Well-deserved pushback against Chicago Monuments Project underway

Abraham Lincoln: The Head of State, designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. It is one of Chicago monuments “under review.”

By John Ruberry 

Last week in my DTG post I wrote about the Chicago Monuments Project, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s response to last summer’s riot surrounding the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park south of downtown.

The committee for the project earlier this month identified 41 monuments, mostly statues but also plaques, reliefs, and one painting. Five of the monuments are statues of Abraham Lincoln. Yes, that guy, the one who led the Union during the Civil War, which led to ending slavery in America. Illinois is the Land of Lincoln, that slogan has been emblazoned on every Illinois license plate for decades. His face is on all standard Illinois license plates. On every Illinois driver’s license and state ID card is Lincoln’s countenance–and automobile titles too.

Other monuments “under review” by the project include statues of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Leif Erikson, Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, several pieces honoring Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, and works featuring anonymous Native Americans. 

But don’t worry! Really! In a Chicago Sun-Times op-ed published last week–on Washington’s birthday–three of the project’s members assured us:

Various accounts, especially on social media, have inaccurately described this project as an effort to tear it all down. This could not be further from the truth. It is a discussion.

I don’t believe them. The “discussion,” in my opinion, is a first step to, yes, “tear it all down.” Liberals work by way of incrementalism. Many left-wing politicians, probably most, want to ban private ownership of guns. They can’t express that sentiment because of the predictable outrage–and it could mean that they’ll be voted out of office. So they start with the easier targets, such as bans on semi-automatic rifles. If they succeed they’ll move on to other firearms, ending with the banning the type of handgun Mrs. Marathon Pundit purchased this year.

So the Chicago Monuments Project is beginning with “a discussion.” Without pushback that discussion very well may devolve into moving statues in the wee hours, which is what happened to two Christopher Columbus statues, including the one at the center of the riot, into storage. Both of those statues of the Italian Navigator are on the project’s “under review” status. 

It’s not just social media users and conservative news sources that have objected to the Chicago Monuments Project. In a Chicago Tribune op-ed, Lincoln biographers Sidney Blumenthal and Harold Holzer wrote, “The Orwellian idea of removing Lincoln from Chicago would be as vain as an attempt to erase the history of Chicago itself.”

The editoral board of the Chicago Tribune–paid subscription required–favors keeping the Lincoln stautes.

Lori Lightfoot even weighed in, “But let’s be clear, we’re in the Land of Lincoln, and that’s not going to change.”

But I’d like to explain to you that the other monuments are also worth keeping. Benjamin Franklin owned two slaves but he freed them and he later became an abolititionist. Ulysses S. Grant, when he was under tremendous financial hardship, freed the only slave he owned. Grant of course was the commander of all Union armies in the Civil War. George Washington’s slaves were freed after the death of Martha Washington. Yes, Washington is the Father of our Nation.

Other than being white, I can’t astertain why Marquette and Jolliet, or Leif Erikson, are “under review” in Chicago.

The source of the rage against Lincoln likely comes from his approving the hanging of 38 Dakota warriors in 1862. But Abe commuted 264 Dakota War executions. There were atrocities in that conflict committed by both sides. Here’s what a Norwegian immigrant described in a letter at that time, courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society:

The Indians have begun attacking the farmers. They have already killed a great many people, and many are mutilated in the cruelest manner. Tomahawks and knives have already claimed many victims. Children, less able to defend themselves, are usually burned alive or hanged in the trees, and destruction moves from house to house.

If the Chicago Monuments Project is about education, then it probably means that Lightfoot sorely needs one. “In time, our team will determine there are no monuments to African Americans in this city,” Lightfoot said last summer while announcing what has become the Chicago Monuments Project. “There are no monuments to women. There are no monuments that reflect the contributions of people in the city of Chicago who contributed to the greatness of this city.”

But in her namesake park on the South Side stands a Gwendolyn Brooks statue. Brooks was the first African-American to serve as Illinois’ Poet Laureate. A couple miles north of that statue is the beautiful Victory Monument, which honors a World War I African American regiment, and a bit north of that one is the Monument to the Great Northern Migration. I believe each of these are on city of Chicago or Chicago Park District property.

Does Chicago need more monuments featuring women and minorities? Absolutely. It can also benefit with a Ronald Reagan statue. The Gipper is the only president who was born in Illinois and the first to live in Chicago, although the apartment where he lived as a child was razed by the University of Chicago in 2013.

Click here to view the monuments in question. To express your comments about the Chicago Monuments Project please click here. Please be courteous. And if you Tweet this blog post–please do!–use the #ChicagoMonuments hashtag.

Make your voice heard. They’ve begun to listen.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.


Futility league season 2, SD Jones League season 1 and all time great league season 3 standings (With Wild Card) 2/28/21

Here is the state of the table top baseball leagues I run. All leagues are 162 game seasons with one 3 game series scheduled per week If you click on a team link you can see their stats, injuries, leaders etc.

