Jackson Park should be Obama Park

And Douglas Park should be renamed for Frederick Douglass, with the extra “S.” Or maybe for Booker T. Washington or Harold Washington.

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Chicago should rename Jackson Park for the United States’ first African American president, writes a Sun-Times reader.

Victor Hilitski/Sun-Times

It would be great to rename certain Chicago parks, as called for in a Sun-Times editorial. I’d start with Jackson Park, which I’d rename for Barack Obama, the first black man to be elected president. 

I don’t buy the story about how Jackson Park got its name — that park officials in 1880 asked the public to pick a name, and that the public chose Jackson. The idea came from the mayor at the time, Carter Harrison Sr., and downtown politicians.

Yes, the time has come to rename the park for Obama. As part of this, I hope the former president realizes the importance of public parks and public spaces and moves his Obama Presidential Center to any number of other locations — outside the park. 

We should protect these historic parks. They serve people and nature and deserve our protection.

Ross Petersen
Former president of the Jackson Park Advisory Council, 1993 - 2010

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

‘Hyde Park’s very own’

I hereby submit that Douglas Park be renamed for Frederick Douglass, with the extra “S.” And Jackson Park should be renamed Obama Park, after Hyde Park’s very own Barack Obama, the first African American president.

In addition, Booker T. Washington and the beloved Mayor Harold Washington should be considered for this honor.

Minister Robert W. Garnes, East Chatham

Be fair to Stephen Douglas

In calling for the renaming of Stephen A. Douglas Park, the Sun-Times recognizes the flaws of the 19th Century senator but overlooks his virtues.

Douglas recognized that slavery was “a curse beyond computation” on both whites and blacks, and his views regarding “popular sovereignty” were refined attempts to limit its spread. Though he owned a plantation, so did George Washington. Should we rename the nation’s capital city?

After the 1860 election, Douglas met with his political rival, Abraham Lincoln, and completely supported Lincoln’s views against secession and the preservation of the Union, which ultimately ended slavery.

Larry Vigon, Jefferson Park

Show Kaepernick the money

Coaches and owners are apologizing to Colin Kaepernick for banning him from the NFL. He and teammate Eric Reid had the temerity to take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem in 2016 to protest racial injustice.

Kaepernick was banned from football. Reid played again, but at a much lower salary than he previously had earned.

If the owners are really “sorry,” they should give each a job and open up their wallets to make up for the income lost by these two. Anything less is pandering to the current atmosphere in the United States, with no real show remorse. There’s no better way to show a change of heart than that ultimate symbol of sincerity: Folding green.

Karen Wagner, Rolling Meadows

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