South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem is being dragged on the internet again, this time for an inflammatory Independence Day tweet that wasn't quite what it appeared to be.
Noem attempted to troll President Joe Biden by posting pictures of herself and her family frowning theatrically under a photo of fireworks at Mount Rushmore—known as Tȟuŋkášila Šákpe Paha before the land was illegally seized and the name changed. The area belongs to the Oceti Sakowin according to the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie which has been reaffirmed by the Supreme Court.
Noem's image included the caption:
"'Trump's America' ⬆️ 'Joe Biden's America' ⬇️"
The arrow indicated fireworks at Mount Rushmore were "Trump's America" while her pouting family were "Joe Biden's America."
The GOP governor added the hashtag #SparklersSuck.
It soon came to light the fireworks were, in fact, from "Obama & Biden's America," as the photo had been taken during their administration when Biden was Vice President.
The image was a composite photo made by photographer Matt Halvorsen and posted to his website in 2015.
At that time, Halvorsen said the photos had been taken "a few years ago."
Several people chastised Noem for removing the photographer's credit from the image before attempting to pass it off as a more recent photo.
Many people also goaded Noem with photos and notes about fireworks displays in other parts of "Biden's America."
Noem is likely upset the fireworks at the national monument have been stopped again due to risk of fire and damage to Indigenous unceded lands. The yearly pyrotechnics display had been discontinued in 2010, but was brought back in 2020 by former President Donald Trump.
Her request to hold the fireworks display this year was denied by the National Park Service due to continued safety concerns.
The request, and Noem's subsequent lawsuit, also faced backlash from local tribal leadership.
Court documents show Steve Vance, historic preservation officer for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, said of the request:
"The fact that this event could be forced upon us in our sacred lands despite our clear opposition to the event traumatizes us as a people and inflicts grief upon us. To us, allowing this event to occur again is a colonial attack on one of our most sacred places."