Thursday, August 25, 2011

Barack Obama Boulevard

Delmar Boulevard, the traditional dividing line between north and south St. Louis, has been honorarily renamed "Barack Obama Boulevard" at Compton, just east of North Grand Boulevard.

It's a good thing to honor America's first black president with a street named after him. But I don't know about choosing Delmar as the one to do it.

It would have been a good thing to see the street be one that connects north and south St. Louis. Barack Obama is everyone's president and the Delmar divide is something we need to erase. On the other hand, perhaps selecting Delmar as the street for President Obama is part of the cleansing of that old division?

If so, then maybe the old Delmar Boulevard signs should be taken down for the whole run of Delmar through the city (instead of on just a few blocks), and replaced with new Barack Obama Boulevard signs? In this way it would be similar to the renaming of Easton Avenue after Dr. Martin Luther King.


Anonymous said...

Barack Obama is no Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It sure is premature for streets to be named after him, too.

Anonymous said...

Delmar Blvd was specifically chosen for Barack Obama Blvd due it serving historically as a line of racial demarcation in the City of St. Louis. Despite its honorable street designation, the passage of the legislation to rename Delmar Blvd as "Barack Obama" Blvd was not without controversy. Its doubtful that even in the next ten years, there would be enough public support for an official name change like there was for Easton Avenue to MLK Avenue.

Myself, along with the co-sponsors were completely surprised to the amount of opposition and hate mail recv'd for the proposed honorary name change in 2008. It did successfully pass, but not without a fight.

Ald. Kacie Starr Triplett
Sponsor of legislation for Barack Obama Blvd

samizdat said...

Barack Obama is at best a turncoat, a prevaricator, a shill and a liar. I can't even call him a progressive, nor does liberal even come close, even though he based nearly his entire platform on strengthening the cause of progressive endeavors. He has completely turned his back on the working people of this country, and has cravenly, assiduously, and without concern for human and other animal life, planted himself firmly in the bosom of corporate and wealthy interests. I find it rather disgraceful that the black community has honored a war criminal, a torturer. This cretin's very existence, much less this undeserved honor, are an insult to the memory, words, deeds and human compassion that the Rev. Dr. King, Jr. both lived and preached. It sickens me that this blemish on his name was proffered by the very community for which he fought, not only for civil rights, but the human right to personal dignity. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Shame! Shame! Shame!

Rick Bonasch said...

Dear Alderman Triplett,

Thank you very much for your comment and the background information on the honorary naming of Barack Obama Boulevard..

Thanks especially for your service to the people of St. Louis.

Rick Bonasch
Moderator STL Rising

Anonymous said...

you wanna improve race relations in St. Louis? Get an NBA team.

Kevin B said...

On the whole, I'm opposed to naming any streets after public figures -- be that a politician (Barack Obama, Martin Luther King), sports figures (Mark McGwire highway, Brett Hull Way) or other.

At worst, it's devisive and at best it's ugly. Its laughable seeing these long, unnecessary names when the ones they replace are perfunctory and simple (don't get NE started on the proposed 'Jerry F. Costello-William ‘Bill’ Clay Sr. Veterans Memorial Bridge' debacle).

Think of the city's many streets - Blow, Chouteau, Laclede, Shaw etc. - named after men and women who were intimately connected to the city's history and evolution. These are names that aren't hailed as "memorials" or "honoraries" -- they're organic street names specifically meaningful to the city in which they exist; not awkwardly-phrased and forced aldermanic bills that try to catch the hype-train for current political/entertainment trends.

NYYPhil777 said...

One step towards reversing racism in this country. BTW, whoever said that St. Louis getting an NBA team would improve race relations is sorta right. It would also bring back memories of when the Hawks were in town. However, if St. Louis gets a NBA team, then the following should occur: the Rams move back to L.A. along with the Jaguars from Jacksonville, and the Blues get relocated to Toronto. St. Louis will then get an expansion NFL team. So people in St. Louis will be rooting for the MLB Cardinals, the new NFL team and the new NBA team.

Wayne Burkett said...

Regarding the removal of the existing "Delmar" signs: honorary designations use different signage -- black text on white vs. the familiar white on green -- and are ideally mounted alongside a sign bearing the official street name. These designations are a bit silly in the first place, but they can be downright confusing when they exist in isolation, as is sometimes the case throughout the city.