Friday, May 20, 2011

Everyone Is Racist

John Winters of Minneapolis has petitioned the Minneapolis Park Board to rename Lake Calhoun. The lake is currently named after Vice President John C. Calhoun. Calhoun was a prominent leader in the early 19th century from South Carolina. He supported slavery, which Mr. Winters believes disqualifies him from having his name memorialized, at least in Minnesota.

Winters' plan would rewrite local history, which Calhoun impacted greatly. As Secretary of War he established Fort Snelling which aided growth of the area. The lake was named for him at that time, around 1817.

Winters' suggestion for a new name: Lake Humphrey, after another Vice-President who supported bad ideas. I'd ask the question, if naming the lake after a supporter of slavery in the 1830's is a sin, why name it after another white guy. Here's a suggestion: Lake Obama.

Actually, naming it after a man who's father willingly came to America probably isn't PC enough. Maybe Lake Harriet's northern counterpart should be Lake Michelle, after our first lady who descended from slaves.

Upon future reflection, even that would be racist. The lake's true name must be restored: Lake Mde Maka Ska. Slavery may be racist, but the genocidal stealing of a continent has to trump it.