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“Connotation” phase of the cultural purge: Rhode Island loses its “Providence Plantations”

“Connotation” phase of the cultural purge: Rhode Island loses its “Providence Plantations”

“Plantations” in the official Rhode Island name has nothing to do with slavery, and Rhode Islanders voted overwhelmingly in 2010 to keep the name, but Gov. Gina Raimondo just ordered all state agencies and offices to stop using it.

Rhode Island’s official full name is State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

The word “Plantations” in Rhode Island history giving rise to the name has nothing to do with slave ownership or slave plantations. Rather, at the time Rhode Island was founded, the term plantation simply signified an early settlement:

Historians say that in the 17th century, the word referred to colonies or settlements with agricultural economies and had nothing to do with slavery.

Similar terminology is used for the “Plimoth Plantation” in Massachusetts.

Yet, as we covered back in 2009, because “plantations” was used in the pre-Civil War south to signify slave plantations, there has been an effort to remove “plantations” from the official Rhode Island name, Is Rhode Island’s Name Racist?

My home state of Rhode Island is a quirky place. We still celebrate Victory Over Japan Day in August, although the name was changed to VJ Day and then to Victory Day, in a nod to political correctness. Now there is a move afoot to change the name of the state for similar reasons.

The official name of Rhode Island is “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” Voters will have a chance in 2010 to remove the reference to “Providence Plantations” as part of a referendum pushed by advocates who argue that the reference to “plantations” is insensitive to blacks and perpetuates a racist image.

The use of the word “plantations” had nothing to do with, and predated, slavery in Rhode Island. Rather, “Rhode Island” signified the islands in Narraganset Bay and the “Plantations” were the mainland settlements:

Providence Plantations was the name of the colony founded by Roger Williams in the area now known as the City of Providence. Rhode Island was the area now known as Aquidneck Island, which now comprises the city of Newport and the towns of Middletown and Portsmouth, the largest of several islands in Narragansett Bay.

The 2010 referendum to change the state name failed by a wide margin, 78-22, Rhode Island Still Has Its Plantations.

But now the effort is back:

 The lone Black man in the Rhode Island Senate has renewed the push to remove “Providence Plantations” from Rhode Island’s official name, and he has the Senate leadership’s backing.

Sen. Harold Metts, a Providence Democrat, introduced legislation on Wednesday to give voters another chance to change the state Constitution to eliminate a word from the state name that many Black Rhode Islanders find offensive.

“Whatever the meaning of the term ‘plantations’ in the context of Rhode Island’s history, it carries a horrific connotation when considering the tragic and racist history of our nation,” said Metts, in a statement on Wednesday night.

“The images that come to mind when I hear the word ‘plantations’ are of the inhuman and degrading treatment of the African-Americans who came before me, families ripped apart by slave sales, rapes and lynchings. It is a hurtful term to so many of us.”

He added: “Not unlike the debate over the Confederate flag, retaining the term does nothing to memorialize history but conjures an unnecessary and painful reminder of our racist past.”

Governor Gina Raimondo is not waiting around for the voters to decide (I predict it will fail again), she just issued an Executive Order requiring all states agencies and offices to drop “Providence Pantations”:

Rhode Island, known formally as the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, will drop the latter half of its official name on state documents and websites following an executive order signed by Gov. Gina Raimondo.

“We have to acknowledge our history, that’s true, but we can acknowledge our history without elevating a phrase that’s so deeply associated with the ugliest time in our state and in our country’s history,” Ms. Raimondo, a Democrat, said at a news conference Monday announcing the order.

This is not the first time “connotations” has resulted in a non-racist word being banned, but now we are in a full blown cultural purge, and even the official name of a state may fall along with statues.


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When they get done looking under rocks for any that that even marginally sounds like looks like smells like something, anything, that ONE person is affronted by…

They will be coming for you in your small towns

Be ready

Small town Ohio…

It got ugly’: What happened when Black Lives Matter protests came to small town Ohio

BETHEL, Ohio – Donna Henson sat on her front porch this weekend, as she always does when the weather is nice, and watched dozens of her neighbors walk by with bats in their hands or guns strapped to their sides.

