Opinion: Lake Calhoun name change efforts waste of time

From The Echo:

The recent name change of Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska is a massive waste of time.

The Minneapolis Park Board could dedicate even more time and resources to the amount of pollution at the lake or worrying about enforcing the no smoking in public parks policy.

According to Minneapolis Parks and Recreational Board, Lake Calhoun was named after John C. Calhoun. He was a Secretary of War during the war of 1812 and a Yale graduate.

Calhoun’s main contribution to Minnesota history is the fact he is credited for establishing Fort Snelling.

Surveyors named the Lake Calhoun almost 200 years, and renaming now as some apology isn’t going to erase history or Calhoun’s legacy.

Such a purely symbolic name change is incredibly trivial. Changing the name of Lake Calhoun from the name of a previous vice president, secretary of state and secretary of war is a snub to history.

He was well regarded. In fact, when John F. Kennedy was senator of a committee he headed, he selected Calhoun as one of the five greatest United States Senators.

People dislike his history of supporting slavery. However, many of our previous presidents supported slavery but we don’t rewrite history books and rename presidential libraries.

John Calhoun is a fairly well regarded person in history, and trying to cover up history and hide the dirty parts of our history is childish.

We can respect a person while disagreeing with their beliefs, as we should respect Calhoun while discouraging his outdated racial beliefs. We cannot rewrite history and ignore the past.

We also cannot forget to honor someone who was instrumental in Minnesota history and try to pretend the past didn’t happen as it did.

His beliefs don’t take away from the fact he should be honored in history because of the work he did outside of his support of slavery.

In 2015 when the name Bde Maka Ska was added to signs, that was a good compromise. But a total name change both confuses people and is pointless.

Most people will continue to refer to the largest lake in Minneapolis as Lake Calhoun as the way it has always been.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: