Effort Underway to Change 36 Racist Place Names in Washington State

It's surprising to see places named with racially offensive words in 2016—no matter what your take on political correctness.

1 minute read

April 2, 2016, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Knute Berger reports on the efforts in Washington State to rename landmarks and other places bearing racist monikers. State Sen. Pramila Jayapal, who is also a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, is spearheading the effort. "Working with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, [Jayapal] has identified 36 racially offensive names of geographic features around the state," and is leading a coordinated effort to change them, report Berger.

These names include Jim Crow Creek in Wahkiakum County, Negro Spring in Douglas County, Redman Slough in Grays Harbor County, Chinamans Hat in Kittitas County, and nearly a score of Squaw creeks, lakes, peaks and other features. There are half a dozen other Coon features, although some might be named after raccoons. Find a full list here.

Berger also includes details on the "laborious" process required to change place names in Washington, which goes through the Washington State Board on Geographic Names, under the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

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