Protests broke out two years ago and police were brutally beaten by activists who wanted to overthrow Christopher Columbus’ statues in Chicago. Lori Lightfoot was elected Mayor of Grant Park and promised that the statue would soon be returned to the Italian American community.
Lightfoot set up the Chicago Monuments Project to encourage activists to sign on. It was created to determine which monuments should be destroyed and which ones should not be.
He was never allowed to have another chance. The task force published its findings which included deep-sixing three Columbus statues that were located on city property.
It also required that the Italo Balbo statue in Burnham Park be removed. It was initially part of the Italian Pavilion at The World’s Fair but was not removed.
The fate of the Columbus statues was what people were most interested in. Lightfoot may choose to ignore the recommendations of her task force but she may keep her word and return Chicago’s iconic monument to its original spot.
The Monuments Project recommended that 40 more artworks be removed because of various crimes against woke.
DuSable Bridge reliefs of “the Battle of Fort Dearborn”, within an allegorical narrative of Western civilization’s triumph.
Jean Baptiste Beaubien plaque at Chicago Cultural Center. This plaque is dedicated to Chicago’s “second citizens” while ignoring Native Americans who came before them.
Jacques Marquette Louis Jolliet Memorial at Marshall & 24th Boulevard. This “reinforces stereotypes about American Indians.”
Tablets dedicated to Jolliet, Cavelier, and Marquette at DuSable Bridge proclaim that “The first White Men have Passed Through the Chicago River, (and) explicitly voice the ideology of white supremacy. ”
A statue titled General Philip, “the best Indian I’ve ever seen”, Sheridan is also on display. The task group recommended that Sheridan’s statue near Soldier Field be taken down.
Lightfoot should be worried about the harsh reaction by the Italian-American community towards the permanent removals of the Columbus statues.
What do you think to do with all the empty spaces? Lightfoot offers some ideas.
The panel recommended that $50,000 be given to artists for the creation of new ideas. These included monuments honoring Pilsenlatinos and Mahalia Jack, Jean Baptiste Point DuSable and Jean Baptiste Point DuSable as well as Kitihawa, Kitihawa, and Kitihawa. This “visibility project”, which focuses on Black women, girls, and men, is a community-led memorial for Chicago gun violence victims.
The “revise/add narrative” batch also included other monuments, such as those that pay tribute to President Abraham Lincoln.
Sergio Giangrande, the ex-president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, wrote that “monuments weren’t, nor were they intended to be,” political statements. “He wrote that it was absurd to attempt to turn them into a policy agenda. ”