*Voters in Rhode Island have decided that its racist name has got to go, and it has nothing to do with “Rhode” or “Island.”
It’s the “Providence Plantations” part of RI’s official name, “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” that was the subject of a referendum on Tuesday’s ballot. After years of criticism for its racist connotations, the ballot question to remove “and Providence Plantations” passed with nearly 53 percent of the vote.
A petition earlier this year, which received over 11,000 signatures, said: “If you ask anyone what’s the first word that comes to your mind when you (read) plantation? They’ll likely say slavery, and to every African American it holds a painful memory and represents the very real systematic racism in our government.”
Here’s Trevor Noah’s take on “The Daily Show” in June, when an executive order to change the name was part of the worldwide racial reckoning that followed the police killing of George Floyd.