They were married couples, friends and relatives, young people and old. All heading up Union Street, toward the center of town.

Henson, 78, figured they’d heard the same rumors she had, the ones about busloads of people coming to her town to join small Black Lives Matter protests on Sunday and Monday in Bethel, Ohio. Word was hundreds could be arriving from Cincinnati or Columbus or Detroit.

Henson was afraid, and she guessed her neighbors were, too. If they didn’t do something, if they didn’t show up armed and ready, the protests and unrest they’d seen on TV for weeks on far off American streets could come here, to Bethel, a village of 2,800.

“Everybody had a gun,” Henson said Tuesday, recalling the scene. “Like a cowboy show.”

A movement that had swept into much of the nation’s big cities was about to reach a small town, a rural enclave where the message from demonstrators would be heard not as a wake-up call or a rallying cry, but as a challenge to a way of life.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to gonzotx. | June 24, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    The DEMS can not win a real war of attrition.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital. | June 25, 2020 at 12:51 am

      Defund the thought police

      The idea of an open forum, so basic to democracies, already lies a-moldering in the grave of academia, at least in the humanities and social sciences. Imagine applying for a job in Gender Studies and saying you oppose abortions after, say, Week 38. The term for such a person is “unemployed.” Imagine merely calling for a discussion on the pros and cons of affirmative action, taking the negative side, and hoping to win tenure in political science, sociology, anthropology, or history. Bad career move. There is more robust political debate at the Academy Awards.

      University administrations are equally rigid. Rejecting affirmative action, questioning the implementation of Title 9, or opposing Black Lives Matter would end your chances of being hired by the admissions office or dean of students at nearly every American university. Yet all of them proudly tout, with no sense of irony, their “office of diversity and inclusion,” fully staffed and generously funded. For them, of course, diversity never includes diverse viewpoints. It’s all about DNA and gender identity. Modern universities are now well-oiled machines to stamp out dissenting views. That’s been true for decades. What’s new, and disturbing, is seeing this orthodoxy spread to K-12 education, corporate HR departments, mainline churches, and newsrooms. The “thought police” are on patrol and ever-vigilant, twirling the twin batons of guilt and moral superiority.

      Dissent from their approved views is not just considered an error, much less an innocent one. It is considered immoral, illegitimate, and unworthy of a public hearing. Although both left and right have moved steadily toward this abyss, the worst excesses today come from the left, just as they came from the right in the 1950s. Opponents are seen in religious terms, as dangerous apostates who deserve to be burned at the stake, at least symbolically. You never expect the Spanish Inquisition. Yet here it is. That is the powerful iconography behind torching police cars and neighborhood stores.

        notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital. | June 25, 2020 at 2:06 am

        Start with refunding for life these two.

        Elizabeth Harrington
        The former president and vice president of the United States were just implicated

        in a plot to sabotage and overthrow their successors

          notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital. | June 25, 2020 at 2:06 am

          The Hill

          #BREAKING: Trump says Obama may have committed treason, refuses to elaborate on specific charges

          notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital. | June 25, 2020 at 2:06 am

          The Hill

          #BREAKING: Trump says Obama may have committed treason, refuses to elaborate on specific charges

          I would love to see Obama prosecuted and the shot for treason. He is knee deep and a subversive in current black BS.

          Nothing 0bama did in regard to the Russia hoax could possibly be treason. Trump is just being ignorant in making this claim. It’s possible (though I think unlikely) that 0bama did commit treason at some point during his presidency; his Iran policy came awfully close to treason, but I don’t think it crossed the line. But I’m certain that the Russia hoax did not involve even potential treason. And I’m not sure to what extent 0bama was personally involved in that scandal; I suspect he was only informed of the general concept and had no knowledge of the details. In fact I think the same is true for most of his administration’s scandals; he let people know what his general expectations were and didn’t get involved in the details.

