Mayor Harmon opposed to statue of Roosevelt, noting gender

January 11, 2019

Mayor Heidi Harmon

The city of San Luis Obispo is considering placing a monument to President Teddy Roosevelt in Mitchell Park, prompting Mayor Heidi Harmon to question why there is a need for “more monuments of white men.” [Cal Coast Times]

In recent months, former SLO councilman John Ashbaugh has spearheaded a campaign to honor Roosevelt, the United States’ 26th president, for helping launch the conservation movement and for once visiting San Luis Obispo. Ashbaugh’s plan calls for a bronze statue of Roosevelt by artist Paula Zima to be placed in Mitchell Park.

“We have have an extraordinary chance to honor Roosevelt with a monument to his legacy as one of the founders of our nation’s environmental movement, along with John Muir,” Ashbaugh stated last week in a Facebook post. “One week before meeting John Muir and traveling with him to Yosemite, Roosevelt spoke in San Luis Obispo, May 9, 1903.”

Harmon, SLO’s recently reelected mayor, responded to the Facebook post with a string of comments.

“Wondering why we need more monuments of white men at this point,” Harmon wrote. “Is it not way past time to honor a border group?”

Harmon inserted in one of her comments a link to an opinion article in The Guardian headlined, “Across America, racist and sexist monuments give way to a new future.” The mayor then continued arguing her case.

“We have no monument whatsoever to any women in this beautiful city — why would we put resources to this in light of that? Just saying,” Harmon wrote. “I just don’t understand why we continue to put all of our resources into only lifting up white men and there’s close to zero resources put into white women or people of color whatsoever in terms of monuments etc.”

Ashbaugh responded, saying Roosevelt is just the start and he would support more public art honoring important local leaders of all races, ethnicities, gender identities and causes.

The Roosevelt monument proposal is expected to go before San Luis Obispo’s parks commission next month.

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Roosevelt: “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are the dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every 10 are.”

Roosevelt’s seven and a half years in office were marked by his support of the Indian allotment system, the removal of Indians from their lands and the destruction of their culture. Although he earned a reputation as a conservationist—placing more than 230 million acres of land under public protection—Roosevelt systematically marginalized Indians, uprooting them from their homelands to create national parks and monuments, speaking publicly about his plans to assimilate them and using them as spectacles to build his political empire.


Heidi is holding out for a statue of herself in her pretend WWII Rosie the Riveter costume.

Teddy Roosevelt was an American patriot who wrote one of the best dissertations EVER on immigration:

“In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag…We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language…and we have room for but one sole loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.”

— Theodore Roosevelt, Letter to the American Defense Society (1919)[

I have a solution, honor Tedddy with a statue of Teddy’s mom. Plaque can read “Martha, without her there’d be no Teddy.”

How about a big coon dog with its mouth open and hollow leg going into a pit?

Is that ‘progressive’ racism and sexism or feminist racism and sexism? It can be hard to differentiate?