I’m not pissed at the court. It is entirely likely that their ruling was fully supported by Minnesota Law and their job is to uphold what is legally right. Not was is morally correct. So they did their job.
The lake currently known as Bde Mke Ska was previously named Lake Calhoun. It was named after the 7th Vice President of the United States, John C Calhoun. Calhoun was not from Minnesota (he was from South Carolina) and was a strong proponent of slavery (as I said – he was from South Carolina).
If you’d like to know what he thought about slavery, this just about sums it up:
Calhoun asserted that slavery, rather than being a “necessary evil,” was a “positive good,” benefiting both slaves and slave owners.
Before the lake was named after Calhoun, it was called Bde Mke Ska. That’s what the locals called it before the locals got told they didn’t live here any more and were told to pack up their things and move to land the people with guns didn’t think was worth anything so they were OK with people they didn’t give a shit about living there. They figured if the land turned out to be worth something, they could make the former locals move again. Because they still had most of the guns.
So the DNR and the City of Minneapolis decided the change the name back to Bde Mke Ska. Their reasoning was the name Lake Calhoun was actually a slap in the face to both black people and native Americans. Which it was. It was also kind of a slap in the face to Minnesotans seeing as Calhoun was, as I mentioned, from South Carolina.
Not everyone was thrilled about this change. And that’s OK because you are totally allowed to not give a fuck about black people or Native Americans or Minnesotans because you’ve called it Lake Calhoun for your entire life and why should you have to change?
So a venture Capitalist asshole named Tom Austin decided he hated being “bullied” by “elites” (because black people and Native Americans have historically been super elite) so he filed a lawsuit to change the name back. And he won. Because the court of appeals determined the Legislature needed to make the name change and not the DNR.
Here’s what pissed me off about Tom Austin and all the people who are thrilled that they won this court case – it didn’t fucking matter to them. If the name had never been Lake Calhoun, they wouldn’t have cared that the name was Bde Mke Ska. They just would have called the lake Bde Mke Ska.
And if someone had decided to change the name to Lake Calhoun, they would have fought that because they don’t like it when names change.
But the name Lake Calhoun was hurtful to people. So the decision was made to change it back to a name that was not. Because we’ve figured some shit out and we’re trying to do better.
Austin wasted taxpayer money on a lawsuit that didn’t fucking matter to him. He was just pissed off because he didn’t want to remember a new name and because he didn’t want to be reminded that white people in America have done some really shitty things. I mean, Tom Austin never owned slaves. And he never forced Native Americans off their lands. Why should he have to learn a new name (actually it was an old name but whatever) when none of that was his fault?
So now it is probably up to the legislature to make things right. And they probably won’t. Let me tell you why!