Once again Jim Kenney, Mayor Weathervane, has spun around and around and come out pointing the wrong way, in support of the howling mob.
We know there is a controversy around Christopher Columbus and there are strong opinions on both sides. That’s why I proposed putting Columbus on trial, with a prosecutor and a defense counsel, and letting Philadelphia voters decide the fate of the statue. It is public property, and public art, why shouldn’t the public decide?
Fearful of the controversy, Kenney on June 15 announced a “public process to consider the future” of the statue.
He mentioned the pros and cons of the Italian explorer sailing for Spain.
“Surely, the totality of this history must be accounted for when considering whether to maintain a monument to this person. Given that many are now calling for the removal of the statue, and others believe it should remain, I have directed the Art Commission to review the statue, its location, and its appropriateness in a public park. We are committed to listening to all points of view and moving forward in the best way to heal our deep divides.” ( Italics added)
Listening to “all points of view” lasted as long as a moth.
Several days later Kenney announced the statue would be moved, contradicting what he said a few days earlier, with little worry about being called on it by the major media. He gave this reason:
“In recent weeks, clashes between individuals who support the statue of Christopher Columbus in Marconi Plaza and those who are distressed by its existence have deteriorated—creating a concerning public safety situation that cannot be allowed to continue.”
He also described neighbors — some armed — who came out to protect the statue from vandals as “vigilantes,” even though any “clashes” were fomented by the statue’s critics.
Within the pro-Columbus group were some thugs who put hands on protestors. They deserve prosecution. The overwhelming majority of neighbors, however, were there to protect the statue from destruction as they had seen happen in communities across the country. Before Mayor Weathervane moved out of South Philly, he would have been with them.
They were not vigilantes. They were protecting the statue — public property — from vigilantes. Mayor McWoke got it exactly backwards.
By citing a “public safety situation,” Kenney created a form of what’s called a heckler’s veto — abject surrender to the side that threatens to create violence and disorder if they don’t get their way. Antifa and their radical allies call the tune and our spineless mayor dances to it.
What could be worse for democracy?
It was not Kenney’s first experience as a weathervane.
You may recall his ceaseless spinning when it came to the Frank Rizzo statue — a statue he was in favor of after he had proposed renaming the Municipal Services Building after the late police commissioner and mayor. Funds for the statue were raised privately, led by prominent Democrats such as Mayor Ed Rendell and D.A. Lynne Abraham. All of whom were prominent racists, of course.
With self-righteous radicals periodically defacing the statue, Kenney at first said he would let the Art Commission decide if it would stay or go. Then he reversed himself, saying he had decided to move the statue, the commission would get to say where. Surprise! It got removed in the middle of the night, with no public hearing, and not a peep from the Art Commission castrato’s.
A cattle stampede shows more thoughtful leadership than Kenney, who is terrified of being perceived as out of step with the latest grievances.
When faced with demands of radicals and the super woke, Kenney always shows his favorite color: