Why are we still naming a street and train stop after a noted racist?

Adrian Walker makes the case for renaming Yawkey Way.

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FOR CHRIST SAKE

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People need to stop being so god damn sensitive, Yawkey Way is STAYING Yawkey Way.

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I'm sorry you're so sensitive to changing the name.

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If changing the name offends you, maybe you could write your congressperson. Either way, being so outraged over this can't be healthy. Maybe you should calm down.

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LOL

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I think there's a reason noones liking your post.....are you from Massachusetts? Have you ever been to Fenway? Yawkey Way is debatably the most famous street name in the state so it seems your the over-sensitive person here...

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Really?

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I guess it's debatably true since Boston doesn't have any truly famous streets like NYC's Broadway or Hollywood Boulevard so it might be the most famous for that reason, but do people outside Boston really care that much about Yawkey Way? I mean, I admit I'm not that into sports, but in general do people care that much about the streets athletic facilities are on, even if as in Fenway's case they've been incorporated into the game experience? When people talk about the Yankees do they talk about 161st Street? Or for that matter, Causeway Street for the Garden?

But I mean, Mass Ave, Comm Ave, Newbury Street, Storrow Drive: those streets are pretty well-known.

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Noone

Isn't he the guy who plastered stickers all around Sullivan Square?

Also, here's a hot tip: truth and reality have nothing to do with popularity. Go contemplate that.

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News Flash Swirlls

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It's a FRIGGIN' STREET!!!! And I seriously doubt the majority of people who visit Boston or attend Red Sox games say to themselves "I'm not walking down Yawkey Way because it's named after somebody who chose not to integrate their PRIVATELY RUN AND PRIVATELY FUNDED business".

Time to end this PC nonsense and focus on issues that really matter.

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Racist gonna racist?

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You know, many people these days can deal with more than one issue at a time. Wanting to change the name of the street doesn't really mean you have to take away time for fighting for gun control or whatever.

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Your right

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...let's focus on how men who hold power like this presently who have similar beliefs.

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Yawkey Way

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Wouldn't even crack my top 10 most famous street names in the City of Boston. It's definitely below Boylston, Commonwealth, Beacon, Washington, Causeway, heck even Lansdowne has a song in its honor.

On the other hand, the street between Ipswich and Kilmarnock should probably be called Jersey.

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No worries

I don't have a firm opinion either way on its name but you are right in that it is a recent (by Boston standards) change.

Also, just to be clear, I wasn't trying to be smarmy with my subject line, that was the slogan of an ad campaign for the Globe years ago.

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well...

... I SHOULD have remembered this (but I'm getting olde and forgetful). ;-)

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And nothing can ever change

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And nothing can ever change because why? It hurts noone but makes some feel better, because what things symbolize matters.

But you say so adamantly NEVER change it...why??

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Money talks.... If the City

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Money talks.... If the City of Boston changes the street nwme from yawkey way to something else Red Sox organization will stop giving money to city of boston charities.

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We can't wipe away history

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Somewhere there is a line which determines what is OK and what is not. If there was a Hitler Avenue, most of us would agree that it should be renamed. However, since determining where that line is can be maddening, I'd be inclined to leave things alone until it's obvious that it's no longer OK.

Things are named for people because, at the time, they seemed worthy of the honor. Subsequent discoveries of skeletons in the closet shouldn't necessarily be grounds for removing someone's name.

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Right after

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we rename Malcolm X Blvd.

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Yes, because Malcolm X was at

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Yes, because Malcolm X was at one point against integration, just like Yawkey! EXCEPT that he changed his mind. And even his own words explain his former view, and other black anti-integrationists perfectly.

