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I found this article very interesting. Cliffs notes version: unincorporated upstate NY town is named Swastika in the early 20th century. Town keeps name after Nazis adopt swastika, recognizing the ancient use of the swastika as a good luck symbol. NYC bicyclist sees sign and asks to have the name changed. City council (Swastika comes under a nearby town’s government) and the council reject the idea in five minutes.
A few observations:
- Having had to at some point learn the origin of the town name, why persist? Rank ignorance?
- “But Alcamo was disappointed in the board’s decision. He said leaving ‘Swastika’ behind would show respect for those who died during the war and would be seen as a denouncing of hate.” Does anyone, anywhere believe that he actually cares about respect for WWII veterans?
- Why let the fact that some group adopts a symbol redefine that symbol in perpetuity? This reminds me of the notion that the “OK” sign now must signify white supremacy. (By the way, it means something different in parts of Latin America; I have a very funny story about its interpretation at a firefighting school with some Chilean students).
- In general, why has the left uniformly become a group of humorless scolds?