Home > Chicago, Uncategorized > Open Letter to Herbert Pulgar

Open Letter to Herbert Pulgar

Dear Herbert,

There is an ancient saying from India that when elephants go to war, it is the grass that suffers.  You got caught in a clash of Chicago political infighting with your art work; you were the grass.  Do not feel like you failed because this was visited on you by politics and the media and does not reflect your efforts or intentions.  I feel the concerns of some people about the art should have been addressed in a private, civilized discourse.  The American media is economically driven by crisis, conflict and negativity.  The defense of your art teacher and mother were useless because the concept of being innocent until proven guilty was subrogated with automatic guilt due to the social status and professional backgrounds of those accusing you.

I think you are a really great artist and you did really great work.  Your winning sticker design was bold, colorful, had dynamic shading and an energetic positive feeling.  You have artistic talent and an ability to communicate.  Keep making art because no one can take those things away from you.  Art has power because visual images are our strongest and more direct method of understanding the world we live in.  This is the beginning now, a place where you can go forward creatively and keep a stream of your art flowing to communicate to people in Chicago, other countries and people in the future whom you will never meet.

I believe you can do this.  I hope that you keep creating as an artist.  Every artist will encounter their share of disappointments and controversies; what you do once the dust settles is the most important decision.

I will be printing a copy of your art at home and will cut it out.  I am going to place it over any other art that appears on the upcoming Chicago vehicle sticker before I put in on my car windshield to show support for you and to protest the removal of your art as the winning design.

Sincerely,

Shellie Lewis

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Categories: Chicago, Uncategorized
  1. Grow Up
    February 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    you’ve got to be kidding me. friggin liberal BS. The kid is a SELF ADMITTED gang member. Not only that, but self admitted member of the MLD. Grow up and see that this isn’t an innocent kid in the “clash of political” infighting. You don’t end up in Lawrence hall because you’ve had a few bad breaks. You end up there because the jail system is so completely overcrowded that this is their last way of keeping you out of prison until you (and they almost all do) give them a good enough reason to lock you up. His “art” is a direct slap in the face to the brave officers who patrol this hell hole every single day.

    • February 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      Hello Anonymous Sniper,

      You have absolutely no basis to label my politics nor know what they are. When you use an actual identity, coward, you will have more credibility.

      I am almost forty years old and served as a CASA/GAL legal advocate as certified through a maximum security juvenile detention center in Illinois. You are making social class distinctions based on the current circumstances of a minor. I have met and personally represented minors in detention, group homes, foster care and other social trash cans that wound up there through no fault of their own. Even as you want to damn a minor for alleged “decisions” you must remember that minors are not adults and maybe don’t come from the best of circumstances in life or have the best tools for decision making. You do not get a gold star for cultural sensitivity.

      There is no “pitchfork” in this design, the art teacher showed the source where the hands were copied from and if the city is going to get uptight about a heart, we’re going to have to unload a lot of “I ❤ Chicago" t-shirts. Jody Weis has stated that the problem with this design is "public perception" and I have not found him going on record that the design itself is a problem. If you have a weblink to former Supt. Weis or an FBI source that goes on record specifically stating as fact they find this art work containing intentional gang-related symbols, please share.

      This topic came during a slow news cycle and has been blown into a conflict for no good reason. Over 18,000 residents voted for this design and it was approved Dec. 13, 2011, yet this is a controversy months later from its submission to well past its date of approval. Over 18,000 people viewed it and no one felt it was problematical. Do you think at least one of the over 18,000 voters is involved in some level or law enforcement or social work that the elements of the design would have raised an eyebrow by now? I do not find it plausible that many people are so ignorant since they live all across the city. Yellow journalism is out of control and the line between reporting the news and creating the news is hard to find.

      Just because someone perceives something in a certain fashion does not make it an objective reality. If a certain faction of the law enforcement community objected to the design, based on their opinion, this could have been addressed in private and the child artist could have modified the work to something the objectors would be more comfortable with. This was escalated into a political power clash. Communicating in private and addressing concerns with the source would have been the civilized way to resolve the objections. Civilized, not sensationalized.

