A day after Minneapolis Park Board members voted to change the name of Lake Calhoun, vandals defaced several signs around the lake.
Pink spray paint with messages "Let the community decide" and "It's our community" were found on several Lake Calhoun signs on Thursday, with the Star Tribune reporting park employees were working to remove the graffiti on Friday morning.
It comes after the park board took a step toward restoring the lake to its original Dakota Indian name of Bde Maka Ska, which means "White Earth Lake." There's been discussion over whether the lake should continue to honor John C. Calhoun, with supporters of a name change citing his support for slavery and the Indian Removal Act.
A picture of one of the vandalized signs was posted on Facebook by Ava McFarlane. Referring to the lake's heritage, she said: "Referencing 'our community' on top of a sign that represents the actual community this lake and the entire area belongs to is so alarming. I encourage you to talk to a friend or family member today about the severity of this action. I don't want to live among people who support the silencing or removal of oppressed people."
The name change is included in a $126 million master plan that over the next 25 years will improve the public space and facilities around Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. The park board vote was the first step to nix the Calhoun name altogether, but it needs county, state and federal approval before it can become official.
Not everyone's a fan of the plan, among them Pioneer Press columnist Joe Soucheray, who – while conceding that Calhoun's views have no place in modern society – argues the park board is trying to sanitize history.