Wednesday, October 27, 2021

“Racially Offensive” street name in Dorset could be changed

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A street in Dorset could change its name after tourists complained that some people might find it racially offensive.

The Dorset County Council said it had been contacted by a concerned family vacationing on an estate on Darkie Lane in Ulwell, Swanage.

The family felt that given Britain’s colonial history, the name might be offensive to some.

Officials referred the matter to Swanage City Council, which discussed it at a meeting on October 4.

Swanage councilors voted to recommend that the Dorset Council change the street name from Darkie Lane to Dark Lane.

The lane appears as Darkie Lane on Google Maps and GPS systems. But historical records show it was called Dark Lane before the 1930s.

It seems to have been named Dark Lane because it is partially shaded by trees.

Following Swanage’s recommendation, the Dorset Council is now considering a number of options as to what to do with the name.

That includes doing nothing – leaving Darkie Lane as the official name and changing the name to Dark Lane to preserve historical context “while minimizing the potential for offense.”

Some have branded the process as insane “political correctness”.

Mike Whitwam, a Swange alderman who voted against the recommendation, said that Daily echo: “I have a lot of close black friends and the name is not in the least detrimental.

“I felt that the decision was only made to do justice to the political correctness that is destroying the culture in this country.”

He added: “Her name has been Darkie Lane for many years and no one has taken offense except for this one do-gooder who complained to the Council”.

It is unclear why or how Dark Lane was changed to Darkie Lane in the 1930s.

A Swanage City Council spokesman said: “This matter has been called [us] following a complaint received by Dorset Council and discussed at the Planning and Advisory Committee meeting on Monday 4th October.

“At the meeting, city councils voted to recommend that the Dorset Council consider renaming Darkie Lane to Dark Lane in order to preserve historical context while minimizing the potential for offense.”

A Dorset Council spokesman said: “We can confirm that the Dorset Council received a complaint this summer from a vacationer about the name Darkie Lane in Swanage, which they found offensive.

“In response, we looked at the historical record of the naming of this street (which was originally called Dark Lane because of its shady location) and asked Swanage councilors for their opinion.”

The spokesperson added, “This issue has been discussed and we are awaiting a formal response from Swanage after the discussion. We will also consult with the residents of this street to get their views on the naming of the street before making a final decision. “

Dorset County Council decides whether to rename a street Darkie Lane after a vacationer receives a complaint that it could be viewed as racially offensive.

“A family vacationing in Swanage wrote to express concern about finding their place to stay on a street by a name they found offensive and which, given our national history, they think could easily offend others could.

“The historical context for the name is purportedly innocent as it refers to the alley being ‘dark’ and ‘shady’ – but this does not rule out the possibility of offense, especially to those visiting the area who are unlikely to find that context know.

“The Dorset Council’s Street Naming and Numbering Policy is clear that when naming new developments / streets it is unacceptable to use a name that“ could be offensive or seen as discriminatory, particularly in relation to age, disability, race and ethnicity, belief and belief ”. , sexual orientation, gender and gender.

“While the policy does not take into account the circumstances of this particular case, the underlying principles in naming streets are that they are inclusive given the diversity of our communities and visitor populations.”

A Swanage City Council spokesman said: “This matter has been called [us] following a complaint received by Dorset Council and discussed at the Planning and Advisory Committee meeting on Monday 4th October.

“At the meeting, city councils voted to recommend that the Dorset Council consider renaming Darkie Lane to Dark Lane in order to preserve historical context while minimizing the potential for offense.”

A Dorset Council spokesman said: “We can confirm that the Dorset Council received a complaint this summer from a vacationer about the name Darkie Lane in Swanage, which they found offensive.

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