      There is inherent racism at work. If a little white girl from Ravenswood made the exact same art, it would have not been scrutinized because she would have been exempt from suspicion for the sake of being white and middle class. Little Susie Jones is clearly too sheltered and enfranchised to ever do anything bad intentionally. My friend joked that white people believe certain ethnic little kids are DNA hard wired to gang activity. Her joke points to a pervasive reality that places Black and Latin faces as the stereotypical criminals. This amuses us both because we are both from white / European families and each have a parent serving life without parole in prison. Your intimation of 'those people are animals waiting to go to prison but for the sake of having enough room to house them all' is quite the amusement, the very portrait of vintage racism -bravo! Again, you do not get a gold star for cultural sensitivity.

      Furthermore, blowing this up in the media has given some twerp no-name gang I never even heard of before far more more attention and glory than any child's art work -intentionally or unintentionally- ever possibly could have done. I do not blame Herbert Pulgar for this; I blame NBC. I also called them out on their own blog for naming the .jpg image "“120208-chicago-gang-sticker-hsml-7a” – labeling and enforcing a perception of guilt.

      Rahm has had a contentious mayoral position from the beginning. Daley failed decade after decade to address the requests of neighborhoods in distress, especially from the Southside. Burge and the people under him corroded the public trust in unspeakable ways. Herbert Pulgar did not hurt the local law enforcement community, these men did. Officers have to deal with a lack of public support, lack of staff and a lack of economic resources; scapegoating the art work of a fifteen year old boy is a convenient backlash. Believing one lone minor craftily slipped past 18,000+ citizens and city employees to spite law enforcement is paranoid.

      I have had my share of police officers as friends and neighbors, and past a point -unless he or she is a career desk jockey- officers become paranoid. One friend in particular keeps loaded 9mm semi-automatics in both night stands on either side of the bed, I believe with the safety off on both firearms and a round chambered. Officers have to deal with the absolute worst of society on a daily basis and this inevitably takes its toll on them, an inevitable occupational hazard is always the constant alert for potential threats. Herbert Pulgar became the lightening rod for forces beyond his control. This conflict is more about officers in distress and less about an art work.

      Also, if Chicago is such a "hell hole" then fucking move. There are plenty of other cities in the nation. Some of them even have better weather, less corruption and lower taxes.

      • February 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm

        Hey “Grow Up”,

        Nice try on the web link, but that guy in the news article you sent was –>42<– years old at the time of publication, not fifteen years old. He had the same name though. Your insults are boring. You're just a Griefer. I gave you a chance to make a point and you failed. Your grammar sucks, you lack basic logic and you are blocked from my site. 😀 Ciao!

  2. Borat
    February 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    That 42 year old is the kids father….

    • February 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      Hello Borat,

      Yeah, some dopes that were emailing and commenting were clearly getting the two confused. Also, I have a low threshold for personal insults and trash talk from people who cannot clearly articulate their thoughts. They can take that to another forum, this is my blog.

      I still stand by my commentary. If anyone putting this art submission in the contest was familiar with the artist’s biography they would have understood that there was a potential risk of something not being kosher -even unintentionally- based on the kid’s familiarity with street gangs. Thus, there would have been an additional layer of scrutiny! A broad base of citizens and city staff reviewed this design, but so would have the art teacher that works with the child and possibly others in the school staff. Ergo, these adult professionals would have had to be morons or complicit. I do not find that plausible. This whole situation is the basic formula of a conspiracy theory: a kid with bad gang daddy cleverly sticks it to the whole entire city until officer hero points out the obvious and saves us all at the last minute. I am not buying the conspiracy theory. I have filed this conspiracy theory as mythic alongside the Mayan end of the world in 2012.

      If you want to speculate, I have an idea that has half the calories and one-third the fat. I wonder if this is some way to stick it to City Clerk Susana Mendoza, since she is a high profile Latina. Did she ruffle someone’s feathers? Chicago is old school with dirty politics and who is connected to whom and who owes whom what. People that are honest and don’t play the party politics and join in the kickbacks can and will be steamrolled in this city. I grew up with story after story of the corruption and the racism. There is a terrible need for reform and transparency in Illinois from city hall all the way up to the State Governor’s office. The reality of our politics is often more atrocious and depressing than the stories in fiction, let alone the past.

      There’s no reason to visit the father’s problems on the kid. I have been through that wringer myself, more than once, and my friend went through that wringer hardcore and fear others may Google search her name, and I’ve been through the media wringer more than once. It’s a terrible shadow to stand in. The dispute over the art is about a high profile, visible power struggle between different factions in the city and a law enforcement community that is in distress.

