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LETTER: Changing local Confederate names is a slippery slope
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LETTER: Changing local Confederate names is a slippery slope

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A Sept. 1 Star Exponent article (”Should Culpeper change name of Lake Pelham?”) outlines how the Culpeper Town Council is looking into the possibility of changing the name of Lake Pelham.

The current climate across much of America is an attempt to rewrite our nation’s history and cancel what one group finds offensive, often times at the expense of another group. No matter what you do, be it based on freedom of speech or political correctness, someone is going to be offended, or at least act offended.

I had no idea who Lake Pelham was named after and frankly I didn’t care. I asked quite a few people, some I knew and some I had never met, if they knew the history of Lake Pelham. I went down to the lake and asked people who were enjoying the lake’s amenities if any of them knew the history, no one did or cared.

I would like to ask the council members and Mr. Daniel why take up the issue now? If citizens of Culpeper are offended now, why not 1, 3, or 5 years ago? What troubles me is Councilwoman Jamie Clancy saying, “We have an opportunity as a government to make a statement.” I am troubled because it’s not the job of my local government to make such statements. Local government’s job is to follow the will of the people, not tell the people what they should think or do.

I think the reasons to leave it alone make the most sense. First and foremost, will changing the name solve our pressing problems of the day? Will our opioid crisis go away, saving a generation of our youth? Will the unemployment and financial ruin associated with COVID-19 go away, bringing our citizens out of poverty? Will crime in the town or county be reduced? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then let’s change the name today! But if the answer is no, then where do we stop?

George Shackelford


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