As of this week I am adding the wild cards standings for the play-in game

League one All Futility League (all teams lost 96 + games) 2nd Season. Scheduled series time Thursday Mornings.

Teams AL Division AWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1970 Milwaukee Brewers4232.568—–NoN/A
1970 Chicago White Sox3936.5203 1/2No—–
2002 Tampa Bay Devil Rays3243.42710 1/2Yes7
2003 Detroit Tigers2946.38713 1/2No10
Teams AL Division BWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1970 Kansas City Royals4431.587—–NoN/A
2008 Seattle Mariners4035.5334Yes+1
2012 Minnesota Twins3936.5205No——
1973 Texas Rangers3045.40014Yes9
Teams AL Division CWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2009 Cleveland Indians3837.507—–No1*
1957 Washington Senators3837.507—–No1*
2019 Baltimore Orioles3737.5001/2No1 1/2
1967 Kansas City A’s3639.4802No3
*Division Winner automatically makes playoffs
Teams NL Division AWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1998 Montreal Expos4626.639—–NoN/A
2009 Washington Nationals4332.5734 1/2Yes+ 1 1/2
2001 Pittsburgh Pirates 3936.5208 1/2Yes2 1/2
1998 Florida Marlins3342.44014 1/2Yes8 1/2
Teams NL Division BWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2015 Atlanta Braves3537.486—– Non/a
2017 San Francisco Giants3441.4542 1/2No7 1/2
2012 Houston Astros3441.4542 1/2Yes7 1/2
2000 Philadelphia Phillies3043.4115 1/2Yes10 1/2
Teams NL Division CWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1982 Cincinnati Reds4330.589—-Non/a
1993 New York Mets4032.5562 1/2No—–
1974 Chicago Cubs3636.5006 1/2No4
1993 San Diego Padres3441.45410Yes7 1/2

The SD Jones memorial .500 teams league is a league (all teams were no better than 2 games over .500 or no worse than 2 games under) Initial season . Games are scheduled for Tuesdays. AM

Teams AL EastWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1993 Boston2922.569—–Non/a
1973 New York (A)2325.4794 1/2Yes1 1/2
1967 Washington2028.4177 1/2Yes4 1/2
1957 Baltimore2130.4128Yes5
Teams AL CentralWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2010 Detroit2919.604—–Yesn/a
1975 Cleveland2423.5114 1/2No—–
1998 Chicago (A)2226.4587 No2 1/2
1973 Minnesota1830.37511No5 1/2
Teams AL WestWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2017 Kansas City3216.667—–Yesn/a
2010 Oakland2820.5834 Yes+ 3 1/2
2005 Toronto2226.45810 Yes2 1/2
2018 Los Angeles (A)2137.43811Yes3 1/2
Teams NL EastWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2018 Washington3219.627—-Non/a
1967 Pittsburgh3021.5882No+ 3 1/2
1975 New York (N)2523.5215 1/2Yes——
1957 Philadelphia2526.4907Yes1 1/2
Teams NL CentralWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1975 St. Louis2325479—–Yesn/a
1996 Cincinnati2225.4681/2No2 1/2
2000 Colorado2226.4581Yes3
1973 Houston2028.4173Yes5
Teams NL WestWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1975 San Francisco3612.750—–Yesn/a
2012 Arizona2127.43815Yes4
2007 Los Angeles (N)2028.41716Yes5
1982 San Diego1932.37318 1/2Yes7 1/2

3rd League All time any time Great Teams League (3rd season) Games scheduled Friday evenings

Teams AL EastWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1970 Baltimore156.714—–Yesn/a
1993 Toronto1110.5244No+ 1/2
1999 Boston711.3896 1/2No2
1961 Yankess711.3896 1/2No2
Teams AL CentralWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2010 Texas126.667—–Yesn/a
1954 Cleveland810.4444Yes1
1974 Oakland69.4004 1/2Yes1 1/2
2006 Detroit612.3336Yes3
Teams AL OtherWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1924 Washington138.619—–Non/a
1977 Kansas City99.5002 1/2Yes—-
1967 Minnesota1011.4763Yes1/2
2009 New York (A)510.3335No4
Teams NL EastWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1975 Cincinnati108.556—–Yesn/a
1998 Atlanta1011.4761 1/2No1 1/2
2019 Washington Nats1011.4761 1/2Yes1 1/2
1955 Brooklyn810.4442 Yes2
Teams NL CentralWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1957 Milwaukee117.611—–Yesn/a
1971 Pittsburgh108.5561 Yes—-
1985 St. Louis810.4443No2
2003 Cubs711.3894Yes3
Teams NL OtherWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2016 Chicago (N)135722—-Non/a
2001 Arizona117.6112Yes+1
1977 Philadelphia99.5004Yes1
2007 Colorado612.3337Yes4

If you are interested in taking over the management of any of these teams contact me in comments.