      City Clerk Mendoza and the attorney for the child defends the work:

      “Mendoza said she would personally pay an equivalent cash prize to the teen, saying she doesn’t want the negative publicity to discourage him.

      The teen’s attorney, Blake Horwitz, said Friday he isn’t sure why the FBI would publicize the elder Pulgar’s fugitive status so soon after the controversy. He says the father has not had contact with the teen.

      “At the end of the day, it’s very painful and difficult for this little boy, who did nothing else other than develop a really beautiful image for the city with his whole heart,” the attorney tells CBS 2.

      The FBI did not return phone calls Friday.”

      Source citation: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/02/10/fbi-seeks-father-of-teen-at-center-of-city-sticker-controversy/

      Meanwhile, I ask my HBBF, who was born in the city and lived his whole life here and is my age if he ever heard of these MLD bangers. He said yes, he and a friend knew about them. So I ask how he knew about them, and he said they saw a documentary about them a few years back. “Did you know about them before you saw the documentary?” and he said “no.” Between the documentary, the Wikipedia entry and media exposure, I have to wonder how much of this gang is fabricated and how much a group of people engaging in crime for profit. The source link above says that the FBI is looking for 17 of these guys. Wow, big numbers for the “second largest Latin gang” in Chicago. The Department of Justice and the state of Florida is the reference for the Wikipedia. Anyway, I don’t feel foolish for never had heard of them. I think I made a trenchant point in that NBC and related media outlets have given them more glory and attention than anything prior. Way to up a gang’s street cred for views and ratings.

      The government of Japan actually has laws and rules against doing this because they are smarter and know media coverage glamorizes criminals. I value freedom of press, but I also see the cultural wisdom in deleting faces, names and associations.

  3. February 12, 2012 at 11:55 am

    See video:

    http://www.myfoxchicago.com/video/videoplayer.swf?dppversion=11212

    Art Teacher: Controversial City Sticker Hands Came from Design Book: MyFoxCHICAGO.com

    FOX Chicago News
    source: http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/good_day/city-sticker-gang-signs-design-suggested-art-teacher-handout-janice-gould-herbie-pulgar-20120209

    Chicago – The Chicago City Clerk has scrapped the latest vehicle sticker design over concerns the artwork may depict gang symbols , but the art teacher of the student who designed the sticker says it’s all a misunderstanding.

    City officials said reaching hands in the design look like they’re flashing gang signs.

    Herbie Pulgar, 15, designed the sticker. He and his teachers said the design was completely innocent, but city officials said they aren’t taking any chances. After it was suggested there were gang symbols in the design, City Clerk Susana Mendoza met with police experts and decided to use the runner-up’s design for the 2012-2013 city sticker.

    “Frankly, we had a lot of tears in that office making that decision,” City Clerk Susana Mendoza said.

    Pulgar wasn’t consulted before the decision was made and doesn’t know if he’ll be able to keep the $1,000 prize. He said Wednesday he was upset by the controversy.

    “I’m really stressed, it makes me really stressed,” Pulgar said.

    Pulgar’s art teacher at Lawrence Hall Youth Services, Janice Gould, said Pugar is in her honors art class and when the students were working on their contest designs, he said he was having trouble with the hands.

    Gould brought in the packet of hand designs she gave to Pulgar, and showed one that looks nearly identical to the hands he drew.

    Another student from the same school was a finalist in the contest last year, Gould said, and she also used the book of hand drawings for her work.

    Gould said Pulgar wasn’t doing well in the wake of the controversy and said the city should have waited to talk to him first.

    “Before anything is decided, please check out the whole story, because the ramifications for this child are very sad,” Gould said.

    When he won the contest, which called for entries honoring Chicago firefighters and police, Pulgar said his design was especially meaningful because he was saved from a fire by emergency responders when he was four years old.

