I don’t know if you heard, but two identical looking HOAs are being built right next to each other. They look the same, have the same style and quality of houses and the homes in each community cost exactly the same.
OK, there is one difference though. In the first community, the streets are simply labeled by numbers and letters. The second community decided to name their streets. They used some unusual names though. Fidel Castro Way, Hitler Avenue, Mussolini Drive, Stalin Court, and Bin Ladin Street.
How many of you are outraged at the names of the streets in community two, and would rather live in community one? If you would rather live in Community One and are outraged, perhaps you can understand the feelings of those persons who are sickened by the fact that in real life, their city streets are named after people who fought a war to overthrow the government of the United States, make slavery the law of the land and were willing to die in that war so that blacks remained property and were to be kept in chains.
Of course history is important. But not all history is good history, or history to be proud of. The evil persons named in the paragraph above are all part of history. So what? Why is that reason enough to have the honor of a street named after any of them? Be honest……..What would happen if today in Aventura, a street was named Hitler Avenue? Suppose Hialeah named a street after Castro? The politicians in those cities would have to run and hide. Demonstrations would be massive and ultimately, that street would be renamed. And rightfully so. Why is it any different for a black person to feel the same way about any soldier who fought to keep slavery the law of the land, that a Jewish person feels about Hitler? Or that a Cuban person feels about Castro?
We talk and talk and talk in this blog about how to make our communities a better and more harmonious place to live. If it truly offends a large segment of the community that a street is named after a person who preached slavery and hatred, what’s the harm in changing the name of the street? Why is it a big deal? The City of Hollywood, Florida is voting to change the names of lots of streets who were named after Civil War Confederates because that Commission thought it was appropriate and the names of the streets were offensive to many of its citizens.
Here is what I know…….. The door has now been opened it will be a difficult door to close. There may be streets in your HOA or city that were named after persons in history who sought segregation and oppression and there will be requests to rename those streets. You can count on it. The question is……..how do you plan to deal with it?