The latest call to change is the movement to change the name of Boston's Faneuil Hall. Activist Kevin Peterson is heading the charge and believes the name of the historic hall needs to be changed due to Peter Faneuil's history of being a slave trader. Kevin Peterson has gone on a hunger strike and vowed to do so until Mayor Walsh “identifies an immediate date” for city hearings on renaming the building. When asked about the name change on a local radio show last week, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he is not in support of the name change of Faneuil Hall. Mayor Walsh had this specifically to say: “I think that if we change the name of Faneuil Hall, 30 years from now we’d forget what happened there. And I think there’s certain parts of our history we should use and learn from, and so I’m not in support of changing the name of Faneuil Hall.”
Activist Kevin Peterson called into the radio show that Mayor Walsh was on last week and expressed and reiterated to him why he believes the name change is necessary saying: “We don’t need the name of Faneuil Hall. It embarrasses Black people.” Things got heated when Mayor Walsh followed up saying: “(I) ask you when you do a press statement in the future, you don’t call me stupid. You don’t tell me to shut up. And you don’t call me a racist." These comments by Mayor Walsh were a follow up to a statement that Kevin Peterson and his group "The New Democracy Coalition" put out on June 5th, where they told Mayor Walsh to "SHUT UP AND LISTEN, YOUR WHITE PRIVILEGE IS TESTAMENT OF WHITE RACISM IN BOSTON". You can read the full statement from The New Democracy Coalition, HERE. What Mayor Walsh took away from this statement of theirs, is that they were calling him stupid and a racist. Can you see from this statement where the Mayor is coming from? Clearly tensions are running high on both sides, especially for those of The New Democracy Coalition, given the tone of this statement of theirs.
In general though, do you think the name of Faneuil Hall should be changed? Kevin Peterson wants the change and says: "Peter Faneuil was a white supremacist, someone who owned slaves, someone who willed his slaves to his sister after he died. It is exceedingly clear that we should not have racist symbol reflected in our public institutions, our public buildings, which Faneuil Hall is one of.” Then Mayor Walsh says "There's certain parts of our history we should use and learn from" and is therefore not in favor of the change. What do you think? Should the name be changed?
Kevin Peterson called into "VB in the Middle" when Sandy Shack was hosting and explained his position further. Take a listen back to the conversation, here: