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Hiawatha

Ho-Chunk Nation members, the artist's family members and city officials met in July to discuss what it would take to move the "Hiawatha" statue off city land.

Since 1961, the “Hiawatha” statue has stood where three rivers meet at Riverside Park in La Crosse.

To some, the 25-foot statue created by a local artist is a symbol of our Native American legacy. To others, it’s an offensive caricature.

In the coming days, let’s hope it becomes a very important symbol for our community’s future.

Here’s hoping it can become a symbol of compromise, an example of what can happen when all parties get together to discuss solutions instead of grievances.

We understand why a number of family and friends don’t want to see the work of artist Anthony Zimmerhakl destroyed, but it may well be past the time that the statue find a new home.

We also understand those who find the statue — especially in its current location — disrespectful.

Mayor Tim Kabat, members of the Zimmerhakl family and members of the Ho-Chunk Nation met last week to explore options for moving the statue to private land elsewhere in the city.

As the mayor told Tribune reporter Jourdan Vian: “The big point, and one I think that everybody is in agreement about, is the desire to preserve the statue because of the fact that it was created by an artist. Regardless of whether people wanted to keep it in place or see it relocated, the statue should be preserved.”

But if we truly wish to honor Native Americans, we need to listen to concerns expressed by representatives of the Ho-Chunk Nation who say they find the statue offensive and demeaning.

Nostalgia aside, times change. We need to respect the objections.

As Ho-Chunk Nation member Tracy Littlejohn said, moving and preserving the statue “is a great compromise. That way there’s less hurt for the family, because I don’t want them to feel like I’m out to destroy their family’s artwork legacy. … It’s not appropriate anymore, but I can appreciate wanting to keep that preserved.”

There are plenty of details that need to be worked out, from the cost of a move to a potential new location.

But it seems family members and Ho-Chunk representatives are open to ideas for preserving yet moving the statue.

Our community and our region have a great deal to accomplish in the coming months.

We need to find the best way of expanding the La Crosse Center and building on the momentum of a growing downtown entertainment district and the revenue it brings.

The solution requires a broad spectrum of constituencies working together to develop a collaborative plan.

We need to figure out the best way to improve service and cut costs by determining the best ways of regionalizing fire-protection and emergency services.

We understand area officials hope to meet again soon to continue the discussion.

Again, the spirit of compromise is important.

Maybe forging a collaborative approach to moving the “Hiawatha” statue can serve as a model for a variety of challenges our region faces.


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(43) comments

Redwall

To be acceptable, "art" must pass the progressive agenda. Otherwise, it is not art. Right?

By the way, the same native american outspoken against the Hiawatha statue also has stated he wants the La Crosse Players statues eliminated, as well. So this is only round 1.

The City should simply get out of the business of "art" altogether.

johnnybragatti

Mr Wizz and Manure-Man(doobie bros. all the way) should refrain from the use of intoxicants, during commenting periods.
Besides ,why in Heaven would these 2 f-boys, subscribe to their most despised newspaper?

Mr Wizard

Just to live in your head, Johnny.

Buggs Raplin

Mr. Wizard, oldhomey is a staunch defender of all, and I mean all of the necessary illusions promulgated by the propaganda media. I enjoyed your reply to his comment, though I didn't read his. I don't bother with reading his stuff anymore. It's a waste of my time.

Cassandra2

Yeah, Chippy, your time is better spent reading Rense and InfoWars and stocking up on tin foil.

Buggs Raplin

Another creature afraid, petrified, to reveal, her/his identity as she/he attacks me personally. What a coward. What a pathetic loser coward.

Cassandra2

LOL! Oh, Chippy, it is YOU who are the coward. Afraid to face the truth. Afraid to face reality. Hiding away in your basement each night swilling cheap booze and smoking doobies while you search the web for conspiracies that align with your paranoid fantasies. I pity you.

capedcrusader

What about "Climatehoax", "Hey19", and "Snow Cougar"?

