Feeling left out because you couldn't protest the communist takeover of the Empire State Building? Never fear -- LA has its own homegrown red scare.
Two statues of communist leaders at a local presidential library are destroying the immaculate legacy of one our nation's finest presidents: Richard M. Nixon.
The statues of China's leaders Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai have been housed in the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda for almost 20 years.
And for 20 years, nobody cared.
But, the museum is publicly funded now and hating reds is back in fashion -- so apparently statues are now valid things to get upset about.
They are among 10 statues of former heads of state and government on display in the library's World Leaders exhibit. Others include Soviet leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev, Egypt's Anwar Sadat and Israel's Golda Meir, and France's Charles de Gaulle and Britain's Winston Churchill. Nixon chose them before his $21-million privately funded library opened in 1990.
A quote from Nixon on a wall explains his selections: "They are leaders who have made a difference. Not because they wished it, but because they willed it."
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Los Angeles real estate investor Kai Chen, 56, was shocked that the museum would include the historical figures.
"Mao was the biggest mass murderer in human history," Chen told the Times. "His hands were dipped in the blood of American soldiers who fought in Korea and Vietnam. … How can that image be put alongside world leaders like Winston Churchill and De Gaulle? It's a perversion of American freedom. You don't put an anti-American symbol in a U.S. museum."
Timothy Naftali, the library's director, is sympathetic to Chen's concerns.
"I think having a statue of a person in a museum can imply respect," Naftali told the Times. "I thought there might very well be confusion among visitors. With Churchill, Meir and Sadat all in the same room, there is an equivalency there and the implication that they're all alike. They were not all alike. Mao was a mass murderer.
"It seemed to me out of place in a publicly funded museum," Naftali said. "I don't think it's the best way to teach history."
Naftali told the Times he plans to overhaul the World Leaders exhibit.
In the meantime, if people get sick of protesting statues in presidential libraries, we suggest protesting the $800,000,000,000 in treasury securities China is currently holding. Now, that's something to actually get offended about.