Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Chicago monuments under assault, Part 14: The Republic

Some of the statues and other works of art that "warrant attention" by the secretive Chicago Monuments Project are simply baffling, unless you are woke. Of course the five Abraham Lincoln statues come to mind in that regard immediately. So does the gilded bronze statue designed by Daniel Chester French, The Republic, which, for now, stands in Jackson Park on the South Side. 

Click here to see it. 

The Republic, nicknamed locally as "The Golden Lady," was declared a city landmark in 2003.

Daniel Chester French has two other statues, Bull and Indian Maiden and George Washington that are "under review" by the Chicago Monuments Project. His best known work is his iconic statue of Abraham Lincoln inside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. 

The Republic is a recreation of larger version built for the 1893 World's Fair, the Columbian Exposition. the fair, which celebrated the 400th anniversary, a year late, of Columbus' first expedition, when he landed in the Bahamas, Cuba, and Hispanolia. That was probably "strike one" for what Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass called in his Chicago Way podcast, "Mayor Lori Lightfoot's Woke Committee on Problematic Statuary." That committee was formed by what I call "a rioters' veto" in response to last summer's riot surrounding the Columbus statue in Grant Park. 

"Strike two" is what the statue represents, and what the fair represented. The World's Columbian Exposition announced to the planet that America had arrived--it was now a Great Power and Chicago, its second largest city, was a world-class metropolis. The woke left views American greatness as something to be ashamed of and to be repudiated. Read the New York Times' 1619 Project if you don't believe me. Meanwhile America is viewed in other nations as the first choice as a new home for migrants, both legal and illegal ones. If the United States is so horrible why do people want to move here?

Writing for the City Journal, John O. McGinnis, remarks about the project, "The committee provides no specific reasons for including any particular monument. Its broad principles for listing a monument include 'presenting selective, overly simplified views of history'—as if a monument can ever provide a comprehensive distillation of the past."

Jackson Park will be the site--unless ongoing lawsuits prevent it--of the Barack Obama Presidential Center. Perhaps enthusiasts for the Obama Center are troubled by the presence of The Republic. That might be our "strike three."

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

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

Earlier posts

Related posts of mine at Da Tech Guy

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