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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week
Good morning,
Murals aren’t obvious and mainstream tourist attractions like “The Bean” in Millennium Park, but they are hidden neighborhood gems that make Chicago a city many crave to visit and experience.
Pilsen’s 16th Street, for example, is a showcase for the neighborhood’s public art where you can find walls filled with eye-catching bright colors and artistic, cultural expression. And like at various public art sites throughout the city, you also will catch graffiti tags on every other mural. Graffiti vandalism has always been a problem, but it has become even more of a problem since the start of the pandemic
Mural art in Chicago has a long, honorable and often politically potent history of lifting up communities and giving them a voice. To trash a mural is self-defeating, the Editorial Board writes. Chicago is an art gallery, with free admission to all, if those doing the vandalizing only understood.
The past 15 months have been a nightmare for the small businesses in our communities. In Letters to the Editor, we learn that while we are finally fully reopened, we are not fully recovered. Read why Sun-Times readers and members of local chambers of commerce are calling on the Chicago City Council to take bold action and pass the Chi Biz Strong Initiative.
In Commentary, columnist S.E. Cupp reflects on how Americans have failed each other as 600,000 died of COVID. We’ve tried to navigate the treacherous waters not only of the virus itself and keeping our families safe, she writes, but of the tumultuous culture wars that have added totally unnecessary insult to considerable injury.
— Ismael Pérez, editorial board member

The “Declaration of Immigration,” left, and “Amor y Comunidad,” right, murals near West 18th Street and South Loomis Street in Pilsen. | Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times
The “Declaration of Immigration,” left, and “Amor y Comunidad,” right, murals near West 18th Street and South Loomis Street in Pilsen. | Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times
Walk along Pilsen’s 16th Street, a showcase for the neighborhood’s public art, and you will see walls filled with years of eye-catching bright colors and artistic, cultural expression. You also will find crude graffiti tags on every other mural.
Recently, just two blocks to the south on 18th Street, two murals with strikingly positive messages — “Declaration of Immigration” and “Amor y Comunidad’’ — were vandalized and tagged with graffiti.
Graffiti vandalism has always been a problem, as you might expect, but it has become even more of a problem since the start of the pandemic. And while we have no particular words of wisdom about how to fend off such attacks — this is hardly a matter easily addressed by the police — we want to call attention to the desecration, if only to prick the conscience of those doing the desecrating.
Mural art in Chicago has a long, honorable and often politically potent history of lifting up communities and giving them a voice. The best murals over the decades have introduced us to successive generations of accomplished Chicago artists.
To trash a mural is self-defeating. The best murals speak for those who have it hardest.
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board is the opinion voice of the hardest-working newspaper in America. It is headed by editorial page editor Tom McNamee and includes Thomas FrisbieLorraine ForteLee BeyIsmael Pérez and Mary Mitchell as members.
What others have to say
S.E. Cupp on our tumultuous culture wars throughout the pandemic:
After 15 months of death and devastation, with many choosing to inflict more pain while we’re at our most vulnerable, it’s hard to look back on what seems to be finally approaching “behind us” and say we should be entirely proud of who we were at one of our darkest hours.
Was this America at its best? Or its worst?
How Americans failed each other as 600,000 died of COVID
More editorials we published this week
How to better protect against environmental nightmares like the Rockton chemical plant fire
New Boys & Girls Club near police academy could be powerfully good for Chicago
New State/Lake CTA station would be a boon to downtown — and the city of Chicago
In your words
“For too long, government has been a burden on businesses, and never has it been more important to eliminate the unnecessary red tape that impedes business growth,” members of local chambers of commerce said.
Every day we publish submissions from Chicago Sun-Times readers weighing in on issues facing the city and its residents. Send letters to letters@suntimes.com or reply to this email to share your perspective.
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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week

A weekly overview of opinions, analysis and commentary on issues affecting Chicago, Illinois and our nation by outside contributors, Sun-Times readers and the CST Editorial Board.

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