MALCOLM X: I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being, neither white, black, brown nor red. When you are dealing with humanity as one family, there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being, or one human being living around and with another human being. I may say, though, that I don't think the burden to defend any such position should ever be put upon the black man. Because it is the white man collectively who has shown that he is hostile towards integration and towards intermarriage and towards these other strides towards oneness. So, as a black man, and especially as a black American, I don't think that I would have to defend any stand that I formerly took. Because it's still a reaction of the society and it's a reaction that was produced by the white society. And I think that it is the society that produced this that should be attacked, not the reaction that develops among the people who are the victims of that negative society.

Source(s):
The Pierre Berton Interview
Malcolm X, Pierre Berton
January 19, 1965
www.malcolm-x.org

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According to Adam and his

According to Adam and his similar thinkers, it's an impossibility for anyone one who isn't Caucasian to be racist. Even though Malcolm X was... One...

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How so?

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How so?
I don't recall Malcolm X supporting keeping another entire race as pets and \ or target practice.. did I miss that lesson?

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According to Adam and his

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According to Adam and his similar thinkers, it's an impossibility for anyone one who isn't Caucasian to be racist.

"Serious" Conservative Thought.

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Wow. As hectic as this forum

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Wow. As hectic as this forum can get sometimes, this may be the most racist post I've seen on here. You sir, have a long way to go. Sadly I'm sure you'd rather revel in ignorance.

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Matter of time

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You can't scrub history of its nastiness, but renaming Yawkey isn't exactly the tallest task in the world - nor is "Yawkey" a historic name in any way. We all knew he was a racist, and even those (like me) who were born well after his time knew it as well.

But if the street/MBTA station is going to be renamed (and I think it should), can we PLEASE just switch the name back to Jersey St and the Jersey St Station (or Jersey-Fenway Park, or something...). Erasing a monument to Yawkey isn't going to rile me, but trying to atone for Yawkey's sin is foolish. Melnea Cass was a great citizen of Boston and I can;t think of worse way of honoring her than naming the most godawful street in Boston after her (a street whose construction also incurred the destruction of the homes of people Cass fought for). I'm guessing if any pol takes this up, they'll want the political points for renaming it, but ffs can we just make a simple and easy change for once.

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Easy fix

We should just rename it Yankee way. That ought to make people feel better.

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Still naming?

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Didn't know this was a resent change.

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Great article, please city

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Great article, please city council and mayor, get on this. Renaming Jersey street to Yawkey way when we knew what he stood for (racism), and that his actions, and the city celebrating them, have been a black eye for all of us Bostonians. And its not about being sensitive, freaking out because people wish you happy holidays instead of Merry Christmas is being sensitive, honoring a racist that was an aberration, not the norm (last owner to integrate) was a mistake at the time that needs to be fixed.

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Yawkey name elsewhere

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The Yawkey Foundation is a major funder of numerous local institutions that bear the Yawkey name (Roxbury B&G's Club and Family Inn at Children's, to name two). So many stakeholders, many potential complications. I am not necessarily against the name removal, especially from the B&G's Club, considering the cover-up allegations Adam is referring to. But I doubt there is going to be a rush to upset a major donor.

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Here's a spin on the other Yawkeys

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They represent good things Jean and maybe Tom did for the City of Boston and its residents of all races, creeds, yada yada yada.

The former Jersey Street was named after someone who refused to integrate his baseball team until after ever other team had realized that Negros could play ball. That fact, along with some other poor management decisions, left Boston with a mediocre baseball club that had the occasional (1946, 1967, 1975, 1986 non-World Series champs) flashes of excellence.

So keep everything else in honor of the charitable trust and all the good it did, but it might be time for the team and city to part company with the name as it relates to the baseball team.

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There's also a Yawkey

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There's also a Yawkey Ambulatory Care Center at Boston Medical Center. Should we change that also?

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No

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I believe the BMC motto is "exceptional care without exception." I'm sure Jean is looking down from heaven and Tom is looking from wherever he is proud of that legacy.

City Hospital would have treated Jackie Robinson, Sam Jethroe, Satchel Paige, or any baseball player. The mediocre Red Sox were a bit more selective.

