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Old 12-03-2017, 11:04 AM   #1
Joel N. Weber II
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Rosa Parks Boulevard

It appears that the street that is used for much of the length of the SL4/SL5, 42, and 34 buses is named after the first slave owner to be president of this country, and I don't think slave owners deserve to be honored by having streets named after them.

Since this street carries several important bus routes, I think that naming it after a famous bus rider would be appropriate, and therefore I think we should change the name of this street to Rosa Parks Boulevard.
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:06 PM   #2
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

"Washington" may mean something to you and me but to most people, it's the name of a street, like Lafayette.
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:33 PM   #3
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

And so it begins...
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Old 12-03-2017, 02:28 PM   #4
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

Technically John Hanson was the first slave owning president. Yet he came to power because the winning general eschewed the office of dictator, and Hanson is so forgettable because some other guys figured out how to make Continental democracy work. Maybe work on un-naming the John Hanson Highway first.

Me? I have a special place in my heart for victorious generals who eschew the office of dictator or Duke, and presidents who say no to being king and /or champion term limits. I'd name a street after a guy like that any day.
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:29 PM   #5
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
Technically John Hanson was the first slave owning president. Yet he came to power because the winning general eschewed the office of dictator, and Hanson is so forgettable because some other guys figured out how to make Continental democracy work. Maybe work on un-naming the John Hanson Highway first.

Me? I have a special place in my heart for victorious generals who eschew the office of dictator or Duke, and presidents who say no to being king and /or champion term limits. I'd name a street after a guy like that any day.
+1

If we're really going to go through this stuff with a fine tooth comb, you tend to realize people aren't as perfect as you idolize them to be.

George ain't perfect, but there's something to be said for the guy who led us to independence and verified that the US constitution was a functional foundation of government.
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:17 PM   #6
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

There's also an argument that could be made that we have a bunch of different streets that have the same name:
  • the street 42 (and the not-34E version of 34, and much of SL4/SL5) run along
  • the street 86 follows from Sullivan to Union Sq
  • the street 57 follows from Oak Sq to Brighton Center
  • just to the north of Cary Sq, there's a street 111 follows, and then to the south of that where 111 crosses the Charles, it's a street named after that person with North before it
  • the street 220/221/222 use to approach Quincy Center

So this proposal does have benefits in moving towards more unique and less ambiguous street names.
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:25 PM   #7
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

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Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
Maybe work on un-naming the John Hanson Highway first.
I'm focusing on things that are somewhat local, although if I was really focused on what is local to me, the street from Union Sq to Sullivan that 86 follows might be the thing to focus on first. However, if we're going for unique names, I think the SL4/SL5/42/34 street is more important than the 86 street, and if we end up putting Rosa Parks' name on only one or the other, I'd like her to get the SL4/SL5/42/34 street, and I really haven't thought about what I want the 86 street called.
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:58 PM   #8
bakgwailo
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

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Originally Posted by Joel N. Weber II View Post
There's also an argument that could be made that we have a bunch of different streets that have the same name:
That is one of the little charm's Boston - why would we want to get rid of it?
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:13 AM   #9
Justin7
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

Is this thread for real? I thought this was only used as a slippery slope argument by those in favor of honoring leaders of the confederacy.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:40 AM   #10
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

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Is this thread for real? I thought this was only used as a slippery slope argument by those in favor of honoring leaders of the confederacy.
Who can tell, these days? There are people who object to Washington and Jefferson being honored, on these exact grounds, despite their other virtues.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:14 PM   #11
Proposition Joe
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

The world does need significantly less monuments to Washington and the rest of the founding fathers and we have a million Washington Streets.

Not really feeling Rosa Parks as a street name for on of our most important streets though? Not local and she didn't do anything here.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:05 AM   #12
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

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The world does need significantly less monuments to Washington and the rest of the founding fathers and we have a million Washington Streets.
Wholeheartedly disagreed.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:50 AM   #13
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

OK, straight up: I want my founding fathers' monuments.

Before about 1840, history is pretty much slavery or serfdom all the way down. Boston was financing slaves-molasses-rum and providing the ships and insurance until it turns to whaling, the drug trade (China Trade == opium), and the exploitation of factory workers.

I'll freely stipulate that everyone before 1840, if they were not slave or serf, that they were either oppressor or accomplice--Franklin and Adams knew that they had traded away the slave's hopes [in exchange for white folks'] independence. Had we remained British, slavery would have been abolished in 1833, so we got 30 extra years of slavery as the fruit of independence. It stinks and Franklin and Adams, both abolitionists at heart, knew what they'd done, even if they couldn't have said exactly how many extra years they were giving slavery.

Slavery and slave profits pervaded everything, followed by 50 years of whale-killing, drug peddling, factory disasters and adulterated goods. It's all exploitation until you get to Teddy Roosevelt (when a tiny ray opens, that is still too narrow)

So somewhere around 1910, its worth asking "how did s/he make her/his money?" Before that your choices are to remember the relatively-better people (nobody's perfect), or act like we're all victims or amnesiacs (when, the reality is, evolutionarily, we're all descendants of relative winners-- we're the offspring of the slaves & serfs who didn't starve. Serfdom and slavery's truest victims left no descendants, not us, maybe because our fore-dad killed the family in the next hut and took their food?)

And it is probably safe to assume that in their private lives they were somewhere between exploitive employers (Disney) or adulterers (MLK Jr, Kennedys, Eisenhower, FDR...) or bad fathers (John Adams, by modern standards, anyway)

And yet in every corrupt age, some will stand apart from their peers for their bravery, or democratic ideas, virtue, or advancement of technology. I'm going to ask that we name some streets for these people, particularly those who advanced democracy --however imperfectly and haltingly--at a time when it was thought to be somewhere between regicide and suicide.
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Old 12-06-2017, 03:45 PM   #14
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

^ +1 great post.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:51 AM   #15
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
1910
I wouldn't go this far, but otherwise well said.
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Old 12-10-2017, 07:23 PM   #16
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

If you want to get rid of monuments to racism in Boston, it's best to start with the statues and buildings named for Mayor Curley and his cronies who created the toxic racial climate of the second half ot he 20th century
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Old 12-10-2017, 07:26 PM   #17
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

If you want to get rid of monuments to racism, there will almost be no statues or memory of history left. Is that what we want?
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:35 AM   #18
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

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If you want to get rid of monuments to racism, there will almost be no statues or memory of history left. Is that what we want?
A statue of Washington is not a monument to racism.
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:19 PM   #19
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

lol at putting adultery or being a bad father on the same footing as slaveholding. Nobody's perfect and it's true that there would be no one left to uphold if we had to overturn every stone in their private lives, but come on. One can say "I still choose to revere the likes of Washington" without pretending he and King or Kennedy had the same impact on the lives of those in their direct charge. One can weigh their lives and find the balance positive without making that conflation.
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:06 PM   #20
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Re: Rosa Parks Boulevard

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A statue of Washington is not a monument to racism.
I agree, but some have been saying out there in media-land that it is. I don't want to get into too much of a political discussion on this fine architectural site. I just hope the historical context of the times that these people lived in and were formed in is acknowledged. Banishing historical figures because they deviate from today's standards seems a bit over the top.
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