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.
“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.”
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