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Statue of President William McKinley overlaid against collage of newspaper articles published during his administration; photo and design by Jason Velázquez.
Statue of President William McKinley overlaid against collage of newspaper articles published during his administration; photo and design by Jason Velázquez.

Adams’ misplaced pride in McKinley link conceals crimes, perpetuates supremacy.

Editor’s Note:

Dear Readers,

The Greylock Glass, for six and a half years, has labored to present an accurate reflection of what occurs in our region. Obviously, we can’t keep you informed of every event or issue; no one can, particularly a newsroom as small as ours. Our small size is a large part of the reason we strive to ensure that the stories we do tell are of the highest quality, both in the facts we provide and the styles and tools we use in the telling.

On July 4th, we failed you. I failed you. An op-ed piece was submitted to us regarding the statue of President William McKinley that is located in downtown Adams. While much of the information presented by the author was factual, some of his bedrock assertions were invented nearly whole-cloth. I provided some advice durning the creation of this opinion piece, and I did check the veracity of a number of his claims — but not all. I published that submission here and under this headline.

I was enthusiastic to provide space for a contrarian view, of which there is never enough in the local press, and I did not go far enough in my due diligence to verify all the premises undergirding his argument. In other words, as an editor, I dropped the ball. For this, I apologize to you, reader. I will continue to provide a space for alternative viewpoints, even withering criticism, but will get out my magnifying glass and go through the presented op-ed point by point and line by line. Letters to editor will continue to be a space where anyone can make an ass out of themself — that’s on you.

This page will be left in place as a reminder to me never to let my guard down where the truth is concerned again. As always, I welcome, and look forward to reading your comments below.

Very best regards,

Jason Velazquez
Editor, The Greylock Glass


  1. Dunno. If I was looking to change someone’s mind I’d be unlikely to use the upchuck of insults Toby employed to awaken Adams to his view. You know: “pig-ignorant”, “racist” “depraved”. Even “Nixonian”.

  2. I get that this is an OP-ED, not a vetted journalistic article. I’ve already given a thoughtful reply to this piece being posted elsewhere. Since then I’ve done some more research. Some points are worth noting. The author makes a claim that “towns all over America that are much redder on the political spectrum have already ripped down their racist McKinley town square monstrosities long before George Floyd’s murder in 2020, like the town of Arcata, California did after deciding to topple their racist-town-square-disgrace honoring McKinley in 2019.”

    Well, for starters, Arcata is a liberal college town, in a blue state. It is true they wanted the statue gone and they made that happen. But its also worth noting that instead of destroying it or donating it to a museum for which an agreed to context would be set, they sold it to Canton, Ohio to display in public as they wished.

    I can find no evidence that a swath of red state communities got rid of their McKinley memorials “long before George Floyd”, nor after. As the blue state located Adams has a McKinley statue (or bust) so do cities/towns such as Chicago, IL, Philadelphia, PA, Walden, NY, Honolulu, HI, Redlands, CA, & San Jose, CA. Wilmington, DE and Sharpsburg, MD have monuments to his actions as a soldier in the Civil War. All of these are blue state locations. San Francisco has a towering monument to him with a personified statue of a woman representing “The Republic” atop its tall marble base. Buffalo, NY has a 93-foot-tall obelisk dedicated to him. Blue states again.

    Muskegon, Michigan, which we can look upon as a purple swing state, has a statue of McKinley as well. Tower, Minnesota, another swing state town, has a 18-foot-tall obelisk in his honor.

    Columbus, OH and Canton, OH appear to be the red state locations with statues and memorials to McKinley.

    Even Springfield, MA has a large bust with a personified woman cast as “Fame” (literally) looking up to the former president. They also relocated it in 1997 to a location of greater visibility for the public.

    So while being the vanguard for doing the right thing is a great way to conduct oneself and it is a righteous goal to follow Arcata’s lead. It is a complete lie that Adams is behind red state locations as painted, let alone the more numerous blue state monuments. I get that taking shortcuts to get something good done is tempting, but it is dishonest and should be called out for it.

  3. From the bottom of my heart I applaud your upfront response. I also wish to once again highlight my belief that the removal of memorials to McKinley is a just cause, as is seeking to better educate current and future generations about the reasons why. As a country we do a poor job in teaching the darker corners of our history. I think our culture somehow views doing so as weak or unpatriotic, when in fact seeking to constantly be learning and to be just are actually signs of the greatest strength. I hope your readers will delve more into learning of the atrocities of the Philippine–American War, McKinley’s belief they were not fit for self-rule, and his general indifference to the Wilmington massacre of 1898.

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