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LETTER: To avoid a ruckus, avoid naming sites for people
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LETTER: To avoid a ruckus, avoid naming sites for people

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Lake (copy)

The town runs Lake Pelham Adventures watercraft rentals with Ole Country Store.

Regarding the Star-Exponent April 29 article, “Panel: Replace Confederate name with Lake Culpeper,” I want to thank Vice Mayor Billy Yowell for publicly expressing my long-held belief that naming sites or places after people doesn’t work.

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Social norms do change, as we have so clearly seen in current events. Even massive good contributed in one generation, under socially accepted conditions at the time, can be dismissed by a subsequent generation because of one failure to meet current standards.

As may be obvious, I’m referring here, as an example, to schools named for founding fathers George Mason and Thomas Jefferson being renamed because they owned slaves. Changing a school name honoring a Confederate icon (Gen. Robert E. Lee) to honoring a civil-rights icon (John Lewis) mostly just flips the “support of” or “objection to” controversy from one side to the other, rather than seeking compromise or neutrality.

At least not naming things (schools, highways, etc.) after people might ease some social controversy, either now or in the future.

Larry Allen


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