What's In A Name Week


I’m officially dubbing this WHAT’S IN A NAME WEEK. October 12th is Columbus Day, or if you’re on the campus of Brown University, INDIGENOUS PEOPLE DAY. Many across the state and the country would like to see Columbus’ name jettisoned in favor of a different moniker. And beginning g Wednesday, Rhode Island voters will once again decide whether to drop the “plantations” from the official state name. By now you know the argument being made on both sides of the issue. Opponents run to the history books arguing the word “plantation” had no association to slavery when Roger Williams settled Providence in 1636. The word referred only to a tract of land, or a farm. Proponents of the name change say the word is associated with cruelty and torture, death and rape. Ten years ago Rhode Islanders overwhelmingly rejected the name change but the climate has certainly changed since then most recently during the BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT. Will voters regard this as a small symbolic gesture or as an emotional offense knee jerk and just the tip of the iceberg from stripping away the realities of history.