IRVING PARK — Racist stickers were found attached to a sign in Horner Park Friday evening, leading Ald. Rossana Rodriguez (33rd) to ask for the public’s help in identifying who posted them.
Rodriguez (33rd) put an image of the stickers on her Facebook page. A neighbor sent it to her office.
One of the two stickers says “Straight White And Proud” while the other one says “Nationalists.”
The park is named for Henry Horner, Illinois’ first Jewish governor. Across the street from the park at 4300 N. California Ave. is the HANA Center, a nonprofit offering services to immigrants, women, youth, people of color, low-income families, older adults, LGBTQ+ people and adoptees.
“It’s a really scary thing to see this in a neighborhood that is so diverse that has so many people of color who regularly go to the park,” Rodriguez said. “This is our space and we need to reclaim it.”
Rodriguez is asking neighbors who see any racist vandalism to take a photo of it and send it to her office.
“But once it’s documented it should be destroyed,” she said.
Her office was also made aware last month of some homes in Ravenswood Manor that have Black Lives Matter signs displayed receiving racist letters.
In June, a similar incident happened in North Center when neighbors who live across the river from Horner reported having their Black Lives Matters signs stolen or defaced and racist flyers distributed in their homes.
“My office has also been getting a lot of racist propaganda and letters directed at me and a member of my staff,” she said. “Racists have become more bold since Donald Trump’s election and his racist policies. But there is no place for that in our communities and we’re not going to tolerate it.”
The Horner Park West Neighborhood, Horner Park Advisory Council and North River Commission were also made aware of the stickers.
“We’re going to be more diligent to find out who is posting this. We want to nip this in the bud and make sure this doesn’t continue because this hate mongering garbage is a stain on the whole community. Our neighborhood isn’t like that,” said John Friedmann, a member of all three groups.
Police were made aware of the stickers but had no recorded incidents this week of vandalism or property defacement at Horner Park.
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