Mayor Heidi Harmon’s comments are racist and sexist

July 26, 2019

Mayor Heidi Harmon

OPINION by T. KEITH GURNEE

In reiterating her comment that public art in San Luis Obispo should not include “monuments to old white men”, Mayor Heidi Harmon has completed a trifecta of identity politics invectives: in one sentence she made a statement that was ageist, racist, and sexist.

And not only did our SLO City Council tolerate her sentiments, it embraced them.

Rather than monuments to people, Heidi wants monuments that celebrate “ideas and ideals.” But the last time I looked, it’s people who have ideas and articulate ideals. Yes, people have flaws. Nobody is perfect, but sometimes imperfect people have great ideas and accomplish great things.

The project that spurred her remarks was the proposed sculpture of Teddy Roosevelt to be placed in Mitchell Park where he visited in 1903 after getting off the train and addressing the people of San Luis Obispo on his way to meet John Muir on a tour of Yosemite Valley. Now Teddy was not only a person with grand “ideas,” he had the unique ability to accomplish them.

What about the “idea” of establishing the National Park System? Right after reading Heidi’s latest remarks, I was watching the PBS presentation of the Ken Burns film “The National Parks: America’s Greatest Idea” that attributed the accomplishment of that “idea” to none other than Theodore Roosevelt?

What about the “idea” of an American president interceding into a war between two faraway foreign nations and negotiating a peaceful ending to the 1904-1905 Russo Japanese War for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906? He was the first American ever to receive such an award.

What about Roosevelt’s “ideas” of completing the “path between the seas” with the Panama Canal, his “trust busting” under the Sherman Antitrust Act, and his accomplishments in regulating safe food and drugs for the American public?

And Heidi, what about his founding of the original Progressive Party in 1912? Of course, that was the true Progressive Party, not the twisted one of today.

When the issue of public art returns to the SLO City Council, hopefully they will have the temerity and courage to admit their mistake and right their wrong.

Not only should they allow the statue of Teddy Roosevelt to proceed, they should also start the dialogue of erecting a statue to Maxine Lewis, a remarkable African-American woman who was a hero to our local poor and indigent from the 1960s into the 1980s.

As the founder of the local anti-poverty nonprofit organizations Grassroots and Grassroots II, she struggled to raise funds to feed, clothe, and serve the needs of the needy. My wife cooked the first of what became many Thanksgiving turkey dinners served by Maxine to the poor at the Grassroots office on South Higuera Street right next to Ben Franklin’s sandwich shop. What a proper place for a statue of that great lady!

But I digress. Lo and behold, right when I was sending this to CCN, up pops the blockbuster CCN article on the SLO Police Chief and her missing gun.

At a time when our law enforcement personnel needs more support than ever, is this what we do to support them?

Heidi’s intolerance of statues commemorating famous people is one thing But our mayor and council chooses to shelter a documented woman-beater on their staff while coddling the gun cover-up of their police chief?

The cover-up always gets them. And how’s that for one of Heidi’s great ideas?

Madam mayor and council members, get a grip. Do something. Take responsibility. When the time comes to reconsider your public art policy and the future of your police chief, please reverse your bad ideas.


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Shocked in MB

It was mentioned a few times that the student population of Cal Poly has the right to vote and thus may slant elections. There is one big problem with transient population voting in Local elections, they really do not have a vested interest in what happens down the road. Most of them will openly admit that they do not plan on staying here after graduation. The problem with that is that they are going to vote to make a “statement of the day” or will vote specifically to help themselves short term e.g. rent control.

That leaves “permanent” residents having to live with the result of that “statement” or issues such as no new housing because of rent control.


I do not know how to rectify that dichotomy, but I would hope there is a way.


Gordo

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/27/opinion/sunday/maureen-dowd-trump-impeachment.html


Maureen Dowd, a liberal, has defined progressives as the new puritans. While she is speaking to progressive democrat’s fixation to pursue impeachment of Trump instead of actually trying to win the presidency in 2020, the same myopia affects our local progressives too. Instead of focusing on preserving the character of SLO, Heidi Harmon is spending her time worrying about a statue to Teddy Roosevelt, because in her world white men are evil. It would be funny, except while she is trying to prevent a statue being built to honor one of our most progressive presidents, the city has climbed into bed with developers (also a bunch of rich white guys) whose only goal is to make money while forever changing the character and quality of life in our community.

Ultimately the Heidi Harmons of this country will be responsible for the re-election of Donald Trump because they couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

When Trump wins again they will wail, knash their teeth, pull their hair and then take to the streets to march with their little pink hats on their little pin heads accomplishing exactly nothing. The rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer and the middle class will get fewer in numbers and the progressives will ride on in search of more windmills to fight..


tosmon

I’ve seen the progressive puritan comparison before and I think it’s spot on. Heidi Harmon is a great example of the post modern puritan.


Old Salt

Next Mayor Heidi Harmon will be campaigning to have

Father Junípero Serra’s statue removed from Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

She needs to be re-called.


Wildrnes

Mr. Gurnee,

“Venting is expressing emotional dissatisfaction. It turns out that people who vent have an agenda. They tend to be focused on themselves and their own—presumably negative—experience. By showing their anger, frustration, or disappointment, they are soliciting attention from their confidantes. They can feel validated by receiving attention and sympathy. Venters are particularly likely to discount advice and proposed solutions to their problems. They aren’t looking to solve anything; they simply want validation.”(https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/experts/robert-biswas-dienerou complain way too much)

Stop complaining.


deepsea

You have no valid rebuttal to the points made in the article so you attack the author with some psycho babble. Where have I seen this technique before? Oh, I remember now, on multiple forums where leftists can’t really justify their agendas through real case histories, because all there is, is a continuous string of failed socialist experiments.


fantasticalice

Progressive Party of 1924? Complete and total failure, read your history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Party_(United_States,_1924%E2%80%9334)


TKG

No. The Progressive “Bull Moose” Party of 1912. Read your history!


AmericaTheFree

Jeez T’! The old one (Bull Mooser’s) morphed into the new one (Progressers’) with no residual of the old remaining! They’re one and the same…..


Picky, picky, picky….


(Oh! By-the-way! Your one liners are killin’ me! Ever consider comedy? At least doin’ that; gettin’ laughed is just part of the job)