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Man launches fast to get Faneuil Hall's name changed

Greg Cook reports on Kevin Peterson's fast to have the historic hall get renamed for somebody other than a slave owner.

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Bostonians have been boycotting Fan'l Hall and Quincy Market for years.

You've already won guy.

The irony of doing a hunger strike for a place that most people associate as being a huge food court is pretty funny.

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But Crispus Attucks Hall has a nice ring to it.

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Bleep you Patrick Carr, Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, and James Caldwell, you guys aren't as politically convenient for us to feel good right now, despite being killed too for the same cause (or being drunk guys egging on and throwing crap at the cops too, like Crispus)?

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Here is a man who seems VERY angry about the "blackening" of his America.

Faneuil Hall being named after a slave owner doesn't trigger him, but the mere thought of it being named after a black man killed in the Boston Massacre (when whites were also killed!) clearly sets him off.

Spotting the closet racists is becoming far too easy these days.

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If you are going to rename Fanueil Hall after Crispus Attucks, then you leave the other 4 adrift.

Calm down. You are jumping to do many conclusions. See below.

Besides - "My America" started in the 1960's. Name it what you want. It has a nice museum on the top floor and the most annoying break dancing crew on the planet outside.

There is a Cromwell Road in Hyde Park and Cromwell CT named for a guy that beat the life and livelihoods out of my ancestors. Meh. Whatever.

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I would've been willing to give you a shred of doubt about your true viewpoints and intentions, had you left out the part about

"drunk guys egging on and throwing crap at the cops too, like Crispus"

The fact is, there are conflicting eyewitness accounts regarding Crispus' involvement in the Massacre, so we'll never know for sure – but you chose to latch onto the thought that he was attacking British soldiers. Is that because he was black (or more specifically, mulatto)?

Since we're "leaving others adrift", it's probably important to point out nearly all of the antagonizers the night of March 5, 1770 were white.

I see who you are. Most of us here see who you are.

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So, we don't know for sure.

The victors write the history (save for Southerners - who have their own very incorrect views).

The court records from March 1770 read like soldiers shooting at protesters who were throwing stuff at them and egging them on. The Brits have a history of shooting at people who don't want them around, but indications are that there were out of control soldiers and out of control protesters. (Remember, there was one British soldier or sailor in Boston for every one adult male in 1770, things were out of hand)

I am still of the belief that things get sanitized and gussied up for the tourist crowd. I am of the opinion that those at Lexington and Concord were today's Trumpies rebelling against the guver'mint. That got cleaned up because their progeny sat down and started reading books and investing in mills that exploited the working class and got rich.

Shay's Rebellion, which also involved a group of country farmers was another Lexington and Concord, except they got their asses kicked by the State, therefore he has a hilly highway and perhaps a school or two named for him.

History is messed up. An attempt to change Faneuil Hall (are we going to change the name of the projects in Brighton too?) might be a noble thing, but it isn't going to change what he did.

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Woooooohoooie! That's a fabulous albeit way tilted comparison.

Actually it is an impossible comparison and therefore a statement that makes no sense.

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Most of them will happily spout off their racist screeds without any prompting. It's up to us to make sure they face consequences for doing so.

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You are a nerd, never forget that. I have to drop into name calling because you initiate it. That's all you have, name calling to offer. Come up with some original thoughts and wit and get back to us.

You are the valium of these boards.

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but thanks for jumping up so quickly when I lit the beacon!

Also, imagine thinking "nerd" is a derogatory term in this, the year of our lord 2020. Did you maybe mean "geek?" That would also show your age, but at least would make sense.

While we're at it, "valium of these boards" also doesn't make a lot of sense, because (1) no one has called the comments section on news stories "boards" since 1989 (2) valium calms anxiety, which I don't think is what you meant. Maybe you were going for Ambien, like I make people sleepy to read because I'm boring?

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But, yes, you are boring and with no original thoughts.

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but do you have issues, guy.

even Fish makes an attempt to couch his screeds in text that he believes equals some kind of "logic". you gunning for his spot or something?

