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City names declared racist, another side-effect of BLM movement

Perhaps the most sinister impact of the BLM demonstrations is an active effort by many to try and erase the past. What used to be good has suddenly become deplorable, such as many city names in the US, which enlightened masses are attempting to change.

The city of Columbus in Ohio is named after the explorer, Christopher Columbus. However, a petition has been launched by locals to rename the city because, although the place itself is amazing, its "name is tarnished by the very name itself." The appeal was lauched by Tyler Woolbridge, who argues that Columbus is a negative character because of "all his raping, slave trading, and genocide," which is not a proud legacy.

He proposes the city to be renamed Flavortown, partly to honour Central Ohio's heritage as a culinary crossroads, and partly to recognise famed chef Guy Fieri, who was born in Columbus. As of Monday evening, nearly 35,000 people had signed the initiative. Earlier, the mayor of Colombus had ordered the Christopher Columbus statue in front of City Hall to be removed and placed in storage." The statues of Christopher Columbus have become targets of protesters in other US cities, who probably do not care about the fact that it was him who had discovered their continent.

Residents of a California city are also considering a name change. Fort Bragg was named after Confederate General Braxton Bragg, who is accused of keeping more than 100 slaves. The mayor has tasked two council members with reporting on guidelines for creating a commission of residents that can examine the issue of a name change.

Supporters of a name change say the city should not honour a racist who fought for the South and had nothing to do with Northern California. Fort Bragg was founded by Lieutenant Horatio G. Gibson in 1857 after Bragg, who was his former commanding officer.

They would also rename St. Louis, a city with a population of 300 thousand, because it is named after King Louis IX who led a crusade against Muslims, and is therefore accused of Islamophobia. The petition to change the city's name was launched by a local resident, Umar Lee, who briefly converted to Christianity a few years ago, only to change his mind and return to Islam.

In what may be perceived another ironic trait of the initiative, those demanding the city to be renamed have labelled King Louis antisemitic. Umar Lee's petition urges people not to simply rename the city, but also to demolish the statue of King Louis there.

The fad of renaming cities has also spread to Canada. Some activists are calling for the renaming of several Ontario municipalities because they believe that the namesakes of their cities had racist pasts. Advocates say that historical figures who were pro-slavery can no longer be accepted within their communities.

One of these cities is Vaughan, named after Benjamin Vaughan, a pro-slavery British politician. Locals have launched several petitions, already signed by hundreds of people, to initiate a name change. Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua said he's not looking at changing the name of the municipality, although the August civic holiday - that locals typically refer to as Benjamin Vaughan Day - has just been renamed John Graves Simcoe Day.

Another of these cities is Kitchener, named after Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener. A signature drive designed to change the city's name has already attracted several signatures, but the municipality is not considering a name change. The name Kitchener is no longer wanted, because Kitchener had set up concentration camps during the Second Boer War.

And finally, let's not forget about Russell Township, named after Peter Russell, a politician who owned slaves and delayed the abolition of slavery. A petition to change the name of the township has garnered nearly two thousand signatures. Local mayor Pierre Leroux said the township will probably keep its name, but a committee will review a number of options to find a better namesake.

Amidst the current wave of name-change attempts, it is perhaps worth giving a thought to why this issue has become so important all of a sudden. In recent years and decades, people have not had any major issues with historical figures, but the recent strings of demonstrations appear to have "enlightened" many.

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