The smallest state in the union has found itself in the crosshairs of the ongoing culture wars, as Rhode Island’s Democratic governor, Gina Raimondo, removed part of the state’s official name from several documents via executive order Monday.
While the Ocean State is known to the rest of the country simply as Rhode Island, it has had the official name “the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” since it became the 13th state in 1790.
Detractors of the name argue that the word “Plantations” invokes the legacy of slavery. As demonstrated by her decision to sign an executive order to eliminate part of the state’s name from government documents, the governor agrees with that analysis.
“Our work to dismantle systemic racism in Rhode Island did not start today and it will not end today, but we can rise together and make meaningful progress toward racial equity now,” Raimondo said in a tweet Monday announcing the move.
Our work to dismantle systemic racism in Rhode Island did not start today and it will not end today, but we can rise together and make meaningful progress toward racial equity now. https://t.co/D0nvtC1g8X pic.twitter.com/6iE1zwMTBL
— Gina Raimondo (@GovRaimondo) June 22, 2020
WPRI-TV reported that Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner “said he recognizes the word ‘plantations’ was not necessarily connected with slavery at the time, but words and symbols can take on new meanings.”
According to WBZ-TV in Boston, “Raimondo’s order will remove the phrase ‘Providence Plantations’ from gubernatorial orders and citations, executive agency websites, official correspondence, and state employee pay stubs.” However, the official name cannot be changed without the approval of the General Assembly.
So far, the legislature seems fully on board with the effort to remove the phrase “Providence Plantations” from the state’s official name. On Thursday, before Raimondo’s order, the Rhode Island Senate unanimously passed a resolution paving the way for a ballot referendum in which voters would have the opportunity to weigh in on the name change.
In 2010, a ballot initiative to change Rhode Island’s official name failed by a ratio of more than 3-1.
The efforts to sanitize “Providence Plantations” from Rhode Island’s official name might seem reasonable to some conservatives. Rhode Island Senate Republicans approved of the change.
However, the far-left mob will not be satisfied with dropping a few words from the state’s official name.
In recent weeks, radicals have defaced, toppled and destroyed statues paying homage to leaders of the Confederacy as well as American leaders who owned slaves — and that was just the beginning.
A statue of abolitionist Matthias Baldwin in Philadelphia could not escape the wrath of the mob. It was defaced with graffiti reading “colonizer” and “murderer.”
In San Francisco, a left-wing mob destroyed several statues, including that of Ulysses S. Grant. Maybe they did not learn this in school because they were too busy learning to hate America, but it was Grant who defeated the Confederacy that they so vehemently despise.
At the very least, the vandalism of the Baldwin and Grant statues proves that “cancel culture” goes far beyond a desire to remove monuments to Confederate soldiers.
As part of the overall effort to portray America as a flawed nation to its core, statues of the Founding Fathers have also come under assault.
In Portland, Oregon, a hub of the radical leftist violence that’s sweeping the country, the mob toppled a George Washington statue. That came just days after a Thomas Jefferson statue in front of a high school in the city named in his honor fell victim to the insatiable mob.
This left-wing demolition derby will continue until someone in power has the guts to push back.
Fortunately, President Donald Trump appears to have had enough of the insurrection engulfing the country. The president announced Tuesday that he has directed the federal government to “arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue, or other such property in the U.S.”
…..This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020
The revolution will not stop with the annihilation of monuments to America’s history. It will seep into every aspect of everyday life.
For an example of this, look no further than Rhode Island. In addition to issuing an executive order to begin the process of removing part of her state’s name, Raimondo has ordered the institution of “mandatory implicit bias training for all executive branch employees.”
Leftist mobs might represent a greater threat to the United States than any external actor. Until the radicalism of recent weeks is reined in, the land of the free and the home of the brave looks destined to truly become “the Divided States of America.”
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