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Using another person's ad hominem attack to justify yours is poor argumentation.

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big up. did peter buy crispus. name change sounds justified.

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So does William Dawes.

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Are getting tiresome.

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You sound triggered by people raising legitimate issues about honoring people who built their forturnes on owning other human beings.

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Slavery is how he “built his fortune”?

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From TFA:

Faneuil Hall was built in 1742 by Peter Faneuil, one of the wealthiest merchants in 18th century Boston, to give it to the city. His money came from a large inheritance from an uncle as well as trade in fish, tobacco, produce, rum, molasses, and enslaved people.

Molasses was the standard cargo on the Eastward leg of slave ships' round-trip.

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Molasses from the Caribbean, rum from New England, enslaved people from Africa.

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Took about 170 odd years, but it stuck back at Boston in January 1919.

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Molasses from the Caribbean, rum from New England, enslaved people from Africa.

Right you are, Ken!

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triangle trade:
thats why our beans are so sweet (sugarcane from haïti in exchange for humans to macheté them from west africa).

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I’m aware, “built” is inaccurate. He was able to own slaves because he was so wealthy, that isn’t how he became wealthy.

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Pretty much anyone who was a merchant in Boston in the 18th Century made their money because of slavery, even if they never owned a single slave.

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And I'm not offended.

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to tell us how "tiresome" it all is.

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One can have an opinion without being offended, so I'll open my pie hole whenever I wish.

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Right. You're defending slave profiteers. We're super clear on all your opinions, both white and wrong.

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both white and wrong

Or did you misspell right?

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whether you’re black, white, asian, hispanic, whatever. you’re consistently a warrior for the status quo, and you’re consistently backwards in your opinion.

you began this thread by complaining about people who have an opinion that’s different from yours, and then pivoted to claim that you’re free to state your opinion, even though it’s different from others on this site.

ironically and in contrast to the people who want statues torn down, it’s not clear that you have any real beliefs - you’re just mad that public opinion is shifting away from your own.

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you’re consistently backwards in your opinion

So if my opinion aligned with yours it wouldn't be backwards?

Do you know how condescending that sounds?

I should probably go to a reeducation camp, huh?

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Truth hurts, huh?

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It's hard to keep up with who is talking to who on here.
Jumping into a thread and saying "truth hurts, huh" is not helpful.

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IM NOT OWNED

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This building behind me is a publicly owned building that we want to have renamed in the city of Boston because it’s named after a slave owner

It's a little more complicated than that. The building was privately paid for, built, and gifted to the city by the slave owner.

More than that, he seems to have bitten off more than he can chew. Few people have an appetite for renaming Boston's 2nd most famous tourist attraction. A more achievable goal might be getting Faneuil Hall's website to acknowledge the background of Mr. Faneuil. Their website is overdue for updates anyways.

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Winthrop Square - Boston, Winthrop Street - Roxbury, the Town of Winthrop. Jonathan Winthrop owned three native American Slaves.

Franklin Street - Boston, The Town of Franklin - Franklin owned two slaves and his paper sold ad for slaves.

Derne Street - Named for the Battle of Denra - An American attempt to start dominating the Middle East through colonial activism.

Congress Street - Congress for years failed to abolish slavery.

Adams Square (The old name for the site in front of Fanueil Hall) Named for Samuel Adams who failed to convince his cousin President John Adams to abolish slavery.

Hanover Street and the Town of Hanover - Named for the British Royal House whose troops killed Crispus Attucks and the apparently 4 much less significant guys on State Street.

The Town of Royalston - Named for Isaac Royal - A man who kept slaves in Medford.

Boylston Street - Joshua Boylston of Brookline owned slaves.

Jackson Square in JP/Roxbury - Well, yup, he was a jackarse of the highest order. Change that.

Malcolm X Boulevard - Named for a petty thief who did time in the Charlestown Prison. Sorry, scratch that, we can't hold one man responsible for a period where he did something wrong and against the mores of society. That would not be right.

Columbus Avenue, Columbus Park, Columbia Road - We've been over that.

