Lake Calhoun / Bde Maka Ska

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby Karl » June 24th, 2015, 1:50 am

Should we also rename everything named after George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe? They all owned slaves too. They didn't sing the praises of slavery quite like Calhoun did, but Jefferson did write about his "suspicion" that "blacks...are inferior to the whites in the endowments of both body and mind." Like Nick said, if we look back at a ton of important people in history, we're bound to find statements like this that we find repugnant. So where should we draw the line as far as who gets their name on what?

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby LakeCharles » June 24th, 2015, 6:05 am

One difference here is that John Calhoun had no connection whatsoever to MN. Ramsey did something positive for MN. His negatives outweigh his positives, but he at least has a connection. So this seems like an easy one to start with.

But I guess I don't really understand the slippery slope argument. You want to keep things named after avowed racists (Calhoun) because it might lead us to rethink whether we should have something named after a perpetrator of genocide? As for Hennepin, look how much of a fight people are putting up for Calhoun. I think Hennepin will be safe for now.

First they came for the racists
But I was not a racist so I let them go
Then they came for the genocidal maniacs

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby mulad » June 24th, 2015, 6:30 am

I have heard a little chatter in recent years about renaming at least some things that now have Ramsey's name attached. That's a bigger undertaking since he did have a real connection to the state and his name was put on a lot of things since he was the first governor. I believe he also exploited his office to further his financial interests -- I know his name is attached to an early railroad or two, for instance.

With regard to Calhoun, he stood out as someone who advocated strongly for slavery rather than just someone who accepted as part of the life of the time. The number of free states started to grow following U.S. independence, with most of the northern states banning it by the year 1800. Slavery started to be strongly discouraged in Canada around that time, and was banned across the British empire (including Canada) in 1833.

At that point, the writing would be on the wall for the future of slavery. The country we fought in order to gain independence had banned one of the most odious practices in human history before we did. He was a couple generations younger than the Founding Fathers. He was unique to continue pushing for slavery at that time (including working for its expansion into new western states and territories).

Toward the end of his life, he pushed for nullification, where southern states would try to ignore laws passed at the federal level by nulling them out in the state legislature -- something that paved the way for secession and the start of the Civil War, although he died in 1850, just over a decade before fighting broke out.

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby Snelbian » June 24th, 2015, 7:50 am

What mulad said.

I find that the slippery slope argument usually makes the most sense if you ignore all nuance in a situation.

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby Wedgeguy » June 24th, 2015, 8:59 am

I'll say that Washington, Jefferson, and Monroe need made justification for having a civil war. Not every leader did the right thing. Nixon was Watergate, but open relations with China, Reagan had Iran Contra and the invaliding of Grenada, Carter had the hostage crisis, but got the camp David Accords. Being PC is a slippery slope. One has to look at the overall accomplishments to judge them for their accomplishments and if they are truly worthy.

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby Didier » June 24th, 2015, 12:35 pm

Lake Jesse Ventura.

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby min-chi-cbus » June 24th, 2015, 8:24 pm

Does anybody else find the name "Savage" offensive? I never did until literally a day or two ago, as I realized that our SW metro suburb has a very negative-sounding name too. Maybe there's something more to the meaning of the word besides basically a modern-day "thug", but if I were NA (technically I'm a morsel) I'd be upset about that one.

Maybe someday we'll name a suburb "Thug" or "Asshole" in the future and we won't care......Either way, I'd start with Savage before moving on to Calhoun, personally -- and I'm sure there's many more examples like that within the great state of MN.
Last edited by min-chi-cbus on June 24th, 2015, 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby min-chi-cbus » June 24th, 2015, 8:28 pm

Didier wrote:Lake Jesse Ventura.
Excuse me, sir, I'm offended by that! :x

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby Anondson » June 24th, 2015, 8:31 pm

I recall "Savage" was named after the owner of the racehorse "Dan Patch", Marion Savage

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby Mikey » June 24th, 2015, 8:58 pm

min-chi-cbus wrote:
Didier wrote:Lake Jesse Ventura.
Excuse me, sir, I'm offended by that! :x
He DID get the Hiawatha Line built... ;)
Urbanist in the north woods

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby Condo_Dweller » June 24th, 2015, 9:33 pm

Lake Jesse. Let's go with that! The lake where runners, bikers, and populists proclaim "I ain't got time to bleed!"

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby seanrichardryan » June 24th, 2015, 11:14 pm

Marion Willis Savage
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby kirby96 » June 25th, 2015, 4:26 am

Snelbian wrote:Ah yes, the Multitasking Is Impossible argument.

The 'Since multi-tasking is possible every issue raised by a tiny minority of citizens should warrant studying and the use of limited resources as necessary' defense. Touche!

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby mulad » June 25th, 2015, 6:01 am

It's one of the most prominent parts of the park system, so it's something that deserves attention.

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby MNdible » June 25th, 2015, 9:01 am

In any case, it's probably best to keep the dysfunctional Park Board distracted with trifles like this.

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby David Greene » June 25th, 2015, 3:17 pm

Nick wrote:There are thousands of things named for Ronald Reagan all around the country, and he did unspeakable things, like raising income taxes.
I fondly remember the effort to rename the State Office Building after Reagan.

It died an early death and I was disappointed. I really, really, really wanted to testify what a great idea it would be to have a "Ronald Regan SOB."

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby twincitizen » June 25th, 2015, 5:31 pm

Via Twitter: "Lake Minneapolis"

My first choice is still to quickly and quietly rename it after a different Calhoun person, but Lake Minneapolis has a really nice ring to it. If the lake must be renamed, I'll strongly push for this over efforts to name it after another historical figure

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby grant1simons2 » June 25th, 2015, 6:51 pm

Lake Wellstone

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby anders » June 26th, 2015, 7:03 am

I don't get why we would rename the lake for another politician. What does the lake have to do with any of them (besides a few being buried next door)? Monuments, buildings, etc., I get, but the lake is something bigger than any political leader. If the name will change, change it back to the original, indigenous name.

On that note, what *is* the original name? I've seen Mde Maka Ska and Mde Medoza (also spelled Mendoza?) in the news, and Heyata Mde elsewhere. If we weren't in such a hurry to deify prominent DFLers, maybe we could get some clarity on what the lake's first neighbors actually called it.

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Re: Lake Calhoun

Postby mplsjaromir » June 26th, 2015, 7:27 am

The Dakota were almost certainly not the first people to neighbor the lake. More likely five or six discrete peoples inhabited the area before the arrival of Europeans.

Almost any name would be better Calhoun.

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