tylerpierce (tylerpierce) wrote,
tylerpierce
tylerpierce

Be...King, king, king, king

As impolitic as it sounds, I am annoyed that King County has decided to retroactively rename itself to be named for Dr. Martin Luther King, jr. Not that he didn't do important and necessary things, but this county has exactly no connection or claim to him except working out some sort of deal with his heirs.

Worse yet, the name change exposes the crippling ignorance we promulgate about our own history. William King was Vice President of the United States. Before the Civil War, admittedly, and he remains the shortest-serving VP who didn't ascend to the presidency. He's an historical footnote, but he's *our* historical footnote, because when the settlers north of the Columbia river decided to pursue separating from Oregon Territory, they had the political acumen to name the first two counties for the then-current president and vice president. To now latch on to the coincidence that a great civil rights leader had the same surname betrays the shallowness of our sense of ourselves.

Yes, this happened a while ago, but I am only now getting political mailings which refer to it as Martin Luther King jr. County. My ire is no less sincere for being delayed.
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