          On the other hand, the linked article quotes some “expert” called Elie Honig, who’s almost as wrong as Trump is:“First, all the wiretaps were court-approved. Second, there’s no proof Obama had anything to do with those lawful wiretaps. And third, if we need to get technical (and we don’t because there’s nothing there) treason only applies during a declared war,” Honig told The Hill. 1. And we now know how that “court approval” was obtained. 2. No, there’s no proof, but it seems likely. 3. This is just flat-out wrong for two reasons: Treason does not require a declared war, and in any case we’re in a declared war.

          notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital. | June 25, 2020 at 12:36 pm


NavyMustang | June 24, 2020 at 9:24 pm

“…Rhode Islanders voted overwhelmingly in 2010 to keep the name, but Gov. Gina Raimondo just ordered all state agencies and offices to stop using it.”

Another case of our “leaders” stealing the power from the People cause they know better.

Tyrannical bastards.

LukeHandCool | June 24, 2020 at 9:45 pm

These crazy times call for crazy compromises.

Ditch the anchor, replace it with a banana, and rename it:

“State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantains.”

The concept of a plantation has been utilized throughout history. A conquered people would more likely remain conquered when their blood lines are diluted, and their traditions altered (ya know, like tearing down statues).

The English version of plantations began with Elizabeth as her principal means of both punishing and subduing the Irish. Smaller plantations had been tried prior to the 1580s with limited success. The first large scale attempt was the Munster Plantation (generally speaking the southwestern area of Ireland), followed 20-30 years later by the Ulster Plantation (generally speaking the northeast corner of Ireland.

Elizabeth practiced cronyism. She would choose, after enough bribes were handed over, rich, powerful Englishmen, so named “undertakers,” who were given the “right” (as if it was Elizabeth’s to give) to develop parts of Ireland on the promise by the undertakers that they would populate the Ireland with native English and turn it into an agricultural producer. In the case of Ulster the new inhabitants were largely from Scotland.

Call these plantations the forerunners of colonies. This will explain how the word plantation got into RI’s title. It is not related to the stylized version of the southern plantation with the Big House, slave shacks, and 000s of cotton-growing acres.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to fscarn. | June 25, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Sen. Harold Metts, another dull, blowhard con artist. “It is a hurtful term to so many of us.” Today we have black racists who are worse than the KKK was at the height of its power.

    I am a quarter Native American, I have never sat on my ass scheming to get anything. Instead I studied and worked hard. I understand and obey the law, I respect the police and I have no trouble with them.

    Blacks’ overall crime rate is unacceptable. Their disrespect of law and police is unacceptable. Their failure to acknowledge and appreciate an endless stream of handouts is unacceptable. Their refusal to acknowledge their role in current social conditions, their bald faced hypocrisy is unacceptable.

    For at least 60 years, blacks have had opperty on a platter. It requires work to take advantage of those opportunities. Far too many blacks are unwilling to work to achieve success, and rather large numbers expect benefits without work.

    In the end, current events are little more than a demand for more unearned benefits.

nordic_prince | June 24, 2020 at 10:08 pm

Never mind it’s the D party that does everything within its power to keep blacks on the Democrat plantation.

The Ds want to keep blacks mentally enslaved.

I imagine the same mob will try to cancel the Repubic of California bear flag – they tried and failed to do it ten or so years ago.

LA Times “bear flag rebellion”.

Is the state actually losing the Providence Plantations, which make up about 95% of its area, including the state capital, or just their place in its name? If the former, which state is getting them? Connecticut or Massachusetts? If it’s keeping the plantations but dropping them from its name then shouldn’t their inhabitants (who are also about 95% of the state’s population) be offended? Isn’t it rather as if NYC had decided to rename itself “Staten Island”, without giving up the other four boroughs or even moving its government there?

And how on earth does the word “plantation” carry a racist connotation? Just because many black slaves worked on plantations? If so then surely “farm” should carry the same connotation and be just as offensive.

And so should the word “cotton”; the fabric should immediately be renamed, even though it’s been called that for about 800 years. Though come to think of it, it’s not the word that should be offensive but the fabric itself, since that’s what the slaves worked on producing, so maybe the fabric that has been used by everyone since ancient times should now be banned to spare the feelings of some people with a fixation on a relatively short period of the history of one country.

Barry Soetoro | June 25, 2020 at 1:41 am

Proof again that the Democratic Party is anything but democratic, not that our Founders gave us a democracy.

