There's A New Petition Urging A South Florida County To Change Its Racist Name
Traction is gaining for a petition aimed at getting an entire county's name changed. The Broward County name change petition is circulating on Change.org and has already received more than 1,000 signatures. It joins similar requests in the area.
"The time for action is now," Kyle Hill, the creator of the petition wrote. "Racism and segregation may have been reflective of the past but it certainly does not have to define Broward County's present and future. Let's rename Broward County for something that is more reflective of the area's Native American roots or of the current vibrant and diverse community that Broward County has become."
Hill goes on to say that he got the inspiration to start this petition after the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, saying that "enough is enough," and if people knew the backstory of the county's name, "they would be horrified and ashamed."
The area is named after former Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward — no, not the French statesman — the one who is most known for draining the Everglades.
In 2017, a statue of him was removed from the downtown Fort Lauderdale courthouse in response to debates condemning his segregationist and racist views, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
The removal was a step forward, but Hill says it's time to "finish the job and erase his name from the county altogether."
Similar calls to actions have been ignited throughout the state. Also in Broward, residents in the City of Plantation have started their own name change petition, gathering more than 6,000 signatures.
In Orlando, people are trying to get Disney World's Splash Mountain remade into a The Princess and the Frog ride.
Hill says his proposal is aimed at showing the country and his future children a "shining example" to follow and that Fort Lauderdale does not tolerate racism.
"Hoping for change, praying for change, and marching for change are all good things, but at some point we must all be willing to take action."