The symbol depicted on Marker #11 is the hammer and sickle, established in 1924 as the symbol of the Russian Communist Party. It represented Soviet power that reigned In Russia from 1917 to 1991. It was a murderous, totalitarian regime responsible for the torture, starvation, persecution, the gulag and the deaths of over a 100 million people who did not accept, comply and subjugate themselves to communist orthodoxy.
In the process the murderous doctrine spread to China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cambodia, Cuba and others with varying degrees of success but always with terrible suffering of the people, and America has been involved in military conflict with each of these countries. There have been and there continue to be efforts to bring the doctrine to the United States. So it is shocking that Jennifer Drake, the leader of the CDA Arts Commission, would react so benignly when this “art piece” was submitted for display in the city.
Would she have considered a swastika an appropriate symbol to display in the city? Would we have seen a different message after looking at it and not been offended? Both symbols are equally evil, but in terms of numbers murdered, duration, scope, the impact the communist hammer and sickle has been far greater than the Nazi swastika. I am not so much offended as disheartened at the lack of historical knowledge and its significance and how dismissive and uninformed city officials appeared when consulted for the article.
I do not ask that the marker be removed. I believe in the 1st Amendment, and Jennifer Drake’s speech has revealed her thoughts as a representative of the Arts Commission which is important to know if you care about the city’s art display. As leader of the Arts Commission it appears she has sole authority in selection of art entries as no one else seems to know anything about this Marker #11.