oldhomey

Talk about necessary illusions. Here, as he often does, Buggs says he never reads what I write on these posts anymore. But at least once or twice a week, when I have either put his nose out of joint, figuratively speaking, he writes "I never respond to anything oldhomey says, but . . . " and he comes back with some self-serving rebuttal. It would appear that Buggs is an opportunistic consumer of my posts. If he thinks he can hang something on me, he acknowledges he has read something I have written and disputes it, or -- and this is much more common -- he knows he has been caught in a lie, has no way of credibly defending himself, so he goes silent and protests that he NEVER reads a word I write. Ah, Buggs. You love the mirror, we all know, but it is hard to imagine what is reflected back at you, because you are so entirely transparent as a human being.

oldhomey

Don't you wonder what these comment deleted entries were? They follow my comments fairly often, so I always feel I must have got somebody's goat really good. Good.

capedcrusader

The paper doesn't like when people swear. Guess who always tried to get away with that...

capedcrusader

The papers Editor also doesn't like me alluding to the idea that he may be pretending to be anonymous posters on here as he has deleted my post several times. Maybe that's what Buggs beaf is with him...

capedcrusader

Here's my fourth attempt to post about the "Hateful Ten". Apparently Buggs is right about this paper. They don't believe in freedom of speech. Lets see if Climatehoax, Hey19, Snow Cougar and the rest of the hateful Ten are willing to identify themselves.

Comment deleted.
Comment deleted.
Buggs Raplin

Buggs Raplin? Sentimental reason. See the movie "Bob Roberts". oldhomey, Cassandra2, kingman10, and johnny have attacked me personally from a position of anonymity, which is cowardly. oldhomey continues to say I smoke marijuana. I don't, but that's just another one of his lies. Hiawatha? I despise political correctness. If it's removed from the park, it will be a victory for political correctness. Again, there must be a referendum to decide the issue. After the council shamed itself on the Center expansion vote, I do not trust them to do the right thing. And, again, the La Crosse Tribune is unworthy of anyone's trust.-Chip DeNure aka Buggs Raplin

Mr Wizard

If Hiawatha gets moved it should be to the corner of Lacrosse and Third streets where the snowflakes who work at the Fibune can see him every day on their way to work.

oldhomey

Hmm. Mr. Wizard seems to be saying here that the Hiawatha statue is such bad art that he wants to inflict it daily on the media that he hates so much. It's not that bad a piece of art, Wiz (which is how I think of you). It makes a pretty good representation of cigar store Indians of the 19th century.

Mr Wizard

You cut me to the quick, Homely. I never said anything about bad art. I just simply want the people who are offended by the statue to be able to enjoy it regularly. I believe the statue is an iconic piece of Lacrosse history that should stay right where it is. On the other hand, you are the racist who claims it looks like a cigar store Indian.

oldhomey

Well, excuse ME, Wiz. I guess I didn't take into account your warm, empathetic personality. No wonder you would rise up with such outrage that I would be so racist as to suggest that the sculpture resembles a stereotypical depiction of a Native American. I am truly contrite after your lashing. I liken your words to a wiz: for you it feels good or relieving to let them out, but they are gone in a flash or a flush.

Buggs Raplin

Forgive the redundancy but this is the crucial aspect. If this statue is so repugnant, so stereotypical, so cartoonish, such an insult to Native Americans, why spend $50,000 to remove it? Destroy it. Destroy it!...BUT As is obvious from my comments below, I don't feel that way at all. I think it's respectful. I think it's a respectful work of art, much more in tune with this city than the hatched baby or the 'art' recently installed on a parking ramp. But that's my opinion, and I think the opinion of most of my fellow citizens in this fair city. Could I be wrong? Well, let's put it to vote, and people, don't be fooled by the Tribune's obfuscation to 'move it' as a compromise. The La Crosse Tribune is a thoroughly dishonest newspaper. It's a spokesman for the local elite power structure masquerading behind their lie of fearlessly seeking the truth. What a laugh that is. At any rate, I put my name after this comment and my others, while oldhomey casts his venom from anonymity. What a coward.

Buggs Raplin

As is obvious, this is Chip DeNure commenting aka Buggs Raplin.

johnnybragatti

That" not even your real name : Senor MaNure.
Sometimes "honesty" is the best policy, even for a Lacrosse addict.

oldhomey

Yes, I realize my venom is terribly deadly. I am like one of those ambush snakes who bites you on the ankle when you least suspect it as you run through the weeds. You should stay out of the weeds, Buggs. You think you can hide there safely as you try to hide from comments on these discussion boards that point out that you are lying and spreading false information, providing the evidence that you are. But you are never safe, Buggs, from your own lies. They weigh on your heart and take their toll on your mental well-being, not on others. Unless, of course, you are complete narcissist like Donald Trump and could care less if you are caught lying or not. But what do I know? I am just a snake in the grass, biting at your ankles, trying not to bite myself. Venom, you know.

