Chicago’s yearly, lovable Columbus Day Parade walked off on schedule three days ago. There were more than a thousand people in the parade or watching and cheering, many of them hoping that someday soon City Hall will return their statue of Christopher Columbus to Arrigo Park in the Little Italy neighborhood on the near Southwest side where, 2 1/2 years ago, during a political protest, the statue was vandalized and removed by Mayor Lightfoot and stashed away in hiding. She promised that when she believed the statue would not again be an object of political protest she would return it to Arrigo Park. But she never did. So, now returning it is up to our new mayor, Brandon Johnson, who says he’s in favor of returning it but needs a couple of weeks to think about it. The Columbus statue of Arrigo is of deep feeling and ethnic importance to Chicago’s Italian-Americans who are still waiting for their statue to be released by City Hall and given back to Arrigo, where it belongs. Now the delay is a political problem. So, new Mister Mayor, it is time at long last, too long last Your Honor, to solve it.
Walter Jacobson gives his Perspective: