What’s in a name?

by Terry Niebeling, University student

Protestors recently rallied outside the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis against the Washington football team’s nickname, the Redskins.

The name change argument is central to the nation’s growth and supporting equality. However, those same activists have overlooked the name change of a city landmark that is similarly disparaging: Lake Calhoun.

Why focus on a national topic when you could try to fix something local?

Lake Calhoun is a city landmark named in honor of former Secretary of War, Vice President and S.C. Sen. John Calhoun. Calhoun promoted slavery and spent his political career fighting abolitionism.

Yet, we do nothing to change the name. We stand outside the Metrodome taking photos behind signs while Lake Calhoun’s name safely continues.

For living in this progressive city, I feel this name is an embarrassment. As citizens, we have a right to protect the idea of equality within our community, not just those of nationwide spectacles. For the past three years, since I found the true origin of the name of Lake Calhoun (thanks to Matthew Carhart, a history professor at Minneapolis Community and Technical College), I have seen nothing change.