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The former Jersey Street was

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The former Jersey Street was named after someone who refused to integrate his baseball team until after ever other team had realized that Negros could play ball.

Not to mention, because we missed out on Jackie Robinson due to Yawkey, it's not like he was even good at owning the baseball team.

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Annnnnd I just realized this

Annnnnd I just realized this was already brought up in the linked story. I need to start clicking those links before commenting.

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How about the widow?

Let's change everything to "Jean R. Yawkey Way," or just leave everything just plain "Yawkey" and pretend it was in her honor all along. As far as I know, she was a fine, upstanding, lovely, charitable woman in every way. Might we be more comfortable honoring her legacy rather than her late husband's?

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If you wanted to save having to print new signs

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Couldn't you just rename the street after Jean Yawkey? AFIAK, there isn't really racial controversy around her, she owned the Sox for 25 years, and she did quite a bit for charity.

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Adrian Walker should stop

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Adrian Walker should stop living in the past and get over it. This trolling clickbait column over a guy that's been dead for almost 40 years. Even Walker's liberal buddies on MSNBC have the motto "Lean Forward"

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Caution: Godwinization ahead

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So because he's been dead 40 years we should just forget it? Hitler's been dead a lot longer than that. And last I checked, none of the people who led the South into the Civil War are still around.

Contrariwise, if he's been dead 40 years, why keep naming something after him? Who can even remember who he was?

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perspective

Perhaps the Southern bit will put it in perspective: they still have roads, highways, buildings, etc., etc., named after Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis and the like in the South. Do we want to be in that kind of company, knowingly honoring someone who resisted integration until he was powerless to prevent it any longer?

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Foul! Use of Hitler as a

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Foul! Use of Hitler as a comparison to not signing Jackie Robinson: Ten day suspension.

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Unless you dig into it ,

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Unless you dig into it , Yawkey Way was named in association with the location of Fenway Park. Who here remembers 1976 , or even Pumpsie Green? This street naming is not being done now , its been done.There was no mention on this site of yesterday Devember 7 . Yet there is mention of Trump and his thinking of the terror situation. Everyone criticizes but no one offers a sound plan.Just like WWII , there are parallels , and the situation will get ugly no matter what. Carry on , be productive !

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The hidden history of Massachusetts

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Written by Tingba Apidta should serve as the guide to remove the names of slave owners and those who murdered Native Americans from the MBTA , City streets and public parks. The problem is according to the Author we would have to change hundreds of streets signs and the names of most of the train stations in the city of Boston.

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May be a side benefit

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Do the Sox have permission to rent "Yawkey Way" during games or a specifically defined area? If we rename it can we get out of the apparently one-sided sweetheart lease that Tom Menino gave them as an everlasting memory to bureaucratic incompetence - or worse?

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My only guess is because

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My only guess is because gargantuan sums of moolah were involved in the numerous transactions.

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The smart thing for the MBTA

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The smart thing for the MBTA to do would be to name the commuter rail station Fenway and change the D line stop to Landmark this way fans stop over crowding D line trains thinking they need to go to Fenway and not Kenmore.

and dont give me cost, the new maps will need to be updated when Government Center re opens. And the new T map sucks anyway since it makes the C line have a crazy jog in it when its the branch that is actually straight, it makes the Yawkey stop look like its inbound compared to Kenmore, and it makes the D line look shorter than the B and C lines when in fact its much longer.

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And the new T map sucks

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And the new T map sucks anyway since it makes the C line have a crazy jog in it when its the branch that is actually straight, it makes the Yawkey stop look like its inbound compared to Kenmore, and it makes the D line look shorter than the B and C lines when in fact its much longer.

Three words - Not To Scale

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Landsdowne sent Irish tenants on Coffin Ship

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Still there is a faux Irish Bar with the same name on the *other* side of Fenway Park, LANDSDOWNE STREET.