  4. Haydee
    February 13, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I felt ur words beautifuly said. I’m like an aunt to herie I saw him grow up and go threw alot. His drawing was not gang related, it came from his heart. He loves to draw but thx to the ignorent ppl he distroyed his drawing. He is a special needs child and goes to a good school not a school provided by a judge, like some ppl are saying. He’s like any other kid, all kids good threw there good and bad and want to experience. Im tired of the media and news papers taking things out of content. Like the heart it does not have a tail and horns, the hands are from a book his teacher gave him. And the stars the chicago flag does have 6 point stars. look @ the chicago blackhawks there indian has renkles that resembles a gang sign… Well I well b showin herbie this letter and thx for understandin

    • February 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      Hello Haydee,

      Thanks for your letter. I looked at the art very carefully and went through as many online articles as I could on the matter and firmly decided early on how I felt regarding the issue. I am sad if Herbie destroyed the original art work; it was beautiful, but I get that there was a lot of emotion involved for him being in the “hot seat”, cast as a trouble maker and being crucified in the courtroom of public opinion. I saw two TV appearances and he handled himself well and expressed himself clearly. I feel the art teacher and the school staff have been calm and clear in their communications on the issue.

      Regardless of recent events, Herbie has a lot of talent and the design was sophisticated; there were many different layers of the piece with the city horizon, the heart, the yellow halo background. More important than talent, I cold tell he worked very hard on it. Someone can have the greatest talent in the world, but if they don’t work -work hard and exert effort- it is useless.

      Based on the blog comments and hate mail I received and deleted, there is a difference between people with concerns or in disagreement versus people who are on the attack for the sake of being aggressive. It made me sick to my stomach to see people on the attack against a kid. Adolescents are kids and they are young adults but not yet grown adults. It was also inappropriate for the people to have lashed out at Caitlin Henehan with various derogatory comments. I feel that some very sick adults filled with fear, hate and anger were on the attack in this conflict, and they very much need mental and emotional help. Only the most disempowered adults would feel the need to lash out toward children. Worse, it was my impression the attackers feel their aggression is justified and appropriate, which is further escalated by arrogance and being able to hide behind the curtain of the internet and attack at will. I was getting curse out letters from people with obvious low educations; people who struggle with grammar and basic articulation of thoughts. The content indicated the are very sick people, very troubled, very broken and empty inside. I’m not making excuses for the attackers per se, I feel they are suffering and it is very sad to see their choices. Adults should know better, right?

      If you can send this to Herbie, he may be interested to see a short BBC United Kingdom documentary on a young artist named Ernesto Yerena who is close to his age and from the American Southwest. Ernesto Yerena was an intern under Shepard Fairey [the artist who did the Obama “Hope” poster design]. Ernesto Yerena has talent, passion and issues to communicate in his art. I can see where he learned techniques from Shepard Fairey but branched out further into his own style. I really loved how eloquent he expressed himself in this video:

      https://shellielewis.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/2787015851/

      Best to you,

      Shellie

  5. janet
    February 16, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Dear Shellie, you know what you know and trust me, we know what we know. I PERSONALLY KNOW THESE PEOPLE, the kid is a punk and so is his dad. Get over yourself and find a new cause to follow. How about teens that are doing POSITIVE things??? I’m glad they put up the father’s information.

    • February 16, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Hello Janet,

      I’m not sure what you classify as a “punk”. I lived in Joliet for fifteen years and at some of its worst areas. I’ve had two guns in my face, three home invasion robberies and drove right through the immediate arrival of police and paramedics to the murder of Sgt. Simenson because I just got off the night shift at the casino and that was my apartment complex. I worked with his niece at the casino and the family was devastated. The neighborhood “punk” I was worried about SET FIRE to someone’s house, ran drugs for the Disciples, tagged my house and surely never made a good painting at the direction of an art program.

      If you were less judgmental, you may have read enough of my blog to understand I am a Girl Scouts volunteer instructor. I have been with my current troop in Chicago for over three years. I have worked with Scouts off and on since the mid-1990s. I flipping love teens that are doing positive things and they are inheriting a lot of problems in this world. The best kids are stepping up and understanding that group work and altruism are needed over personal success and consumerism. One of my faves, no where near old enough to drive, has been bending her back in a soup kitchen when her peers been playing Nintendo; she cares so much about the homeless and people in need. Also, I just donated a bunch of art to a family fighting a rare form of brain cancer with their six year old and am pleased they made some money from sales. Please see the recent posts, they need money a lot. Maybe y’all should try a gym membership to get access to a treadmill and not need so much exercise from jumping to conclusions.

