It was just two weeks ago that demands were growing to change the name of Stapleton, the neighborhood named after Denver's first airport, which was named after Mayor Ben Stapleton, a leading member of the Ku Klux Klan first elected to head City Hall in 1923 with the KKK's help.
Delegates to the Master Community Association of Stapleton concurred that the name must be changed, and that process is now under way. But what, exactly, should the name be changed to? Readers made some suggestions last week, and they've since offered more. Says Dillon:
Should be called Hipsterville or Chi-Chi Foo Foo Town
South Commerce City
Call it Tragic Loss of History.
How about End of Tragic History?
How about Sky View ? As one or two words. It’s neutral and helps to retain its origins.
Why not stick with the aviation theme? Call it Aviator Park. Or United, as we should all unite to be one.
I say do NOT name the area after a person, no matter who it is. Sooner or later someone will complain, and off we go again. There are plenty of nouns in our language to choose from that are not affiliated with anyone.
Marianne offers a response to our last round of Stapleton name-change suggestions:
I vote for renaming Stapleton as Westbrook after Joseph P. Westbrook (as long as the spelling isn't altered to something like "WestBrook"). What could be more justified and well-deserved than renaming it to honor this doctor who directed his energy against the massive evil of the KKK, as opposed to Ben Stapleton, who worked in favor of it?
One of your respondents said: "While Westbrook is a nice-sounding "name," it does not make sense, since Stapleton is east of Denver. Keep looking, please. The name MUST have a logical meaning if it changes."
I disagree that the name Westbrook is illogical: if anything, it may provoke curiosity because it APPEARS to be illogical. That curiosity might prompt research into its name for generations ahead, resulting in a meaningful learning experience of its history. Also, it justifies and confirms the anthem of the civil rights movement, "We Shall Overcome," which is the entire reason the renaming is being reconsidered now.
I hope the residents will consider renaming it for Westbrook, a completely logical choice loaded with meaning, history, and significance.
John-Claude Futrell, aka Panama Soweto, the eldest grandson of John and Edna Mosley, would like to make the renaming a family affair. He writes:
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In the spirit of social justice movements and the push for equity in this country, the process of changing neighborhood names, removing statues of oppression and abolishing the Confederate Flag at public sporting events, are all important first steps towards reconciliation. The Stapleton Neighborhood in Denver and Aurora is currently in the conversation for such a name change due to Tay Anderson's public call for action and steps have already been taken forward.
We applaud the steps taken by the Stapleton Master Community Association and Stapleton United Neighbors and are recommending the name Mosley and/or Mosley Park as possible names.
Our petition already has more than 1000 signatures and our movement is gaining support throughout St*pleton and beyond.
Andrew Reed first started this conversation in the Stapleton United Neighbors Community on Facebook and we want to continue the conversation. Learn more at Mosleynow.com.
And finally, Eric stands up for the neighborhood, if not the name:
People love to hate on Stapleton, but I’m not sure what they wanted to put there on that huge parcel of city land in a city with a housing crunch, particularly lacking in houses with more than one bathroom, that needed brownfield redevelopment ...
The organization that runs the Stapleton community has promised a new name by August 1, so it's not too late to suggest more ideas. Post a comment, or email your suggestion to email@example.com.