We’ve lost so much because of swamp rats sessions and barr that we’re never coming back.

Just anotherloss for us. Look for plenty more, unless the shooting starts – it’s the only thing that can save us.

It is clear from the Chris Wray interview by Brett Baeir and his deflection, that Wray intentionally hid exonerating evidence re Page and Flynn from the court, congress, the White House and Barr. He needs to be arrested for contempt of court and lying to congress.
I did note that Baeir ,a TDS patient with no meds, tried to blame all of the destruction on a “Boogaloo Movement”, a right wing terror organization that may not even exist. Wray did not bite on that. The fact is the group seems to be wishful thinking and a made up entity by the SPLC and a single poster to Reddit. 3 suspected “right wingers” have been arrested so far. More than 1,000 left wingers. The latter released, of course.

You’d think, Senator Metts and Governor Raimundo, that maybe this is a so-called teachable moment. I’m not getting that impression by the thrust of your recent push for S 2902, Senator, and your arbitrary and capricious need, Governor, to preemptively override the chance to let the people of your state freely express their will on the name-change matter.

While it’s news to some that, by the very nature and dynamics of human language, I’m sure you’re aware, many words in common usage have multiple meanings. And that, when it comes to any clear and correct interpretation of a speaker or writer’s words, phrases, concepts, and overall theme, the listener or reader would want to practice the kind of understanding that leads to a beneficial and constructive, peace-maintaining communication with the other.

Therefore, Senator Metts and Governor Raimundo, because of the sensible and rational need to understand the speaker or writer with whom one is corresponding — whether in the public square or in a publication’s comment column; on the street corner in Anytown, USA, or by texting to another in daily routines, wherever and however — the ascertaining by the percipient of any personal or public speech or writing, as well as the conveyer of such content in whatever media, would be sure to address context, and include clear and responsible intent, respectively.

The word “plantation” is a word with multiple meanings. In the case of your state’s, Rhode Island’s official name and Seal, any attentive Rhode Island citizen knows, the state’s official name, appearing on its Seal and any official documents, includes “Seal of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” and that the meaning of “Plantations” therein HAS NOTHING TO DO HISTORICALLY WITH THE TERRIBLE CONNOTATION YOU ASCRIBE TO IT IN YOUR RECENT REMARKS, SENATOR METTS, AND EVIDENCED BY YOUR NEED TO PREEMPT THE WILL OF THE MAJORITY OF THE PROPLE ON THIS MATTER, GOVERNOR RAIMUNDO.

As I write these words, Madam and Sir, language is disintegrating and deteriorating all around us. It is failing increasingly in its functions to keep people, of any given jurisdiction, informed and dedicated to a common, unified endeavor of citizenry.

With peace, Governor and Senator, it’s my belief that your aforementioned actions — perhaps your best intentions notwithstanding — might likely intensify and accelerate further negative social and political outcomes in Rhode Island, insofar as the human art of language could continue to denature and deteriorate in ways and effects that would fail to harness the best aims and purposes of speech and writing.

Why the ingenuousness, Senator? why the blatant disregard of the vox populi, the people’s voice and will, Governor? . . .

Why not, rather, a more sensible and social-coherence-maintaining and polity-edifying rhetorical and political push for all Rhode Islanders and — perhaps deriving from the approach to our current interracial misgivings and past offenses, being suggested today — all Americans that, when communicating with others, personally or publicly, we focus our attention on understanding the context in which some trigger-word occurs, in order to best understand the speaker or writer’s whole point, and, when speaking or writing, we ensure the clarity and intent of what we’re saying, in order to avoid any possibly hurtful misunderstanding, despite their often accidental, unintended usage and effect.

Let the present opportunity, then, be seized: both the listener or reader AND the speaker or writer have co-equal responsibilities — call it a citizen’s communicative duty — to be sure the meaning of their communicative activity is received or conveyed correctly, constructively, and for the health and well-being of all of a state’s citizens.

Taking a few extra seconds to get or send clear and helpful messages couldn’t hurt. It would be the moral and sensible things to do — especially in these times of tumult.