      Down in J-Town I took a kid under my wing and did everything I could for her because her drunken gambling mother and creep violent live-in boyfriend were neglecting her severely. Her biological father was gone cuz he beat her sleeping mother’s head in with a sewing machine while in a drunken rage; the woman survived but was in a coma for some time. The little girl was smart, pretty and in terrible danger. The boyfriend was scuzzy and seemed kind of rape-y to me. I am ferocious about body language and did not like how he looked at her. My training as a CASA/GAL, personal experiences and contacts with a number of friends that had been through the foster care system gave me a great deal of background information. The family was meeting the minimum standard of parenting and would have been a marginal case. My case manager said maybe I would be better off going into a mentoring situation instead of legal advocacy because my case had been brutal; it chewed up and spit out three advocates before I came along. I can’t talk about it because of confidentiality, this case was in an out of the news; I just had a front row seat to watch six kids go through living hell after living hell. I also know how whitey LOVES to blame the victims. Yeah, I said that.

      I kind of ‘adopted’ the neighborhood girl. I took her camping out of state in Michigan the first month I knew her, and her mother did not even know my last name, care where we went or want phone numbers for contact. She just said “fine, let me know when you’re back”. If me or my husband at the time were some kind of kid-raping freaks she would have just handed her daughter to us. As it was, she and sometimes my niece spent days or slept over at my house a lot. I bought her things she needed, paid attention to her school work, repainted her bedroom, taught her to sew and paint, we poked around in the garden and stuff. We went to parks, museums and festivals. I was burned out after seeing what that system did to my six advocacy kids so it was good to make an immediate and bigger impact.

    • March 16, 2012 at 12:43 am

      Hello Janet,

      Since you have had a whole month to respond and haven’t bothered following up, I sure want to know what -if anything- you do for or with teens doing positive things. Go ahead, lay it on me. It does stir my curiosity when people like to talk the talk and don’t walk the walk: those who do not in fact actually do anything more than run their mouth and espouse an ideology not backed up work or actions. Talk is cheap. Maybe someone such as yourself who likes to shout online and has not rolled up their sleeves to do the hard work.

      I have dealt with a whole lot of teens and tweens over a long period of time, in a variety of circumstances. To my experience they are more emotional; they have stronger emotions and younger emotional selves. That puts the burden of civility, politeness and compassion on you, as an adult, to be a positive example and provide leadership.

      Kids are real good at sensing when they are disliked. I absolutely do not trust you and you do not clarify what you mean by personally knowing “these people” – a frequent phrase used in condemnation on the basis of ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Growing up in a combination of the South Side, a rich white suburb and Eastern Tennessee, “these people” were clearly not “us” and under condemnation of inferiority to whites, a condemnation coming particularly from middle to upper class whites. Being the in the same neighborhood, gossip and hearsay is a wide gap from being a relative, family friend or other intimate in which one “personally” knows another. Maybe this kid has attitude toward you, but I suggest you go take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself if that is because you’re a judgmental hag. You give out attitude problems, you get them back, honey. While you are at that mirror, check your conscience for racist attitudes. Anyone who writes “these people” instead of “this family” might have to do some moral soul searching. I have had a whole lifetime teach me that phrase is code for a variety of racial slurs.

  6. herbert antonio pilgar
    April 3, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks for supporting my son he really is a awesome lil boy with a good heart and feelings …GOD bless you always MRS.LEWIS

    • April 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      I looked at the art work and the media responses and still feel I made the right decision. Seeing the art teacher on the FOX news clip present the visual resource book she gave to the students confirmed my initial assessment. I am hoping some kind of panel or law enforcement expert beyond representatives at the school will come forward to clear this up and exonerate Herbie Pulgar from blame and get the label off.

  7. Archer
    April 29, 2012 at 7:03 am

    I know this story is “old” now, but I just had to comment. I read about it when the whole debacle was going on, and it stuck with me. This is one of the most saddening stories I have ever read about. Seeing the video of poor Herbie be so upset over something he was so proud of just broke my heart. No kid should ever have to feel that way, and shame of the politicians for doing this to him. What kind of message is that going to send him about politics? And to the person who called him a “punk” in the comments, I have a brother around the same age and I would describe him the same way, as he doesn’t always make the best decisions, but he’s still a great person, he’s just being a typical youth which I’m sure is the same with Herbie.
    I hope for nothing but the best for Herbie, and hope this incident hasn’t squashed his artistic talent. I just wish there was something I could do for him or his family to show my support.

