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9 Jul, 2019 15:31

‘Politically incorrect’ Australian park may have to be renamed

‘Politically incorrect’ Australian park may have to be renamed

A local town council in Perth, Australia is contemplating renaming one of its local parks, which is named after a native plant, because it’s considered “politically incorrect” and “racist.”

Blackboy Park in the city of Joondalup has long borne the slang name of the indigenous Australian plant Xanthorrhoea because it boasts five of the shrubs. The plants were previously commonly referred to as Blackboys but have, in recent decades, been rebranded ‘Grass Trees.’

After some political pressure, the city council will now consult with the local community about a potential name change before finalizing plans with the state geographical names authority. The mooted name change has caused something of a stir online with some wondering if it is necessary. “You’re kidding. It’s a black boy, suck it up,” one person said, while another asked: “What isn’t offensive any more?”

However, others argued that the name change is long overdue. “The problem is not that the name is ‘politically incorrect.’ It’s that the Xanthorrhoea/grass tree got that nickname for racist reasons in the first place,” another commenter wrote.  

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The move comes after Western Australia Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt conducted a campaign asking state councils to rename any and all landmarks with inappropriate or potentially offensive names as part of his platform advocating for the rights of indigenous Australians.

“I encourage all local governments to perhaps have a look at some of the names of some of their locations and engage with their local Aboriginal people in finding better names that I think everyone can celebrate,” Wyatt told the West Australian.

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