Let's boot all racist names.

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Change it!

And, while we're at it, here's a few more changes I propose:

MA State Flag - Replace Indian with Pajama Boy.

South Boston - Too much history. Rename SoBo by the Sea and let's all move on with our lives.

MFA - Kimonos. Rename Millenials For Asylum, Boston's largest designated safe space.

JFK Library - How can any woman not have a trigger warning when seeing a building named after this serial womanizer? Rename Elizabeth Warren Cherokee Heritage Library and Museum.

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You think you are clever

I'm sure these "jokes" go over well with the old guys at the K of C, but I wouldn't quit my day job if I were you.

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Thanks!

I'm really not trying to be clever, but rather point of the absurdity of the whole thing. Are kids these days going to Fenway for the first time and leaving angry because a street was named after some old jerk off from South Carolina who buried the team for decades? Is that how you feel? What an exhausting way to exist.

This country was founded and run by hateful bigots for generations - shall we dig up every hint of racism by anyone who has had something named after them and waste time/effort/money into changing it? This world would be a much better place if people focused on their own lives and didn't sit around worrying about a street named after Tom fucking Yawkey.

Oh, FYI, I'm only 32 and not Catholic, so the K of C is outside my demo, but maybe I should sue them on the grounds of religious discrimination.

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Right.

And, there's plenty of evidence that shows what a pompous, sanctimonious asshole you are.

Ugh, why am I contributing to another time that you hijack a thread and make it all about you?

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No

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I don't think she made it all about her at all. Rather, she simply stated that you're putting your lack of perspective and inability to see or consider another viewpoint on full display.

And who cares about any sort of romanticism about Yawkey? There's this whole 'curse' thing looming over his tenure, anyway. So what's the big deal if it gets changed? And, if it removes any bitter tastes in the mouths of those who are aware of his racist practices, isn't that for the better?

Otherwise, all you're doing is practicing apologetics.

No, I don't self-identify as any sort of SJW, but I still find it pretty disgusting how there are so many things named after prominent Confederate Generals and figures south of the Mason-Dixon.

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Keep going

Your replies are turning this thread into repeat measures data rather quickly.

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Add getting rid of East

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Add getting rid of East Berkeley , make it Dover street again !!!!!!!!

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Or at least get rid of the parking

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on both sides of East Berkeley between Washington and Harrison. That thoroughfare is far too busy to be one lane outside of rush hour. It's always congested, narrowing from three travel lanes to one for that short stretch. The patrons of J.J. Foley's can park around the corner on Washington or Harrison.

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I would be willing to bet...

You can probably take any street named after a family and find racism, especially those named after families local to Boston before 1900. You might have to research a little harder than overt racist Yawkey but you will find it. JFK is practically the patron saint of Boston but he had a complicated history with race as well as being a horrible sexist.

My point is that humans are flawed and heroes will let you down. Maybe we shouldn't name things after humans or maybe we should accept that people have flaws and we shouldn't get our panties in a bunch because of a street name. If you go around being offended by everything you see you're going to be an unhappy person.

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I will always be grateful to Bill Weld for

naming it the Ted Williams Tunnel. With apologies to the heirs of Mssrs. Callahan and Sumner, it was a tremendous break from naming stuff for historically minor local officials. Orr and Bird need a highway or bridge or tunnel named after them, too.

The change from Jersey Street to Yawkey Way was pretty recent in my memory. The old man was a notoriously hateful old bigot, to the detriment of the local nine; I like the idea of renaming it for his much nicer wife.

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Why Jersey in the first place?

Googling did not reveal any link between the Earl of Jersey and the early days of Boston. ;-) (Not that Jersey Street would date back to colonial times in any event).

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Fanciful and arbitrary

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The key was that it started with J. It's part of the alphabetical streets starting with Arlington ending at Kilmarnock. My gut is that it was evocative if Britian, perhaps as an anti-Irish thing (they did build the Back Bay to allow old time Bostonians to get away from the Papist hordes). So Jersey makes as much sense as Hereford.

