Credit: Ed MilesIf supporters of a new proposal get their way, a street in Austin, Texas bearing the moniker of Confederate general Robert E. Lee may be rechristened after a famous rocker with the same first name.
After a recent petition was launched calling for the name of the city’s Robert E. Lee Road to be changed, a nonprofit organization called Keep Austin Weird, Not Racist launched a campaign suggesting that the street be renamed after ex-Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, in part because Plant lived in Austin for a few years earlier this decade.
The group has posted a video on YouTube that explains its proposal, while discussing Austin’s reputation as a liberal-minded city.
“Austin, Texas. Hippie kingdom, liberal oasis, snowflake land. Call us whatever,” the narrator of the clip declares. “Here we’re weird, we’re gay, we’re feminist, we’re black, we’re Latino, we’re love…our boobs do not need a bra and our streets…well, actually our streets might need some help.”
The video then shows a photo of a Robert E. Lee Road sign with red paint sprayed over the name, as the voiceover asks, “Why is this still here?”
The narrator continues, “This isn’t us. We’re no Robert E. Lee. If anything, we’re more like Robert Plant, right? The dude actually lived here. Aren’t we the ‘live music capital of the world,’ after all? Then why not Robert Plant Road?”
As the clip comes to a close, the narrator says, “Is this erasing our history? Or is it a fresh start? It’s Austin. That’s what it is. We’re weird, not racist.”
The petition was launched in the wake of the rally by white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, protesting the removal of a Confederate statue. During that event, a purported Nazi sympathizer drove his car into a crowd of anti-fascist protestors, killing one woman and injuring more than a dozen.
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