West Valley City has decided to rename that strip of 3100 South as Rosa Parks Drive, and on November 15th, 2012, a group of community members led by City Councilman Corey Rushton assembled at the corner of 1355 West and 3100 South to formally dedicate the stretch. Rushton explained that it was a "natural fit" for several different reasons; it is located close to the city’s cultural center, and the name is considered emblematic of the "diversity" found in the city’s 132,000 residents. Rushton even opined that if Parks resided in Utah, she would live in West Valley City because of the city's diversity and culture. About 55 percent of West Valley City’s population is White, 33 percent Latino, five percent Asian, four percent Pacific Islander, and only two percent Black (the Tribune erroneously published 65 percent White). The local media seemed distinctly unimpressed by this story, as only the liberal Salt Lake Tribune, which endorsed Obama before the election, bothered to report on it. Update: On November 16th, KSL Channel 5 finally reported on it:
NAACP Salt Lake President Jeanetta Williams set the whole thing in motion seven years ago when she approached the West Valley City Council about naming a street after Rosa Parks. In 1992, Williams first brought Parks to Utah. Parks, who died in 2005, presented the state’s first Rosa Parks Award, an honor handed out each year to a woman who has helped to "Keep the Dream Alive" through efforts and commitments to racial equality in the community. And Williams expressed joy about the renaming of the street, saying "Rosa was an icon and mother of the civil rights movement...Now to have a street named after she passed...it is a proud moment." Of course, the record of Rosa Parks has been sanitized and glorified.
It is not anticipated that the average per capita income of black Utahns will rise by a single penny or that the average test scores for black Utah students will rise by a single point as a result of the street renaming. But then again, the NAACP has always been about symbolism rather than substance. Some readers may not be aware that the NAACP was NOT started by Blacks; it was started by a Jewish-dominated group in 1909. In fact, the first Black president of the NAACP wasn't elected until 1975, although Blacks had been serving as the organization's national secretary for years. The Vanguard News Network has a list of prominent Jews associated with the NAACP.
Utah also renamed two more streets out of political correctness a while back. In 1993, Salt Lake City overlaid the name Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. on that section of 600 South from 600 West to 1350 East. By the way, I also just noticed that they overlaid the name Cesar Chavez Blvd. on that section of 500 South from 600 West to 500 East; this took place in 2002. In both cases, it's merely an honorary designation; most locals use the traditional name.
However, renaming cities and streets is historically a symbol of conquest by outsiders. In 1975, after the North Vietnamese conquered South Vietnam, the victors renamed Saigon as Ho Chi Minh City. But at least the South Vietnamese put up a fight; not only are we not putting up a fight, but our leaders are aiding and abetting the process. Surrendering without firing a shot. Perhaps that's why the Utah Secession Petition has 7,747 signatures as of this post.
A couple of commenters to the Tribune are unhappy with the event:
really_disqus November 15th 8:30 P.M:
Because Rosa Parks lived in west valley city. Good grief. Liberal symbolism is beyond stupid.
constitutionist November 15th 5:30 P.M:
Did a search in West Valley City for streets named Lincoln, Washington, Franklin, Adams and Hamilton. Didn't find any. I guess West Valley City doesn't care about your demographics if you're white, huh?
Some commenters to KSL are also unhappy:
UtahMilitia posted 6 hours ago:
Already, there are numerous streets in America named after Rosa Parks.
So, instead of honoring someone who "gave up their seat"....
How about honoring those peace officers who "gave up their lives" in the name of upholding the law in Utah...
Here's a few from just 2010 / 2011:
* Trooper Aaron Beesley
* Master Police Officer Jared Francom
* Deputy Josie Greathouse Fox
* Sergeant Franco Aguilar
* Officer Joshua Yazzie
* Deputy Brian Harris
There's a list of 100 fallen Utah peace officers that would deserve this dignity.
Allen R. posted 5 hours ago:
This to me is a Joke!...With there being so many famous people or Heroic americans who have impacted our society we name 3100 south after her? How about naming the street after some of our fallen war heroes? This race thing has gotten out of hand...we already have a '' Martin Luther King Blvd '' in every major city...Rosa Parks stood up for herself, we are all proud of her, but name an entire street after her?...Ill never travel down 3100 south again!