mountain. But, he’s done it.
He may be working to eradicate “white” history from our nation and replace it with his own progressive view, but he cannot rewrite how his own history as president has impacted the nation’s native people.
Native-Alaskan Eskimos and other indigenous peoples are suffering the highest unemployment, poverty and jobless rates in generations; families and entire towns that once thrived from jobs provided by nearby mines, oil rigs and other jobs provided by natural resource extraction are gone and lay in waste — but they can take solace in this. The very president whose policies have wrecked their lives and economy has made it up to them. When they gaze upon the horizon and see that majestic snow-covered peak they now can say, “that’s Mt. Denali…everything’s ok now.”
[Note: This article was written by Derrick Wilburn]