Should Lake Calhoun be renamed?

Lake Calhoun, Courtesy of Library of Congress.

“Contending that Lake Calhoun’s name symbolizes slavery and racism, more than 1,000 people have signed a petition asking the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to rename the popular lake,” writes MPR News reporter Riham Feshir.

Lake Calhoun was named after John Caldwell Calhoun, a South Carolina statesman, former vice president, senator, secretary of state and proponent of slavery. He is infamously known for preaching slavery as “a positive good” in the 1800s.

Mike Spangenberg, a Minneapolis blogger and activist, started the petition June 20 after an attack in a historic Charleston, S.C., church killed nine people. Prosecutors have charged Dylann Roof, 21, with nine counts of murder.

“While changing the name of a lake will not, in itself, bring an end to injustice,” Spangenberg wrote on change.org, “it can and should be an important step in an ongoing effort to confront our nation’s past and to end systemic racism and oppression today.”

Today’s Question: Should Lake Calhoun be renamed?