By Alex Lloyd Gross
For about 20 years a statue outside of the Municipal Services Building depicting the late Frank L. Rizzo stood alone. People came, saw it and let it be. Now, in August of 2017, two separate racists thought they were offended by this statue and had to vandalize it. With recent events by a very small group of people that have aligned themselves with Black Lives Matter, they have attempted to force their opinion on everyone else. That includes damaging property.
It started last week with a violent protest in Virginia where two groups of racist clashed over statues and monuments depicting Civil War heroes. Neo Nazi’s marched to keep them up, while Black Lives Matter marched to take them down. Three people were killed. No one wants that. BLM , which has been labeled a dangerous group by the Southern Poverty Law Center have targeted the Rizzo Statue in Philadelphia.
Certain factions of Black Lives Matter have called for the killing of police and firemen. To them, it’s a good thing when first responders get shot and stabbed. During the last two years there as been a significant uptick in violence towards first responders that can be attributed directly to Black Lives Matter. Locally, Councilwoman Helen Gym has aligned herself with the thoughts of this group , that called for the removal of the Rizzo statue. While Gym has in no way endorsed the assault of first responders, she has endorsed the message that the Rizzo statue must come down. Black Lives Matter endorse this message as well.
The statue was first pelted with eggs from a disgruntled person. City workers waited a full 24 hours before two employees cleaned the egg yolk off. Late last night, August 17, 2017, a lone wolf took it upon himself to spray paint “Black Power” on the statue. It will be cleaned. What is surprising about this, is that yesterday, the statue was under police guard. It was surrounded with bike rack. As he spray painted the statue and other racist slogans on the steps of the Municipal Services Building, someone filmed it and put it on social media. As cops arrived, the suspect entered a car and tried to take off.They were quickly arrested. His name has not been released. Police did not know when the guard was taken off the statue or why.
While Helen Gym, suddenly was offended by the statue and is working to have it town down, hundreds of thousands of Philadelphians and former Philadelphians have signed online petitions to keep it up. Mayor Kenney has stated he would be open to discussions about removing the statue. His communications office hung up when asked for a comment, except to say that he does not have the power to order it to come down. While Gym has spearheaded the effort to remove the statue, there are reports that the liberal democrat took offense at the name of a food truck “Wheely Wheely Good Food”. The owners allege that Gym threatened to have extra attention paid to them by license and inspections. The also said that Gym told them she would use her influence as a council member to damage their business because she was offended. The owners of the truck are oriental and considered the name catchy.
Frank L. Rizzo was not a racist. He was a tough talking cop who got elected to be mayor. He was heavy handed when it came to criminals. He was fair to people of all races. The Art Commission and citizens of Philadelphia voted to have this statue erected in the 1990’s. As BLM have vandalized and toppled statues they find offensive, they have proved they are no different than the Taliban, who ordered thousand year old monuments destroyed in Afghanistan.