The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Changing Names When "Heritage" or "Tradition" No Longer Fit

There comes a time when people need to revisit their "heritage" and take "tradition" down off the pedestal for a closer look. Such is the case for western Maryland's/Pennsylvania's "Negro Mountain." See this link for all the details: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-02-20/news/bs-md-renaming-mountains-20110220_1_senate-panel-settlers-thomas-cresap

To make a long story short, in the 1750s, this mountain received its name ... and that name actually was "Negro Mountain" just as it appears today on the signs. It was named in tribute to a slave who, during the French and Indian Wars, sacrificed his own life to save a number of white settlers from a Native American attack. Now, our heroic slave could not have his name applied to the mountain in tribute because he was a slave, someone's property, and you just didn't name things for property in the 1750s. That was traditional, that was heritage and everybody followed it. In 2011, government decided perhaps it was time to revisit heritage and tradition. Perhaps centuries later we could honor the man for his deed by naming the mountain for him. His name was "Nemesis." How could anyone NOT want to have a Mount Nemesis in their state? Unfortunately, a tedious divide developed between urban folks and rural folks. Urban legislators saw the wisdom in the renaming. Rural legislators rattled the tired old bones of tradition and heritage. Leave our maintain alone. Worry about your city folk violence and drugs. It's a sad story, pathetic really in the 21st century.

In 1 Corinthians 13, in a remarkable examination of what love is and is not, the apostle Paul states:

8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly,* but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

I think it is time for us all to put an end to childish ways, to grow up a little, to let go of hurtful names and nicknames. As for me, I'm putting away the name of the football team I grew up with. I'm calling for Dan Snyder and his organization to put an end to the name "Redskins" for something more respectful to all, something that hurts no one. Tradition and heritage have their place ... just not when they inflict pain using cruel slurs or disrespect a man who sacrificed his life for others because in the 1750s the tradition was you couldn't use his name. We need to grow up. We need to be better than that.

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