While we are at it; Boston. Boston is named for Boston England. Boston England is the England version of Trump Country. The area around Boston voted with the highest percentage for the UK to leave the EU. Brexit we all know is a xenophobic attempt to block out European influence in England.

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You forgot Washington. You know, George. A slave owner, quite a few slaves on his Virginia plantation, and he ordered his overseers to treat them more harshly (to get more work out of them) when his finances started going downhill. Shouldn't we rename Washington, DC? And tear down all his statues?

/s

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Thanks, I've been looking for a good example to illustrate "Reductio ad Absurdum".

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Semper Ubi Sub Ubi buddy.

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You forgot about Costello Circle, almost certainly named after noted philanthropist Frank Costello.

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To Declan Patrick McManus Place - Post Haste!

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...but you can't tell him much.

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It's LeviOsa, not LevioSA

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Please, I am genuinely trying to find answers beyond the hyperbolic crap from both sides.

Is it committing actual genocide of indigenous people? Is it having the majority of your life's work based around slave ownership and exploitation? Is it owning a certain number of slaves? Or just one? Or is it tweeting racial slurs 10 years ago?

Does someone need to be morally pure both in their time and in modern day?

I have heard plenty of people float the idea of renaming the state of Washington, for example as to how non-absurd that list is.
And I have no qualms with expanding the remembrance of past leaders beyond their virtues, but (and as much as I hate to say this) it does evoke some fear of slippery-slope, like cancel culture version 2.0

I'm waiting for someone to articulate a reasonable approach and all I'm hearing is the backlash from the right and left. Or along the lines of "a good time to have this discussion"... So where IS the discussion? Why is everything today so damn political and polarized??

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This is really something. A masterwork of confused history, false equivalencies, intentionally disingenuous points, we-can't-fix-everything-so-let's-give-up-and-fix-nothing, and the odd bit of ironic racism. I'm glad you spent some time on this, though, because it's way easier to point this out to someone unfamiliar with the personalities around here, than it is to round up a bunch of other links.

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I'll kill myself.

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It's lunchtime, I'll go through everything point by point, to provide some--what was it?--original thought and wit?

Winthrop Square - Boston, Winthrop Street - Roxbury, the Town of Winthrop. Jonathan Winthrop owned three native American Slaves.

He sure did. He was also kind of a dick, from all historical record. Let's rename the square and the street; the town will probably never cave to pressure about it, but that doesn't mean we can't try.

Franklin Street - Boston, The Town of Franklin - Franklin owned two slaves and his paper sold ad for slaves.

And then he recanted his beliefs, joined an abolitionist society or three, and freed the two slaves he owned. Not everyone emerges into the world fully woke, but we welcome late converts as well.

Derne Street - Named for the Battle of Denra - An American attempt to start dominating the Middle East through colonial activism.

This is pretty thin gruel, but sure. The Battle of Derna was the decisive fight in the first Barbary War, in which barbary corsairs captured merchant ships and enslaved their crews. To the extent that contemporary morality can be applied to things like early-19th-century colonial powers fighting against each other, I'm going to take the side fighting against piracy and slavery.

Congress Street - Congress for years failed to abolish slavery.

Please go to your room and think about what you have done.

Adams Square (The old name for the site in front of Fanueil Hall) Named for Samuel Adams who failed to convince his cousin President John Adams to abolish slavery.

Ah, I see we've abandoned the conceit that we're talking about renaming things named after historical figures who were actual shitheads, and now we're just going to play Calvinball with Boston's historical elite. I haven't convinced my cousin to stop using meth; does this disqualify me from anything?

Hanover Street and the Town of Hanover - Named for the British Royal House whose troops killed Crispus Attucks and the apparently 4 much less significant guys on State Street.

Agreed. Let's return it to its original name, Orange Tree Lane, and hope no one mistakes it for homage to the current occupant of the White House,.

The Town of Royalston - Named for Isaac Royal - A man who kept slaves in Medford.

Yeah, he was also a shithead. I doubt we're going to get a town that's 99% white to agree to the name change, but tally-ho!

