In the midst of anti-Confederacy monument hysteria sweeping the nation, not even America’s beloved 16th president – who issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 that freed the slaves – is safe from mayhem and destruction.
Chicago Alderman Ray Lopez says vandals torched a bust of Abraham Lincoln that stood in West Englewood for nearly 100 years.
And Lopez places blame for the destruction squarely at the feet of President Trump.
He claims the president emboldened vandals in the “Land of Lincoln” when Trump blamed “both sides” for violence at a Charlottesville, Virginia, rally, which left one woman dead and 38 injured.
“When you have a president who, from his point of moral authority as leader of the free world, condones the actions of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, people who believe in a segregated society – when he refuses to refute what their actions are – you embolden people to continue,” Lopez said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“They’re not being told what they’re doing is wrong. You inspire people to act on the anger and emotions that they’ve had in them and tried to hold inside. Now, you’re giving them a path to come out and be as anger-filled as they want to be.”
President Trump unequivocally and repeatedly condemned the “violence, bigotry and hatred” and called for national unity. But it still wasn’t enough for the mainstream media and leftist detractors. Despite the mishmash of extremist groups on the scene, the left and mainstream media demanded that Trump condemn the hateful actions specifically of the white supremacists and neo-Nazis. But nary a peep was said of Antifa’s role in the violence. On Monday, President Trump specifically condemned white supremacists. On Tuesday, Trump said: “I think there’s blame on both sides. You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”
Meanwhile, a West Englewood resident disputed Lopez’s claims, saying he believes the damage to Lincoln was done early last month, when “people were out partying on the 4th of July and lighting fireworks off of it.
“It’s f—ed up, honestly,” Christopher Jackson told the paper. “You’d think people would appreciate it. They should appreciate it. Abraham Lincoln is Abraham Lincoln. He freed the slaves.”
But Lopez stuck to his claims and accusations: “I believe what happened to Abraham Lincoln wasn’t just a random act of violence,” he said. “It wasn’t just [plastered] with graffiti or tipped over. This was an intentional act to try to destroy this statue.
“The fire was intense. The soot is baked onto it. There was some planning and some effort to try and destroy this bust, which has been in the community for almost 100 years now. One of the individuals whose family was in the community during the 1920s remembers when the statue was erected. He believes it was actually part of the art from the World’s Fair. It’s unfortunate and disgusting that we have so much hate-filled rhetoric that it inspires people to destroy works of art, particularly a work of art for one of the greatest presidents in this country’s history.”
Twitter reaction to the vandalism was fierce and included the following tweets:
- “It’s about hatred of America, not racism or Nazis.” – John Cardillo
- “It’s pure hatred for the United States.” – Vic Lyn
- “This is a testament of our public schools educational system.” – Truck Nation
- “This is going to get ginned up and they’ll start attacking anyone they think is on the right.” – Jody
- “What is the message here? We don’t know U.S. history, or we like to destroy stuff cuz it’s fun?” – BayAreaFrau
- “This is what it looks like when the slope becomes slippery. This dude freed the damn slaves.” – Will Power
- “Public school system in Chicago on display.” – JC
- “Wow, not even Lincoln is safe. Our education system is a complete failure.” – Steve Trammell
As WND has been reporting, a nationwide effort is underway to remove Confederate statues and symbols from government grounds across America.
In dozens of cities across the U.S., activists are vandalizing and toppling Confederate monuments and symbols. They’re also pushing for cities, counties and states to destroy or relocate statues dating back more than a hundred years.
But now, even symbols and monuments unrelated to the Confederacy are under attack.
On Thursday, a tweet from VICE magazine stated, “Let’s blow up Mount Rushmore,” a national monument featuring the faces of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
The tweet had been “liked” more than 250 times and retweeted 165 times at the time of this report.
As WND reported, another monument to America’s 16th president – the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. – was vandalized with red spray-paint that spelled out “F—Law” on one of its columns Tuesday.
Also, on Wednesday, “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. said even removal of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson monuments and statues is a proposal worth discussing.
“What is the statue there for, right? It’s there to inspire us. It’s there to teach us. It’s there to give us hope. And I think that’s why we erect them, right?” Odom asked.
“And so we decide as a community that this bronze, you know, commemoration is no longer doing that, if it’s no longer inspiring us, if it’s no longer making us feel great about ourselves, then they come down for a while or forever. You know, we can always, you can re-examine things in the future. But if a statue has to come down for a minute, we’re allowed to do that.
“We’re even allowed to do that with Thomas Jefferson and, you know, George Washington. We’re allowed to. They’re not off the table for discussion. I think it’s a great question.”