I have the perfect spot for that monstrous Frank Rizzo statue.
Chill. Hear me out.
I’m not suggesting that we can’t or shouldn’t address all kinds of issues in Philadelphia and throughout this country. Resistance in the Trump era means some serious multitasking, people.
But I’m officially side-eyeing the outsize response to the oversize Rizzo statue.
I mean, clearly that 2,000-pound bronzed blowhard shouldn’t be on a public square for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which is his treatment of minority populations when he was police commissioner and mayor. Also, let’s be real: It’s just plain ugly, and that tired Thomas Paine Plaza already needs some serious help. What is up with those giant chess pieces?
But now, seeing all the attention the thing has gotten, I’m thinking: Screw it!
Let’s put Big Boy in the middle of North Philly or the million other sections of the city that need even a fraction of this scrutiny. (Hey, the mayor just asked for suggestions on what to do with it. You got a better idea? Let’s hear it.)
Imagine if we were as riled up about that homeless camp that popped up on Market Street that everyone just seems to walk right past on the way to lunch or La Colombe. Emily Scott over at Newsworks just wrote a story about how Philly’s homeless population is up 36 percent over last year.
Or, pick one of the other spots where young men of color are shot dead in this city without much more than a shrug.
Maybe then people will show up in droves to places that really need that kind of public attention.
And no, I’m not necessarily talking about the residents of these neighborhoods, who — despite talk to the contrary — are actually out there doing their best to grab attention to life-and-death issues closer to home. In case anyone is interested, there is an annual event for survivors of homicide this weekend.
I’m talking about the thousands of people who marched down Broad Street last week for the “Philly Is Charlottesville” rally, the antifas, the people who love them some bullhorns, the Center City dwellers and suburbanites who are happily joining the resistance — but only to a point.
Better idea: Let’s order up a couple hundred replicas of the statue. A quick Google search tells me a cheap replica of the Statue of Liberty is about five bucks. I’m thinking we could get mini-Rizzos for, like, half that.
So when a kid gets shot dead or paralyzed, or a mother has to live with her child’s murder going unsolved, or people all over this city live with violence and poverty that rival some war-torn countries, we’ll put out a mini-Rizzo to attract the numbers of protesters the statue has.
Think about it. The reason so many people want that statue down is because of how he treated people of color in this city while he was alive.
It’d be too easy to put his statue in South Philly or in a museum.
Better to put the dead guy’s statue to work for a population that many say he didn’t do much for in life.