Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rhode Island puts history on the ballot

Next Tuesday, Rhode Island voters will decide whether to shorten the state's official name from "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" to "State of Rhode Island," out of a desire by some citizens' groups and state lawmakers to erase what they see as a blemish from its formal name.

Unlike so many of the hotly debated issues coming before U.S. voters on Nov. 2, stances on the proposed amendment to the Title, Preamble and Section 3 of Article III of the Rhode Island Constitution don't conveniently break down along party lines. Democrats both support and oppose the measure.

State Rep. Joseph Almeida, a Democrat who sponsored the bill, believes that making a change will reflect the evolution of Rhode Island and be a candid admission of the state's past. "It's high time for us to recognize that slavery happened on plantations in Rhode Island, and decide that we don't want that chapter of our history to be a proud part of our name," Almeida told the Associated Press last year.

Read more at The Root

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