Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rhode Island Name Change?

What Would Lovecraft Think? (WWLT)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The country's smallest state has the longest official name: "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations."

A push to drop "Providence Plantations" from that name advanced farther than ever on Thursday when House lawmakers voted 70-3 to let residents decide whether their home should simply be called the "State of Rhode Island." It's an encouraging sign for those who believe the formal name conjures up images of slavery, while opponents argue it's an unnecessary rewriting of history that ignores Rhode Island's tradition of religious liberty and tolerance.

The bill permitting a statewide referendum on the issue next year now heads to the state Senate.

The state House has passed a bill that would place a question on next year’s ballot to cut “and Providence Plantations” from our state’s name.

Representative Jospeh Almeida has been pushing the bill for 12 years.

He explained, in a press release yesterday from the State House: “Rhode Island may have been on the right side of the Civil War, but it took this state a long time to decide that slavery wasn’t acceptable. In the meantime, plenty of money was made by Rhode Islanders who traded slaves or used them for work in their homes or on the plantation.”


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