Boylston Street - Joshua Boylston of Brookline owned slaves.

Agreed. No idea why the city is so obsessed with this guy.

Jackson Square in JP/Roxbury - Well, yup, he was a jackarse of the highest order. Change that.

Wrong Jackson. It's named after Henry Jackson, a Revolutionary War general who does not appear to have owned slaves.

Malcolm X Boulevard - Named for a petty thief who did time in the Charlestown Prison. Sorry, scratch that, we can't hold one man responsible for a period where he did something wrong and against the mores of society. That would not be right.

And this is where we reach the end of our journey. Why don't you get yourself an "All Lives Matter" sign and hang it proudly in your front yard, so that your real-life neighbors can have the same insight into your beliefs as we few privileged UHubbers.

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Thanks for doing the heavy lifting. The Malcolm X thing was a joke because he changed his ways, as did Ben Franklin. See my point.

Maybe you need more valium. You seem out of sorts.

Besides, I have already ordered Biden and Markey signs for my lawn, but your nerd Bernie Bro brain can't comprehend such an action.

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You're worse than Fish these days.

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Life would be boring and very North Korean.

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you understand that to leave statues up, to keep the names of buildings in spite of their awful history, etc., is to continue the status quo, right? right?

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why stop there?

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Explanations do not make things right but they are a good compromise when we realize that removing every person who was involved in bad things from our history books and walls would leave us with nothing.

Instead we really need to look at how in line they were with the times and how important they are to the area or item they are named after.

I see Columbus and I do not see him contributing to the areas he gets homage. I see a man who was considered brutal by his counterparts. Why would such a man be honored?

I see the Confederate States and their statues and see that a war was fought , that they lost , after they took up arms against the US. I also see that a huge chunk of that was over slavery and that amazingly enough these statues popped up several decades after the war ended. It would be like if suddenly Germany decided that they wanted to erect statues for Hitler and the Nazis. "Hey its been several decades and this is our heritage" suddenly does not feel that wise.

Then we start diving into the weeds at that point. Do we get rid of everyone who owned slaves? Does that include the Nubian civilization that just got a square named after them?

Context matters and slavery should be mentioned anywhere it happened. I do not think we should erase everyone from history but we also shouldn't shield them fully from our current world view. The same way WWII should include all the "glory" of Normandy but also needs to include the dropping of two nuclear bombs on Japan. Many people never learn about the fire bombing of Tokyo and how much destruction that caused. It is easy to focus on how we were good and broke up the camps but ignore that we also imprisoned innocent Japanese people on the West Coast.

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Explanations do not make things right but they are a good compromise when we realize that removing every person who was involved in bad things from our history books and walls would leave us with nothing.

How about putting all the other people who currently aren't there in "our history books and walls"?

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I'm always conflicted about when something should be renamed vs when it is good to keep it as a reminder of a the past. If something only serves to honor someone whose primary historical significance is negative, it should be removed/renamed. However, a lot of situations are less clear cut.

Should the deciding factor be the answer to the question, "Does this name serve to raise the historical stature of a reasonably offensive person or negatively impact modern people and ethics?". If the answer is "yes", get rid of it. If the answer is "no", it stays (possibly with annotation).

IMO, the answer for confederate statues (in prominent locations, not just memorials at a burial ground) and Columbus statues is "yes". With Faneuil Hall I'd say it's absolutely and clearly "maybe?".

I respect people pushing for the change, but IMO the name is now so far removed from the person that I would prefer to see it used to remind us of MA's checkered past instead of being renamed. I would prefer to see a "slavery in MA" museum right there. While MA fell on the correct side of the Civil War, housed many prominent abolitionists, and generally has a lot to be proud of, it shouldn't be forgotten that most of our success is built on a foundation that was built by slaves and the money from the slave trade.

Of course, that's also an argument that is made about many names and monuments. I don't think the argument is generally flawed, it is often applied in situations where it does not fit. I feel like Faneuil Hall falls just on the side of the line where changing the name is historical censorship and anti-racist activism, but it's a difficult call from the bleachers (aka Malden).

