Bike shop erases Calhoun name

There’s one fewer Calhoun around Lake Calhoun.

MinnPost reports that Calhoun Cycle in Uptown has ditched the name and taken on Perennial Cycle instead. It’s a rejection of any honor for John C. Calhoun, after whom the lake is named even though he was an ardent segregationist, developed the plan for forced removal of Native American tribes, and defended slave owners.

“Three and a half years ago, my wife did a civil rights tour in Alabama and Tennessee, mostly, and it just opened our eyes to a lot of things that we had been unaware of, and the level of white supremacy that continues now,” owner Luke Breen tells MinnPost. “It’s embedded in our laws, it’s embedded all over the place, and [John C. Calhoun] is the one who stands tall in that white-privilege world. His connection to Minnesota was designing Fort Snelling. He spent next to no time in Minnesota.”

“But when this event came up, I put the poster on our Facebook page, and we immediately got a comment like, ‘More leftist politically correct B.S.,’ which we deleted. Then a longtime customer of ours said, ‘The day that this happens is the last day I will be a customer of yours.’ And I didn’t see that coming. That hurt. But it was totally something I could handle. I said, ‘Thanks for all the years with us, John. I’ve got pictures of you 15 years ago doing a fun ride with us, sorry to see it end.’ And that was it. I don’t necessarily feel badly for him, or feel badly for me, we just have a difference of opinion. I think he’s wrong, but …”

At a party last night celebrating the name change, Breen said his focus isn’t on what the name is. It’s on what the name isn’t.