Friday, March 19, 2021

Chicago monuments under assault, Part 13: The Chicago Lincoln

The Chicago Lincoln

If Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her secretive Chicago Monuments Project's decides to remove all 41 statues, plaques, and reliefs that "warrant attention," then Chicago's five Abraham Lincoln statues will need a new home. David Gerlach, the president of Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois will gladly accept them. 

So far on my blog and at Da Tech Guy I've looked at two of the Lincoln statues--those links can be found at the bottom of this post. 

Today I'm looking at the Chicago Lincoln, designed by Avard Fairbanks. It is a relatively new monument. The beardless Lincoln--the Great Emancipator grew his emblemic beard after the 1860 presidential election--was erected in 1956. The statue was the brainchild of Alderman John Hoellen, a Republican, who ran for mayor in 1975. It stands at Western and Lawrence avenues--quite close to Lincoln Avenue in the Lincoln Square neighborhood on the North Side.

As I've commented in a similar fashion in this series, if the Lincoln statues are removed what of Lincoln Avenue? Or Lincoln Square?

In his March 9 Chicago Way podcast the Chicago Tribune's sagacious columnist, John Kass, calls the Chicago Monuments Project "Mayor Lori Lightfoot's Woke Committee on Problematic Statuary." 

"She should never have let it get this far," Kass says of Lightfoot, "to where Lincoln is under review in the Land of Lincoln, but she did." Kass theorizes, correctly in my opinion, that Lightfoot, a leftist, fears being outflanked politically by those who more left-wing than she is. Such in the manner--this is me thinking, not Kass--that the Chicago Teachers Union is doing in regards to the ongoing struggle to re-open all of Chicago's public schools.

Gerlach was Kass' guest for that podcast. Of Lincoln, Gerlach says, "Was he perfect? No. But in the pantheon of civil rights leaders in our country who have done things to move the needle, who has done more than Lincoln?" Gerlach has him at top. 

Lincoln of course paid the ultimate price for winning the Civil War and freeing the slaves when he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

"To me that it's a shame that in the state named for--monikered for Lincoln--that [removal of Lincoln statues] is being discussed," Gerlack adds.

Apologists for the Chicago Monuments Project meekly claim, "It is a discussion." Yep, only a discussion. 

Don't believe them. 

Those targeted monuments that are labeled by the project as "problematic," which Kass says is "the first step towards erasure."

To comment on the monuments "under review" please visit the Chicago Monuments Project "Feedback page." Please be friendly but firm in your comments. 

Please Tweet this post. When you do so use the #ChicagoMonuments hashtag.

Related posts of mine at Da Tech Guy

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