I recall Horace’s sense of such matters (from his Odes, III.24)
as it bears mightily, it seems to me, on the present problem:

“[Q]uid leges sine moribus vanae proficiunt?” he asked wryly of his reader in his Roman tongue, the classical Latin, translated (and embellishment): What good are laws — none, for they are empty! — absent the relevant set of morals?

What’s need now, Governor Raimundo and Senator Metts, is better — more responsible and empathetic — interpersonal, interracial, and public-benefiting communication, and not useless, misdirected, and potentially exacerbating laws or imposing edicts.

The former is thus a moral imperative in our time, and the one that truly matters now the most.

Better, of course, than “and embellishment”: and embellished

And, not “ingenuousness,” but, of course, there, “disingenuousness”

Anacleto Mitraglia | June 25, 2020 at 7:13 am

For my information: is this Gina Raimondo the twin sister of that cretin Dean at Oberlin?
I also object that the Capital’s name, Providence, is offensive to all non-Christian Residents, and Rhode clearly is hurtful to the African-American community, since it resounds with “Rhodesia”.
They can keep “Island”, though.

    No man is an Island!

    The word practically screams of the Individual over the Collective.

    The only safe thing to do is come up with an obscure squiggle and call it “The State Formerly Known as RI”.

    Providence is hardly a concept exclusive to Christianity. In fact many of the US founders used it precisely because it is not specifically Christian.

    Of the group surrounding George Washington, Patrick Henry was the only orthodox Christian; all the rest, while genuinely religious, were skeptical of Christianity, and uncomfortable using specifically Christian language. So they used terms like Providence, which they definitely believed in. (One of the reasons they shunned Thomas Paine was that he didn’t believe in Providence.)

Oversoul Of Dusk | June 25, 2020 at 7:32 am

Do the state’s lays and constitution permit the Governor to simultaneously serve as an officer of another state?

If she’s issuing orders and proclamations as Governor of “Rhode Island”, then one might argue that she has effectively resigned as the Governor of the state of “Rhode Island and Providence Plantations”. The same would be true of every other state official going along with her charade.

Do you know any creative lawyers with some spare time?

Instead of using the chance to teach a little bit of history, the Democrat chooses willful ignorance.

    henrybowman in reply to Valerie. | June 26, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Teach them history?
    They couldn’t even teach them how to use a dictionary when “niggardly” was in contention.

Gina Raimondo: “educated” at Yale and Harvard. Case closed.

As a historical note the English called their occupied lands in Ireland plantations.

The Governor is acting, IMO, unlawfully. Someone is going to receive a document from the state government ordering them to comply with some law or regulation. That document will not have the legal name of the state. They will file an answer in court naming the state by it’s full legal name.

Can the state respond if it fails to answer the complaint to its legal name? Maybe not. I am not aware of any precedent for an AKA for a state.

Better yet, the state answers the complaint against its legal name. Then the whole sham is revealed for what it is, feel good do something irrelevant touchy feely BS.

Instead of the sham how about just dissolving and being absorbed by Connecticut and Massachusetts based on geographic proximity? If the name is problematic then all the actions done in that name are also problematic.

There is only one plantation. It belongs to the Democrat Party. There can be no other plantations as originally referenced for Rhode Island. Of course, many who live in Rhode Island live on the Dem Plantation having given up their birthright .

I have a quick legal question if anyone is up for it. Let’s say for a moment you sign a legal document with the state, but the document has this abbreviated state name on it. Is it binding? You essentially signed a document with an entity that doesn’t exist.

    Milhouse in reply to gantzm. | June 25, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    It makes absolutely no difference what name is printed on the form. So long as it’s clear which state is meant, it can say “Ocean State”, or “The tiny state all the way in the northeast, no, not Maine, a bit further south and a bit west of there”.

henrybowman | June 26, 2020 at 7:29 pm

New York was named after the Duke of York, the largest slaveholder and slave merchant in Great Britain. As such, it offends me, and I demand it be renamed to something inoffensive.

I just haven’t found anything yet that is inoffensive to all nonwhite peoples (not offending whites isn’t among the requirements). However, I’m open to suggestions.