As baffling as it is to find statues of traitors, slaveholders and killers of Union soldiers ensconced in many a prominent square, consider the historical discordance of Custer County, S.D.
The hard beauty of the Black Hills, sacred land to Native Americans, overshadows the county, the main town and the state park, all named for George Armstrong Custer. The hard history was shaped by the slayer of those native people. Custer's willful trespass into territory promised by treaty to the Sioux set the stage for the last violent encounters between New World and Old.
Just under 20 miles from Custer is Mount Rushmore, which President Trump plans to visit this Fourth of July weekend. A mere seven miles from Custer is the Native American Rushmore — a still unfinished carving of the Oglala Sioux leader Crazy Horse, 641 feet long and 563 feet high.