Barack to the Future

The Chicago Park District has etched in stone, the edict that all parks bordering lake Michigan are for the people in perpetuity. No buildings may be erected, no businesses (not counting drink stands) run. Just open space for the benefit of millions. Now the Park district, under the egis of Mayor “Rahmfather” Rahm Emmanuel has announced The Big Lie. The project? The Barak Obama Presidential Library, in Jackson Park, south of Hyde Park.

Barack Obama is behind it. If he weren’t, I wouldn’t be writing about it. Obama and Emmanuel have been pals since they were young men when Rahm was an alderman and “Barry” was a community organizer.

In my days working for Mayor Richard J. Daley and his wife in the Gallery 37 arts project, I and all the other artists of the city frequently met Rahm. He raised the money for Gallery 37 by soliciting funds—by strong arming businessmen. Rahm is a little fellow (he comes up to my bellybutton)—nothing wrong with that. But he has “little fellow complex.” He fights big guys and wins for sport. He and his attack brother Ari, agent to the stars, are bottom feeders out for revenge.

Mind you, the “library” part is no longer in play. The library will be on some other site. Though, Rahm always refers to the Jackson Park project as “the Obama library.” The Chicago Park District, unless a court stops it, is going to violate its own sacred oath. Why? Money. Construction money, road money, improvement money—for the foreseeable future. Screw the people.

I voted twice for Barack Obama. The historical fact of his election was inspiring. He seemed to stand for an ideal but was more functional than great. I am astounded that he and his wife would be a part of this boondoggle. Even if the presidential library idea was intact it would still violate the law. The parks belong to the people. Bullshit.

If the precedent is set, if in-perpetuity-land can be stolen, kiss the Grand Canyon, Arches, Alaska, the White Mountains, etc. goodbye. Kiss the West Virginian Appalachians adios. Farewell, Yosemite, Big Bend, Ozarks, the Tetons. Ta-ta, suckers. Given the penchant of the smart phone generation, it’s good riddance. You can “climb” the Half Dome in Yosemite and not get hurt!

Barack, you can stop this. President Obama, you should stop this. The park land is sacred. If you wield your power for this, your historical legacy is land thief, open lands rapist, not first African American President. If you play Chicago machine politics, you are just another cynical overlord in the same vein as the Daley clan.

In other words, you’re like them. No different that Trump. Brothers in theft, in fact.

About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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