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The Morning Briefing: Washington, Jackson, and … Lenin?

Good Thursday Morning.

Here is what's on the President's agenda today:

  • In the afternoon, President Donald J. Trump will have lunch with the Governor of Florida.
  • The President will then meet with the Administrator of the Small Business Administration.

Chicago Pastor: Remove Washington, Jackson park names

As we are removing Confederate statues around the states, a Chicago pastor wants to take it a step further.

A Chicago pastor has asked the Emanuel administration to remove the names of two presidents who owned slaves from parks on the South Side, saying the city should not honor slave owners in black communities.

A bronze statue of George Washington on horseback stands at the corner of 51st and King Drive, at the northwest entrance to Washington Park.

Bishops James Dukes said, “When I see that, I see a person who fought for the liberties, and I see people that fought for the justice and freedom of white America, because at that moment, we were still chattel slavery, and was three-fifths of humans. Some people out here ask me, say ‘Well, you know, he taught his slaves to read.’ That’s almost sad; the equivalent of someone who kidnaps you, that you gave them something to eat.”

Dukes explained America's first president, George Washington, was not a hero to the black community.

“There’s no way plausible that we would even think that they would erect a Malcolm X statue in Mount Greenwood, Lincoln Park, or any of that. Not that [sic] say Malcolm X was a bad guy; they just would not go for it,” he said. “Native Americans would not even think about putting up a Custer statue, because of the atrocities that he plagued upon Native Americans. And for them to say to us ‘just accept it’ is actually insulting.”

“I think we should be able to identify and decide who we declare heroes in our communities because we have to tell the stories to our children of who these persons are,” he said.

Does that go for all communities? I agree that communities should decide what statues and monuments they want around and that means one shouldn't orchestrate a protest with a bus full of "visitors" to complain about a statue in a community one doesn't live in, right?

“I am feeling ambivalent that I would have to walk my child, attend a parade or enjoy a game of softball in a park that commemorates the memory of a slave owner,” he wrote. “Therefore, I call on the immediate removal of President George Washington and President Andrew Jackson names from the parks located on the southeast side of Chicago. They should not have the distinct honor of being held as heroes when they actively participated in the slave trade.”