Chicago's Obama Library 'Woe is Me Blues'

Chicago's Obama Library 'Woe is Me Blues'
Row of boarded up store fronts on Garfield Blvd. west of Washington Park. (PV Bella)

Social media is wonderful sometimes. The comment sections on news sites and Facebook prove that people are just like little children. They say the darndest things.

One example of this childish mentality is the response to Chicago's bid for the Obama Presidential Library. The controversy supposedly centers around using land in Washington Park.

Here are some gems from comments in the Chicago Tribune:

"Let"s hope that multiple lawsuits are filed against this ridiculous land grab. Let"s slow it down so it takes forever for this to be decided. We don"t need a monument to a worthless egotistical buffoon promoted by his equally worthless lackey buttkisser named Rahm. Let"s get real, people. Chicago doesn"t need to have anything to do with Obama or Rahm Emmanuel. Enough is enough. Rahm Emmanuel needs to go. Let"s make it so hard for them to go forward that they just give up in frustration. Please go to Hawaii or New York. We don"t want you here."

Who is this "We"? Are they same people as "They" or "Them".

"Why is this city so eager to build this fool's ego shrine here ?
The land would be better served a a dog pooping ground than for the worst President's ego library.
The land belongs to the citizens of this city, not one failure of a political party's shrine to a worthless President..."

Park land can be used for other uses benefiting the citizens. It is a good bet this guy never stepped foot in the "citizens" Washington Park or even came with in a few miles of the neighborhood.

New York is also bidding for this boondoggle. But I don't see them plotting to carve up Central Park and sell a piece for a dollar to build this thing.
Put the thing on vacant land and LEAVE OUR PARKS ALONE."

Our parks? When was the last time this person visited "Our" Washington Park? He is not aware that Columbia University is some distance from Central Park.

Where do these people come from? They make one embarrassed to be a Chicagoan.


Mural on building next to vacant lot. Located just west of Washington Park on Garfield Blvd. (PV Bella)

Most of these angry birds never visited Washington Park or the surrounding area.

They would not visit.

They are too cowardly to go to "that" part of town. "Those people" live there. Something bad might happen.

The parks are only "our" parks if you use them. If you do not use the park, or as is more likely the case, you are scared to go, then what is your beef?

We know what your beef is. It has nothing to do with the library, the people's park land, or open spaces.

The angry birds are too cowardly to type or do not possess the vocabulary to express three simple words: "I hate Obama".

These people do not care about the parks. They do not care about ownership of the land or land grabs. The only open space they care about is between their ears.

We can have a legitimate debate over whether the library should be located on park land or other property. We can debate whether it would be a boon or bust for Chicago or the neighborhood. At the very least, the debate should be civilized, logical, and based on facts.

Washington Park is the only park in Chicago to have dedicated Cricket pitches. (Peter V. Bella)

Washington Park is the only park in Chicago to have dedicated Cricket pitches. (Peter V. Bella)

What we cannot debate is whether this or any other president deserves a library. It is not up to the "people" or the "citizens". It is up to the president to decide if he wants one. The president decides. Case closed.

The president, or people he chooses, decide the location, affiliation with a university, or other issues related to the library. The people have no say in the matter. None what-so-ever.

It is a pity the angry birds cannot have a civilized debate or know what they are talking about before they tap, tap, tap on their keyboards.

Most, if not all, do not even know the history of Washington Park.

Parks are not sacrosanct. There are legal provisions in place for transferring park property for other uses.

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Emanuel did not send bulldozers in the middle of the night to carve up washington Park. (Chicago Tribune photo)

Unlike his predecessor, Mayor Emanuel probably had the applicable laws researched thoroughly before he proposed using park land for the library.

He did not send bulldozers in the dead of night, cutting Xs and shutting the park down.

There are other large parcels of land on the South and West sides of the city that could accommodate a presidential library. There is also the large former Michael Reese parcel, which still sits vacant.

The University of Chicago wants the library. They want it close to the school. The mayor wants the University of Chicago to get it. Only two questions remain. Does the president want it in Chicago? Where does the president want it built?

Presidential libraries are merely repositories for researchers. After all the opening celebrations and a few years of visiting tourists, the libraries pass out of sight and mind. A few times a year, school children take field trips to them. In the end, they are used for scholarly research.

Love or hate the president. Agree or disagree with his policies or administration. Just have the guts to admit it.

Only the president, or his commission, has the right to choose where the library goes.

One other thing. All the modern presidential libraries are shrines or monuments to a president's ego. They are vanity developments. Since Herbert Hoover's was the first one built, no living president, or their heirs, refused to have one.

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