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Um, I pre-edited that

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Kilmarnock is on the isle of Britain, though I did type England as the location a few times only to correct myself right away.

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"Kolmamock"?

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It's Kilmarnock, not "Kilmamock", wherever that is.

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There was a Robert Burns

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There was a Robert Burns statue in the Back Bay Fens which was stolen by Mayor White and given to a wealthy developer in Winthrop Square in the 1970s. When the statue was placed in the Fenway the streets were just being laid out and names from Robert Burns' writings were used.

Burns was the Scottish rival to Boyle O'Reily whom also had a statue placed around the same time in the Fenway.

The sculptors of both statues were rivals, the literary figures were rivals, and the ethnic groups were rivals.

Essentially a classy Boston cultural pissing contest when the new neighborhood was laid out.

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Callahan had more an impact

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Callahan had more an impact on Boston's core functioning the Ted Williams, the impact of the two aren't even remotely comparable - Callahan was that much more important. Aside from Bulfinch, Henry Whitney, or maybe George Bancroft it's hard to to think of any individual that shaped Boston's infra and experience more than Callahan. The Ted is easy to say, but it's a ridiculous name.

Why we need to name streets, tunnels, stations after people is another question - the hell was wrong with just straight-up descriptive names.

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BIG PAPI WAY

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There. Done.

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Yes! This!

Takes care of all the problematic issues, right?

In smaller letters underneath: "This is our fucking street"!

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Today I learned Yawkey way

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Today I learned Yawkey way was named after some guy! Who I guess was a racist.

Is it bad to honor racists? Probably. Is this as significant as all the places named after Robert Lee and Jefferson Davis, who are still taught about in school and who everyone's heard of? Probably not. Boston's a relatively young and transient town. So on the one hand while I can see how it would be upsetting to ask 'why's it called Yawkey way' and look the guy up and find out he was human garbage, I also can't see that many people actually asking about it.

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Remember when congressional

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Remember when congressional republicans renamed the french fries "Freedom Fries" because France didnt think invading Iraq was a good idea, and conservatives cheered them on? That is being sensitive and stupid. Renaming a street back to its old name instead of the relatively more recent name of a racist that helped give Boston a reputation for bigotry seems like a smart idea.

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Why are we still naming a

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Why are we still naming a street and train stop after a noted racist?

Because there are a lot of racists still left in Boston that fear the fact that Boston owning up to past mistakes means they feel increasingly powerless. Some white men especially (Trump/Baker supporter types) have this idea that giving equal opportunity and power to women, minorities (who make up the majority of Boston) and non christians comes at their expense. It doesnt, of course.

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You mean people that voted

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You mean people that voted for Baker are racists?

Do you have any citations for any of your claims? Or, are you just blowing it out your ass as I suspect?

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I wouldn't consider this hard proof

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Nor am I posting this to try to damn those registered as Republican/GOP voters (it certainly doesn't paint a pretty picture of Democrats, either)...

But since you asked for it, and coincidentally, FiveThirtyEight just posted an article on Trump, and 2014 Pew Research poll on how GOP/Democratic voters view different groups of people on a scale of 0 to 100. For the GOP, the average rating for Muslims was 33% (Democrats, as said, 47%). Atheists were higher by only a point for GOP voters.

Here's the source if you want to read more: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/donald-trump-muslim-religion/?ex_cid...

And I urge you to read some of the other associated data that was collected from a poll of GOPers who likely chose to respond (so, normal biases, such as active participation, rather than compulsory, may apply).

You can get butthurt all you want about people generalizing and using stereotypes. But, well, ya know, it sucks when they're using them against you, innit?

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I am still trying to figure

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I am still trying to figure out how a multiple choice exam can be discriminatory ..........

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