Creating a Contentious Imbroglio Where None Existed

Creating a Contentious Imbroglio Where None Existed

I blame our current mayor for intentionally creating a contentious imbroglio where none existed. His divisive tactic is to smear certain surnames. He’s doing this because he contends these names are shared by long deceased Confederates and, therefore, are modern day emblems of

racial oppression.

His solution is to expunge these names beginning with street signs. No matter the cost or considerable inconvenience to those residing on one of these streets, or that some of these surnames are shared by ancestors of enslaved citizens or by distinguished Alexandrians – women and men – or by combat veterans.

Make no mistake: our current mayor is intent on rubbing salt into a wound. He wants to remind us not what we’ve become but what we were. He’s doing this by vilifying surnames oblivious that his own surname, Wilson, is shared by arguably the most racist US president in American


As proof that our current mayor is succeeding in untying the bonds that bind us is an opinion published last week in the Gazette newspaper. Its author, Albert Leeds, vigorously supported Mayor Wilson by asserting it’s unconscionable for any street in Alexandria to bear the name of a

disgraced person.

A better mayor would calm that letter-writer and others who are offended by certain names of certain street signs, not by removing their names, but by rechristening them.

To find laudable individuals with the identical surname possessed by the long-gone heretofore forgotten Confederates, a better mayor would reach out to the community – churches, schools, fraternal groups, civic associations, etc -- for nominations of citizens, whether current, former or deceased, who have made Alexandria a better place to live and to work.

Rechristening the streets so they are named after these distinguished individuals would be simple, costless and cathartic. What our current mayor is doing now is the opposite

Jimm Roberts