It seems every day there is another rhetorical assault by President Trump. The latest is another racist tirade against the honorable Elijah Cummings and the city of Baltimore. Linking Cummings to “rodent filled” Baltimore, Mr. Trump said living in Baltimore is like “living in hell.”

Mr. President, I have a bulletin for you. Look into your own backyard of New York. New Yorkers would readily agree that their city exceeds Baltimore in its rodent count.

Unfortunately, those ugly creatures are everywhere, but I want to focus on the beauty of our nation’s cities rather than President Trump’s descriptions. Although I have spent only a few weeks in Baltimore, my experiences there were altogether positive. The folks were kind and friendly and the city is pleasant and attractive, and the galleries were lovely. Our visit to the prestigious Johns Hopkins Medical Center was unforgettable. (The skilled surgeons there saved my brother’s life.)

In considering our nation’s outstanding cities, Chicago must be ranked among the top group. It would fill many pages of many books to list all of Chicago’s virtues. For example, Chicago’s Art Institute has been recognized as the most beautiful art museum in the nation. Our entire museum campus, the Museum of Science & Industry, the elegant galleries, our exceptional exhibits and our educational centers are beyond compare. Our Lake Michigan shoreline is reserved for public use, a rarity among the Great Lakes.

Our flower-laden parks throughout the city offer a Parisian appearance. Parks also offer amusement and present classical concerts, jazz and food fests for all to enjoy.

Chicago is also a “crazy” sports mecca: Sox & Cubs baseball, Bears football, Blackhawks hockey, Bulls basketball, golf and tennis tournaments, women’s and children’s programs, open to all. (My choice is watching local little kids participating in Little League.)

Culture also reigns in Chicago especially with our renowned (considered the world’s greatest) Symphony Orchestra. We have a plethora of quality theaters to please every audience. There are exciting activities offered to all.

I appreciated attending lectures at Bug House Square, in Chicago’s Washington Park. Although Bug House Square has never been a well-known place, it was always well attended. Folks would get up on crates or boxes and begin their orations. Sometimes the speakers were well-trained orators, but there were anarchists and some outlandish folks. The great fun involved the audience. There were always boisterous characters ready to debate the speakers. (By the way, Bug House Square still exists.)

This is a small representation of the diversity and variety that makes Chicago appealing. I feel a personal insult when I hear Chicago only represented as a city of violence. Unfortunately (like big cities have rats), we do have violence. But that is not the fabric of Chicago, which is made up of many races, many religions, and all caring people. I am almost as proud of Chicago as I am of my own special community here in River Forest and Oak Park.

I am sorry for President Trump. He can never understand love; he has too much hate in him.

Harriet Hausman is a longtime River Forest resident and longtime member of the ACLU.

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