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.


DaTechGuy off DaRadio Livestream Podcast A Jacksonian Twist, That’s A Riot SPECIAL TIME 3:00 PM EST

DaTechGuy of DaRadio livestraem podcast starts at a special time today 3 PM because of the surprise cancellation of work and my wife’s windshield repair. We’ll talk a bit about Trump the Jacksonian and about the riots going on in Minnesota.

You can watch the livestream here?

I hope you enjoy it.

The Government We Deserve in Minnesota & Fitchburg, Seattle, Kentucky & LA under the Fedora

In Minnesota a city council decided to aid “diversity” to those who came to America (but still apparently hate it) by removing the pledge of allegiance from their meetings.

The backlash produced another meeting to reconsider it and a lot of folks turned out but no final decision has been made.

This is why paying attention to local government matters.


In Fitchburg fresh off finally defeating Planned Parenthood the public library is getting ready to bring in Drag Queen Story Time.

My church will hold a special mass that day and people are calling the Mayor and I have a few ideas in mind myself, but it’s an important reminder that beating the devil for a day doesn’t mean you do so forever.


It’s not been a grand time in Seattle. Naked men stabbing peoplerestaurant chains going bankrupt, hate crimes hoaxesAmazon building elsewhere, but there is a sign that things finally might be changing.

Seattle City Council elections are coming up in a few months and the Seattle Times reports that Mayor Jenny Durkan has been quietly cleaning up homeless camps at an increased rate compared to last year. Durkan may be hoping that by reducing some of the visible signs of the problem she can mollify voters who are tired of seeing tent camps on sidewalks and in parks throughout the city. 

Eventually things reach a point where the voters rebel and with elections coming the the authorities want to give those angry over what the city has become a reason to direct that anger elsewhere.


In Kentucky the left has decided that the best move they can do is to nominate a far left candidate who already lost for congress to take on Mitch McConnell.

How much of a longshot is the progressive Democrat in Deep Red Kentucky? Even left-leaning (if it leans any further it will fall over) Vox.com summed up her announcement like so: “McGrath’s viral candidacy for Congress fell short in 2018. Now she’s running against the most powerful senator in Washington.” That’s the kind of encouragement most longshot candidates could do without.


And it isn’t like Kentucky’s sixth district, where McGrath (a Kentucky native) ran for Congress in 2018, is completely hostile to Democrats. Democrat Ben Chandler represented the people there from 2004-2013, surviving even the yuge GOP surge of 2010. Despite a very well-funded campaign, lots of favorable media attention, and a genuine war hero record including 89 combat missions bombing al Qaeda and Taliban targets, McGrath still lost to incumbent Republican Andy Barr by more than four points.

I am delighted that it’s likely Kentucky will still get the government they deserve and even more delighted that very dollar the far left spends on McGrath will be a dollar that won’t be used in other races.


Finally it’s simply Amazes me that the people of LA put up with this:


I can’t walk down the street without thinking that a flea could jump on me,” said Estela Lopez, who represents business owners in the area.
After reporting the pile of waste to the city’s 311 services hotline, the I-Team was told it could take up to 90 days before it’s cleaned.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, of UCLA, said there’s no time to waste. “Trash and food waste attracts rats,” said Klausner. “It does pose a public health risk.” An out-of-control rat population can even lead to the spread of dangerous strains of salmonella and bubonic plague, he noted.

How bad it is? This bad:

When state officials inspected the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Division station last November, they uncovered rodent infestations and other unsanitary conditions at the facilities responsible for protecting skid row and other parts of downtown.
The conditions have now become the source of growing anger inside the station, with some officers threatening to seek transfers and city leaders scrambling to address the problems.
The issues at the Central Division come amid larger concerns about disease and filth across downtown, notably a vermin infestation at City Hall last year. One city employee was diagnosed with typhus, a disease that can be spread by rodents. City Hall workers said they saw fleas, rodent droppings and plants eaten by vermin in the building.

It would have been unthinkable for such a thing to be tolerated in an American city in the culture of my youth, but that was a time where American culture was untainted by today’s liberalism. But now California in general and LA in particular are both one party leftist states and the people including the folks at City Hall and at the LAPD are getting the government they deserve.

I’m sure they hoped they deserved better.

Something to Look Forward To

by baldilocks

Why is this woman smiling?

No, Minnesota! You can’t get away!

Matt Vespa:

For Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), she’s embroiled her whole party with an anti-Semitism fiasco that isn’t going away. It’s not her first time either. It’s pervasive. It’s repetitive. It brings forward legitimate allegations that she’s an anti-Semite. She said in 2012, that Israel is hypnotizing the world, then came the “all about the Benjamins” tweet concerning contributions and AIPAC, and now the gross accusation of dual loyalty concerning those who support Israel. The latter public relations flap is what forced the House to vote on a resolution that was initially one against anti-Semitism, but some Democrats found that problematic. Why should Omar be singled out? Oh, also Trump is…bad. Yeah, he was brought up. It showed that Nancy Pelosi is a weak speaker, who caved to this radical element within her party. What we got was a watered down resolution against…bad things.

As I said, this isn’t Omar’s first time. Back in Minnesota, she met with Jewish leaders who were concerned about her past remarks, especially the ‘Israel hypnotizing the world’ tweet. She hasn’t learned. And these folks are reportedly no longer treating her with kid gloves anymore. Minnesota State Sen. Ron Latz was the one who hosted the meeting prior to her election to the House last year. Now, he’s hearing chatter about local Democrats searching for people who can challenge Omar. The position is quite clear though; the local Jewish community has had it with Omar who refuses to listen[.]

And why should she listen? With her triple-threat diversity — black, female, Muslim — the Somalia-born Omar has the Democrat Party by its tender area. They won’t even address the probability that Omar violated immigration laws.

Thomas Wictor calls her the Smiling Somali. I doubt that there will be anything that happens in the 2020 House elections that will wipe the smile from her face. The battle and the shouts of racism! sexism! and Islamophobia! will be glorious, though.

For the record, I’m smiling also at the Democrat Party’s self-damage. It’s as if its leadership has a death wish — or that the leadership is getting really bad advice and is stupid enough to take it.

Neither, of course, is mutually exclusive.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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