    • April 29, 2012 at 11:10 am

      I have sent two letters of support to Herbie Pulgar in care of his school. I hoped to express empathy but not be pitying, as pity is always condescension.

      I intend to print out his winning design at home, cut it out and impose it over my city vehicle sticker when it comes out with the generic art. I may put a label above it that reads “Herbert Pulgar was framed.”

      I voted for Ms. Susana Mendoza and anyone who runs against her for City Clerk of Chicago is now getting my vote. Even taking into consideration she is new to the job, she did not have the backbone to fight for the kid. She threw Herbie under the bus as the person who ultimately pulled the trigger on removing the artwork. Instead of engaging people directly and standing up to a fabricated controversy that originated with a white supremacist online forum, she threw Herbie under the bus to make the controversy go away as soon as possible. Actions carry far more weight than words in my world view. What she did was cowardly and Herbie has to live with the results much more than she does.

      I hope an attorney for Herbie Pulgar or his school files suit against the city for defamation and damages similarly to how David K. Nelson won nearly a hundred grand for “Mirth and Girth” when city aldermen and police stormed a private viewing of student work at SAIC in 1988, ripped the painting off the wall and ran off with it. In that case, the painting was actually damaged and that was the thrust of that case. Cases of defamation, libel and/or slander are difficult and the burden of proof is on the attorney bringing the case. Hopefully the staff at the school and others close to Herbie documented and saved the public responses and angry media backlash directed toward the kid and can cite that as provable damage resulting from a city official pulling the art design. Perhaps punishing the city by making them pay damages will be the only vindication available to Herbie Pulgar. Susana Mendoza’s office has failed to respond to a request I sent for a third party, state police or FBI outside of the city with no political stake in the matter, to review the art work and assess it fairly as being clean of gang symbolism and declare the problem was simply “public perception” as per a quote by Jody Weis; ergo the problem is not with the art work, the problem was stupid people.

  8. JJ
    May 2, 2012 at 11:01 am

    This story came to light to me from an unlikely source, Cracked.com, an internet humour sight: http://www.cracked.com/article_19797_5-true-tales-good-fortune-with-horribly-cruel-plot-twists.html

    I just wanted to say to Herbert Jr., if you see this, keep your head high and don’t let this crush you. It appears you haven’t had the easiest go in life and this is just another thing- what hasn’t buried you has just increased your strength and sometimes it’s just that the city don’t love you back….

    much love from Toronto, Canada-

    JJ

  9. abominable snowman
    July 27, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Dear Shellie

    why do people have to be so cruel to poor Herbert ? I was watching raywilliamjhonson at the time and when i saw the valentines day vid I saw Herbie crying and ray said that the city of Chicago was quite (bleap) low , so I investigated and found out that herbert pulgar was being hunted down by the FBI.luckily it was another man not our herbie.Now Shellie when I saw the vid herbie was crying , barely able to talk, snot coming out of his mouth, face red and and it looked like he had been sleeping badly.When i saw him i felt like jumping into my laptop and sending an email to all of the politicians there saying that they must be a cold son of a (bleap) to destroy herberts life so Shellie those who say it is rubbish this story than they can see bin laden in hell.

    Ive been in herbies situation before and not such a good reaction i was so badly heart broken that i tried to dehidrate my self so badly so that i could be dead.then I noticed that I didnt want to die so i stopped my self and drunk 3 big bottles of water

    • July 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      I trashed your other comment because it criticized the second-runner up. Caitlin Henehan caught all sorts of internet flames and online hate, in just having done nothing more than submit an art work in the competition. I am not allowing negative criticisms of her art here. What happened to her was also unfair. She caught the backlash of a manufactured controversy.

      The situation arose from an orchestrated attack from a racist “anonymous Chicago police blog” that does things like show the subjects of an arrest, only if they are not white, because the people submitting content to this blog are police. They connected Herbie to his FBI most wanted father by the same name and made the accusations, creating a media storm by inventing a pretend crisis since they launched their accusations a few days before the sticker was going to be printed. The first-time elected head of the city clerk’s office handled things badly, buckled to hysteria and the design was pulled. I am very disappointed in how things turned out, but I did follow through with printing out the original design Herbie made at home and put it on my vehicle sticker.

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