Almost from the moment the Frank Rizzo statue was unveiled, there were calls to remove the monument to police brutality from the steps of the Municipal Services Building. Unsurprisingly, there was no pretense the statue was for all Philadelphians. It was unveiled after the Mummers Parade which had a fetish for prancing down Broad Street in blackface.
The Philadelphia Art Commission is mulling over whether the statue should be removed, relocated, or as many suggested, tossed in the Schuylkill or Delaware River. The 1977 book, “The Sayings of Chairman Frank, or I Never Saw My Mother Naked,” should be required reading for the commissioners. A collection of quotes and cartoons exposing then-mayor Rizzo, the book was published by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action.
The book was brought to my attention by Philly native John Post Lee who, along with his wife Karin Bravin, commissioned the “Trump Rat.”
I came across the 15-foot work of art as I was making my way to the High Line. John shared some memories and said he has a copy of the Rizzo compilation. We both agreed it would be awesome for the Trump Rat to meet the Dirty Rat who somehow paid $410,000 to remodel his home on a salary of $40,000.
President Trump and Rizzo have a lot in common. Trump was elected by white voters. As the New York Times reported, Rizzo told his supporters to “Vote White.”
In remarks before the law enforcement officials, Trump encouraged police brutality:
When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon -- you just see them thrown in, rough -- I said, please don’t be too nice. Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you're protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don’t hit their head and they've just killed somebody – don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, okay?
Rizzo, also known as the Big Bambino and Cisco Kid, presided over a police department whose practice of beatings “shocks the conscience.” Black Lives Matter didn’t say that. That was the finding of the U.S. Justice Department.
The Rizzo compilation includes his remarks during a trip to Rome:
The way to treat criminals is “spacco il capo” [break their heads]. If you [the Rome Police] need some help, we’ll transport some guys over here and they’ll straighten them out right away.
John and I are working on the logistics on when and where to hook up the two divisive rats. Stay tuned.