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If only for the reason that I’ve never been able to spell it right.

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According to Samuel Eliot Morrison, it's pronounced like funnel.

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It's not Tho-Ro, It is Thorough.

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It's Thorough, with the emphasis on the first syllable.

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Do I get to be called a nerd now?

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Actually I've heard it pronounced "Fannel Hall", as in rhymes with flannel.

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If only for the reason that I’ve never been able to spell it right.

If you remember that "Faneuil" is one letter off from "Fan Evil", you'll never misspell it again.

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...is why the hell were they erected in the first place? Why were statues erected and places named for the LOSERS of a war? After WW2 people didn't put up statues of Mussolini.

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...over the past few years, quite a lot has been written about this. After WWII people didn't put up statues of Mussolini, but they DID put up statues of Confederate generals, specifically to advance the cause of white supremacy.

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Fine you want to rename everything, go for it, if you think it will make people feel better.

I think it's a bit silly to try to 'erase' something. Does it change anything? Not really. Sure we're no longer paying homage to slave owners, but their history still remains regardless.

Rather than a knee jerk reaction to current events, we need to LEARN something from this, either about these people's pasts so it is well know, or that our history was white washed or something.

So by taking these down or renaming them, what are we learning from this? And how can we use this in the future to educate ourselves, and our children so it doesn't happen again.

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We're learning that right and wrong exist in the world and some wrongs can never be righted but you can damn sure point out the difference and say which side you stand on.

I get that everyone is devoted to the rich white land and slaveowners. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say it's because you learned one name and it's gonna hurt your brain to use another one. Getting older is hell.

But racism is a systemic oppression that is highly active to this day and if we are serious about dismantling it, it is an excellent exercise to think about who we commemorate and what means those fortunes were amassed by.

Slavery is not only America's original sin, we have yet to reckon with it. But reckon we must, especially white people who continue to benefit from racist organizations and systems.

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(on Twitter - @JenAshleyWright)

"Sometimes I wish we knew what happened in Germany in the 1940's but they tore down all the statues so it is impossible."

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Hunger strike. That's one way.

Or maybe just throw a city wide all you can eat BBQ and drum up support for a dude who loves his food.

Way to go Flavortown (nee Columbus), OH

https://twitter.com/thehill/status/1275267100995543041?s=19

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How about fasting for something much more impactful, like improving the state of education in Boston for the improvished, instead of this tripe.

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...YOU get to decide what you're fasting for.

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Changing institutional names is nothing new. The problem that I see is that it's reasonable to assume that the majority of famous names have a dark side. Johns Hopkins specifically refused to allow Jews to attend the university he founded. Should the name Johns Hopkins University then be changed?

How many famous personages have caused great harm against women, Gays, Catholics, and every other group that has been penalized for simply being who they were?

Where is drawn the line that separates people who did such horrible things from people who didn't do quite as horrible things in determining names of places and things?

I agree with removing statuary that celebrates the Confederacy. But not just because of slavery; but also because Confederate leaders used the already existing culture war between the north and south to further their 1% interests by way of a horrific civil war (just like the 1% want today).

I also believe I was better educated by the wall text added by the Worcester Art Museum as part of the description of Colonial portraits.

Changing the name of Faneuil Hall solely on the basis of slave ownership? Or would it be better to balance the name by installing a permanent work such as Steve Locke's Auction Block?

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On that topic about problematic people being allowed to be visible

I was a little confused by the fact that Kevin Hart was front and center at the George Floyd Memorial. :Last we heard from him he was in cultural jail for not seeming to be able to get his wording right involved gay people or letting gay people tell their stories. Now he is up here in the front row in a leadership capacity? He was not a friend, he did not know the guy. Who knows how he got there and why he was there but he was despite his very recent situation.

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Hey, if you don't think chattel slavery is good enough reason to reconsider monuments, buildings and statues, then you should really sit this conversation out. Anyone saying 'yeah, they were involved in slavery BUT' is not someone I respect the opinion of.

Can we not all agree that chattel slavery is one of the most abhorrent things in American history?

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