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Renaming America: From Rhode Island-sans-Plantations to Obamaland, here’s how your home state could soon be redubbed

Graham Dockery
Graham Dockery
is an Irish journalist, commentator, and writer at RT. Previously based in Amsterdam, he wrote for DutchNews and a scatter of local and national newspapers.
is an Irish journalist, commentator, and writer at RT. Previously based in Amsterdam, he wrote for DutchNews and a scatter of local and national newspapers.
Renaming America: From Rhode Island-sans-Plantations to Obamaland, here’s how your home state could soon be redubbed
In the rush to erase America's problematic past, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo will drop the word ‘Plantations’ from the state’s full name. But why stop there? Why not give the entire US a rainbow-colored woke-over?

Raimondo, a Democrat, signed an executive order on Monday to drop the word ‘Plantations’ from ‘Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,’ the official name of the smallest US state.

"We can't ignore the image conjured by the word 'plantation'," she told a cheering crowd in the city of Providence. “We can't ignore how painful that is for Black Rhode Islanders to see that and have to see that as part of their state's name."

The name was coined in the 17th Century by theologian Robert Williams, an abolitionist. Although Rhode Island would go on to become a hub of the slave trade, the term ‘plantation’ at the time simply meant a settlement, and not a farm worked by slaves. However, multiple attempts had been made before to drop it from the state’s full name. When put to voters in 2010, the effort failed dismally.

Times are different now, however, and in the wake of George Floyd’s death, statues referencing the country's troubled past are coming down across the US. In the spirit of progress, reform, and social justice, why stop at Rhode Island? Here are five states overdue a progressive update.

Washington: The Soyviet Union

RT

The home of logging, rain, and Kurt Cobain, Washington State is considered by many a dreary place. However, Seattle is a liberal lodestar and social justice-minded secessionists across the country have looked to its ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’ for inspiration, with protesters in Washington, DC attempting to carve out a similar enclave on the streets surrounding the White House last week. 

The state’s dreariness, its citizens’ love for veganism, and its role in exporting left-wing revolution beyond its borders leave us with an obvious choice: The Soyviet Union.

Georgia: RuPaul’s Drag State

Georgia is named in honor of England’s King George II. However, the decidedly un-woke George waged wars of aggression across Europe, and expanded Britain’s colonial interests abroad. In the spirit of progressivism, I propose we rename The Peach State in honor of a more rainbow-colored Georgian, like esteemed Atlanta drag queen RuPaul. 

RT

LGBT is in vogue, and Republican majority or not, the Supreme Court has shown it’ll back all things gay and transgender. RuPaul himself (or herself, depending on his mood), can write a thumping gay bar-friendly anthem, and the state’s motto of “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation,” can be updated to Ru’s trademark “If you can’t love yo’self, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

Those who disagree with the renaming will be forced to watch all 12 seasons of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ back to back. There will be no dissent.

Indiana: 1/1024 Native Americana

A state whose name means “land of Indians” is far too politically incorrect to stay as it is, and thus the Hoosier State is next on the chopping block.

Depictions of Native Americans are a political minefield though, as evidenced by butter company ‘Land O’Lakes’ purging the depiction of a Native American girl in traditional garb from their packaging earlier this year. That’s why 1/1024 Native Americana will be named after the most sanitized representative of the tribe: Senator Elizabeth Warren.

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Warren has loudly touted her Native heritage throughout her political career, even though a disastrous DNA test revealed her to have only 0.097 percent Indian blood. Warren, a committed progressive, would be the ideal face for 1/1024 Native Americana, as apart from a single drop of Native blood a couple of centuries ago, she’s as white as the driven snow, and therefore won’t cause too much stress for middle American voters.

Warren will be relocated from Massachusetts to the newly-named state as soon as the smoke signals reach her.

Virginia: Blackface Beach

RT

Named for Queen Elizabeth, the ‘Virgin Queen’ of Tudor England, Virginia in its present incarnation honors a woman who slaughtered the Irish, executed Catholics, and sponsored the looting of the Caribbean. As such, isn’t it high time to wipe her name from the great commonwealth?

The north half of the state can be turned over to the defense sector and CIA, who employ nearly a million people combined there. The state’s coast can then be given over to Governor Ralph Northam to entertain the masses with boardwalk minstrel shows. With Democratic voters clearly okay with Northam’s use of blackface, this much-maligned art evidently has a place in progressive America, and Northam is just the man to keep it alive.

And if that fails to win over progressives, his support for full-birth abortions surely will. 

Illinois: Obamaland

RT

It has been said that Illinois derives its name from the Algonquian term for “the best men” as rendered in French. This may have been debunked as fake news (the alternative translation being “one who speaks the regular way”), but no one cared about actual etymology in Rhode Island, so why should the Illinoisans?

Whether a blatant allusion to patriarchy or praise of ableist supremacy, it has no place in modern America. One solution would be to simply rename it for “the women,” but that would exclude the transgender and non-binary, and deporting these citizens to RuPaul's Drag State would be too costly.

Progressive policies have, by and large, failed Illinois. Gun control hasn’t stopped the weekly murderfests in Chicago, Governor Jay Pritzker’s progressive wealth tax plan looks set to drive wealth out of the state, and the state’s credit rating is in the toilet. However, Illinois did give the US Barack Obama, whose presidency the anti-Trump #Resistance so often pines for.

So why not honor the former commander-in-chief by renaming the state after him? In Obamaland, progressives can pretend that it’s still 2008, that the country isn’t consumed with race riots, and that the Trump presidency never happened. After all, they do this anyway, so Obamaland would provide them a safe space to live out the rest of their lives under the watchful eyes of Barry O (and his enormous surveillance infrastructure, obviously).

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An alternate and obviously crazy idea would simply be to accept that our heroes of the past weren’t perfect; that the entirety of human history is stained by war and conflict, and tearing down relics of the past won’t stop us repeating its mistakes. They remind us that bad people did good things, and vice versa. The best and worst of human nature and capability is captured in these histories and works of art, and erasing them is anti-educational, not to mention anti-reality.

But that’s an extremist position in 2020, so let’s welcome The Soyviet Union and RuPaul’s Drag State to the union instead.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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