Chicago Alderman Raymond Lopez of the 15th Ward Englewood neighborhood, located on the South Side of Chicago, posted to his Facebook page late Wednesday afternoon that a monument of Abraham Lincoln was found torched and damaged in his Ward.
“What an absolute disgraceful act of vandalism,” Lopez posted.
The monument is actually a large stone bust of President Abraham Lincoln which was erected by Phil Bloomquist on August 31, 1926 at the front of the Lincoln Gas Station, on the corner of a busy intersection within the South Side Ward. At the time the bust was erected, the Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood was mostly populated by Irish, German, and Italian immigrants. Today, the Englewood neighborhood has a demographics of mainly African-American families and businesses. According to the Chicago Tribune, while the crime rate in Chicago has dropped slightly in 2017, the Englewood Police District still struggles with ongoing crime.
Over the years, the monument has been painted by vandals, first black, then white, then it appeared a mix of dappled black and white resulting from years of harsh Chicago winters. Most recently, it was reported that the well-known Chicago gang, the Gangster Disciples, used the bust to mark its turf by graffiti painting it, ironically, with a yellow Star of David on one side of his head.
Chicago Police do not presently have any information as to how the bust of President Lincoln was vandalized. Along with Alderman Lopez, they are encouraging anyone with information to contact the Chicago Police immediately.
This Chicago monument is one of many statues and monuments which have recently been vandalized across the country, following the firestorm of violent events which took place this past Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, and which have also occurred subsequent to President Trump’s statements regarding the violence in Charlottesville.
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