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Name Change For New York Airport?

by SharonKurheg

The murder of George Floyd in May has sparked support of “Black Lives Matter” like never before. The movement has caused the U.S. to take a hard look at the uglier side of its history, with hopes to right the wrongs that white people have done and continue to do at the expense of People of Color.

A small but symbolic way to make one of these changes is to rename public places that were originally named after those who were historically racist. Case in point, airports.

We’ve already written about the push to change the name of McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, due to Patrick McCarran’s vast history of bigotry. The name of Orange County CA’s John Wayne Airport is also under scrutiny, due to his racist remarks in a 1971 interview.

There’s now a petition for another airport, this one in upstate New York, to receive a new name. The organizers think the Greater Rochester International Airport should be renamed after one of the city’s most notable residents: Frederick Douglass.

From Wikipedia:

“Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, gaining note for his oratory and incisive antislavery writings.”


Frederick Douglass, 1818-1895 / PC: NPS

Considered the most influential African American of the 19th century, Douglass lived in Rochester from 1847 to 1872. During this period he was an advisor to President Lincoln, fought for the adoption of constitutional amendments that granted voting rights and other civil liberties to African Americans, as well as advocated for women’s suffrage at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.

In its earlier years, the Greater Rochester International Airport was known as Britton Field, the Rochester Municipal Airport and the Rochester Monroe County Airport. It became known by its current name in the mid-1980s.

The petition already has several thousand signatures.

Feature Photo: Needpix.com

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


AlohaDaveKennedy July 19, 2020 - 6:36 pm

What does hell does the the death of George Floyd or Black Lives Matter have to do with renaming Greater Rochester International Airport? Put it to a vote of the public. If the publics wants to change the name then do it, but don’t leave the name change in the hands of any frigging politicians.

SharonKurheg July 19, 2020 - 6:43 pm

The most recent rise of BLM has made more people aware of the situation of POC. Douglass was a Black man and renaming the airport for him would be a sign of respect. Also, unless an airport is privately owned, politicians are indeed the ones who have final say in the names of public entities. Hence why the name of McCarran Airport, in Las Vegas, is going to the desk of the Nevada governor.

Bandmeeting July 19, 2020 - 9:30 pm

Frederick Douglas was a Republican, therefore he is ineligible. Never going to happen. They might name it after Angela Davis though.

joeheg July 19, 2020 - 10:29 pm

Saying someone was a Republican in the 1800s reflects anything about political parties today is just silly. You could just as well call someone a Federalist, Democratic-Republican or Whig and hope someone else knows what that means.

Tom July 19, 2020 - 10:50 pm

Sharon & Joe – I admire you more than ever.

JThomas July 20, 2020 - 12:43 am

Freaking ridiculous. Would anything need to be changed to be named George Floyd now? What happened to him was terrible, but he was a repeat convict criminal. He was arrested every single years for the past 15 years except for five (because he was in prison). One thing does not erase the other. Time for common sense to step in.

SharonKurheg July 20, 2020 - 12:51 am

Common sense would be for Black people to be treated the same as white people. Especially by police officers. Simple as that. Until then, I think renaming the airport after Frederick Douglass would be lovely, don’t you?


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