Presidential libraries are a tradition. A dumb and corrupt one. Especially as they evolved beyond places for researchers to study presidential papers and became interactive multimedia centers funded by major donors despite the reality that they’re not especially popular.
Obama had to push his narcissism to the top and that meant hijacking significant real estate in Chicago while picking a fight with everyone.
The war over Obama’s library, which is anything but a library, is finally drawing to some sort of conclusion, but local opposition continues, with Obama backers, predictably, accusing locals of racism.
This past spring, a small group working under the name Protect Our Parks sued the Obama Foundation, which oversees the fundraising for and building of the center, among other defendants. The group then followed up with a recent motion calling for a halt to construction, which it said could cause “irreparable harm” to the park by tearing up roads, cutting down trees and diverting traffic into Hyde Park. Protect Our Parks — whose members include progressives, park-preservationists, government do-gooders, a libertarian and a member of the NAACP — argues the roads within Jackson Park are integral to the open-space design, which was laid out nearly 140 years ago by the famed Frederick Law Olmsted and hosted the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.
But Olmstead was a Republican so…
“It’s been hard opposing Barack Obama,” says Brenda Nelms, a local activist who opposes the Jackson Park location. “It’s caused all kinds of name calling.”
You can guess the names.
Some supporters of the Jackson Park site, whose surrounding neighborhoods have a large Black population, point out that Protect Our Parks’ members are mostly white and don’t all live in the neighborhood.
Does anyone seriously believe that this wouldn’t be happening if this were some other president’s library, or if instead of a presidential center, this were some other facility?
“It really shows the differences between white and Black perspectives in Chicago,” says Marilyn Katz, a longtime Democratic activist and friend of Obama‘s who supports the new center, and who is white. “Most in the Black community have come to the conclusion that every other great, great Chicago museum is on the lakefront — the Field Museum, the Planetarium, the Shedd, and Museum of Science and Industry.” To locate the center near a freeway, as the activists are proposing, “and not in that constellation of stars would diminish his presidency,” she says. “It lowers the status of the country’s first Black president.”
Marilyn Katz is white.
Both sides consist of lefties and Obama supporters. But with Obama, a battle between preservationists and developers becomes about racism. That’s a microcosm of how Obama and his cronies conducted every debate.
If you don’t want the Obama library messing up your park, creating a traffic nightmare and chopping down trees, you’re a racist.
The Obama library is another reminder why he doesn’t deserve a library, but a mark of shame.