Like a pardon, only in reverse


It was bound to happen. On her way out the door as a Portland city commissioner, Amanda Fritz has issued an edict that Custer Park in the Multnomah neighborhood can no longer be called Custer Park, because let's face it, Custer was bad. Since Fritz is in charge of the parks bureau under Portland's quaint "commission" form of "government," I guess she gets to do that unilaterally.

There is no replacement name at the moment, and so the park will be called A Park until further notice.

You can't get more Portland than that.

It's not that hard to change the name of a park. Take down a couple of signs on the property, change a few maps and websites. City Hall can probably bring the job in just short of a million dollars.

But hey, there's also a Custer Street over that way. Shouldn't it get rechristened, too?

As we purge all honorifics to colonizers, watch out. Up next will probably be crazy old John C. Frémont, after whom we have named an interstate freeway bridge and a long street in North and Northeast Portland. There's even a little monument to the guy at 42nd. When we put his Manifest Destiny ass into mothballs, it's going to be a spendy change-over.

I hear Wilson High is ready to get re-baptized as well, and heck, that guy Grant was probably no saint. Tear 'em all down! 

Some of this requires a vote by various politicians, but apparently not parks. And so Custer? Poof! Gone. Done in twice: first by Crazy Horse, then by Nurse Amanda. 

Comments

  1. You know what's really racist and a salute to the colonists who seized this land? The mountains. If you get up to that viewpoint on Council Crest you see these plaques with what are called the original Indian names for the mountains.

    Right away we have a major problem with the phrase "Indian." Are you with me?
    But then you read the native American names for Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and Mt Rainier.
    Mt. Adams native name is Pahtoe or Klickitat.
    Mt. Hood's native name: Wy'east
    You get the drift.

    Oh, one other thing: Council Crest is a ripoff of Native American culture. It's named that because they used to have their councils up there. So we'll need a new name for Council Crest, too.

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  2. Wasn’t Custer just following orders from Jackson or whoever was the Prez at the time? The whole country by and large was behind him so to single him out is strange. Wasn’t he a war hero also? Maybe these parks should had been dedicated to native Americans to begin with as now it just seems petty and reactionary. As if this will change anything 150 years later.

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  3. Glad Portland continues to tackle the big problems

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  4. Watch out Jefferson High School and Jefferson Street...
    Maybe she could change "Nutsy's" First name as well.

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  5. At least we won't have to change the name of the state...unlike our friends to the north. This colonists thing is also just the beginning. When you think about it, what right did we have to evolve here on Planet Earth? Being the dominant species is inherently elitist.

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