UPDATE: The Riviera Beach City Council approved the name change Wednesday night by a 4-1 vote. To take effect, the name change must still be approved by the Palm Beach County Commission.
After months of uproar on the national stage over the Confederate flag and all things Dixie — a South Florida city will be voting Wednesday night on the word “Dixie” itself.
And whether to change it to “Barack Obama.”
The city council of Riviera Beach in Palm Beach County – on the Sunshine State’s Atlantic Coast – is voting on whether to change the name of “Old Dixie Highway,” the town’s main north-south thoroughfare, to “Barack Obama Highway.”
As WPTV reported:
But if early comments are any indication, there are a whole lot of people who don’t like the idea, including the chairman of the county Republican Party, who happens to be black.
“Say goodbye to Winn Dixie, Dixie Cups and Pixie sticks (sounds too much like Dixie),” GOP Chairman wrote on the news station’s Facebook page. “They are even trying to change the official state Florida State song The Swanee River because of PCness.”
Not everyone was so polite.
“There are too many jackasses running things from their home servers,” another user wrote. “South Florida is running amok with them.”
Another was even more pointed:
“Should change it to Muslim Highway,” he wrote.
Even though the Riviera Beach proposal comes after the June massacre of nine blacks at a Bible worship in Charleston, South Carolina, that provoked a national hysteria about the Confederacy, the Riviera Beach proposal started long before.
In January, Mayor Thomas Masters told Gossip Extra he wanted to change the name because the word “Dixie” brought up too many bad images.
“I want Old Dixie renamed,” Masters said at the time. “When I think of the name, all I can think of is slavery and horrible things.”
Wednesday’s vote, he told WPTV Tuesday, will be a chance to change that.
“Each member will vote ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ to rid this city of a street name that still invokes memories of racism and slavery in the Old South,” he said, according to the station.
Leave aside the fact that a guy named “Masters” has a hangup with slavery word-associations. The proposal has a bigger problem than that. Mainly that so many people are against the idea.
And that wasn’t all.
Comments on Twitter were about as opposed.
@WPTV aka the “Road to Nowhere”
— JR Emeralds (@JREMERALD) August 18, 2015
@WPTV nobody in this country should name anything after him except garbage dumps
— Prime Motors (@PrimeMotorCar) August 18, 2015
Pretty hard on garbage dumps, isn’t it?
CORRECTION: This post initially misidentified where the Bible study shooting took place.
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