Cassandra2

There are plenty of people who would find lynching to be OK today. Does that mean as a society we should condone it? No. The bottom line, Chippy, is that you don't get to decide what people can be offended about. That is to the individual or group. I'd be OK with destroying the statue or sending it to a new location where it can be interpreted with the proper historical viewpoint. To continue to honor it with the current prominent placement in a city park is akin to enshrining a lynching tree because some people agreed with the practice.

oldhomey

Well, Cassie, I think calling for a referendum on every binding decision made by the city would be a novel idea. We currently vote for representatives to represent our interests and make collective decisions for us. Why should we trust them to do their work? Sounds un-American from Buggs' point of view to put such trust in the hands of our elected officials. Let's instead have fist fights and torch marches over every little piece of business that needs to be done.

Buggs Raplin

The Tribune's news story still be carried as I type this says "Hiawatha Could Find New Home." Let me ask this, gullible liberals and Tribune, if the statue is so cartoonish, and so stereotypical, why should it have a new home, why should it be preserved? It should be destroyed, right, as an affront to liberal sensibilities. It should not be viewed at all anywhere. Right? Look, I think the statue is respectful; it is a work of art. It has a long history in this community. Let me suggest this (again), let the community decide whether it remains in the park or whether it should be destroyed. Keep it or destroy it. And let the people of La Crosse be the determining factor, not the mayor or city council. The Tribune's 'compromise' is just more liberal bullsh*t to obfuscate the issue. so typical of the Tribune.-Chip DeNure

hammer

The statue is stereotypical and should be removed.

Buggs Raplin

OK, that's your opinion. Let the people decide in a referendum.

Cassandra2

"Let the people decide in a referendum." Should we also have a referendum on whether slavery should be reinstated? That's not how this works, Chippy.

Buggs Raplin

The Tribune must think we're idiots with their use of the word 'compromise'. Moving the statue is not a compromise. It is a concession to a tiny minority of left leaning, crybaby, politically correct whiners. This issue was debated and settled 18 years ago, but now the Tribune is reviving it for no good reason except to appease the easily offended sensibilities of the political left. I do not trust the mayor on this issue. I do not trust the city council on this issue. I do not trust the Tribune on ANY issue. I trust the people of La Crosse. This issue MUST go to referendum. Put it on the ballot. Let the people decide.-Chip DeNure

oldhomey

THAT'S the spirit of compromise, all right, Buggs! Pour gasoline on the fire and have a really good explosion where none is needed.

Rick Czeczok

It's 8:45 PM Old man has wondered off track again. Can't remember one day to the next, or what he wrote about. May be mentally unstable, or at least acts like it. It's now my post ending at 8:49 over. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

oldhomey

So glad you checked in, Ricky. Surprised you can type while wearing a strait-jacket. Do you have a voice activated key-board, or do the orderlies give you a little free time every day to get on the internet?

capedcrusader

oldhomey - I think Czeczok is really Batman's arch nemesis The Joker!

oldhomey

Well, I don't know where Rick got that zoot suit outfit the Joker wears. Maybe its a holdover from a family closet. I don't want to imply that he has skeletons in his closet, but maybe some really snazzy old clothes.

PhysicsIsFun

" Surprised you can type while wearing a strait-jacket." Funniest thing I've read all day. Comedy gold!

Rick Czeczok

Wow you are so clever. No skeletons her you old puke what about you? HAHAHAHAHAHAH
Cape trying to be funny is like mud trying to take a bath. Just not going to happen. Physics, here's a guy who is living in the past. Like light years away. Take you meds boys, the doctor says it's time for your baths. Don't drop the soap though, right King.

capedcrusader

Oh come on Rick, you must have thought that was a little funny!

PhysicsIsFun

Just a little FYI Ricky, the light year is a unit of distance not time. It is the distance covered by light in one year. It is equal to 9.4607 × 10^12 km. Try to use the correct terms. Didn't you learn that in "collage"?

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