Thousands of federally recognized locations in the United States carry racist names, a new study by Vocativ has found.
The debate over offensive names and symbols has taken on a new urgency in recent times. Confederate flags and tributes have been removed from statehouse grounds and other locations. California has passed a law banning schools from using the name "Redskins."
But Vocativ's analysis shows how much more is still to be done. The site determined that "at least 1,441 federally recognized places across the nation include slurs in their official name." Examples include "Dead Negro Spring," "Chinaman Mine" and "Squaw Tits." Native Americans suffer the highest number of indignities, which makes sense, given that they were targeted all over the country.
There is an official United States Board on Geographic Names that maintains oversight over the naming of federal areas. The board's stated policy declares that, though there needs to be a "good reason" to change the name of a particular place, one of those reasons could be the need to eliminate particular name problems as in cases involving derogatory names." The board also says that it will not accept "a name for Federal usage that is determined by the Board to be derogatory to a particular racial or ethnic group, gender, or religious group."
Read the full Vocativ study here.