The Stapleton Redevelopment Project is phasing out the Stapleton name because the old airport was named after a former mayor who had ties with the Ku Klux Klan.
Stapleton was Denver’s old airport before it was replaced by Denver International Airport. The area is now being redeveloped for housing and shops. The area has a diverse ethnic population.
The name Stapleton is what the area is known for and has been redefined, meaning most people do not think of the mayor, or his ties to the KKK, when the name Stapleton is mentioned. They think of the community.
Also, the name is now a part of the community and how the community identifies itself. There are other areas that are well known by a name and a change in the name would go against how the community identifies itself. Communities close to Stapleton, like Park Hill or Five Points, are known by there name and we are sure a renaming would never occur in those communities.
Imagine being told to change your name because you have a name that elicits strong social feelings. Chances are you would reject the change because your name is a lot of who you are and how you understand yourself.
Furthermore, we think this is just an occasion of people becoming to politically correct. We think forcing on political correctness actually hurts because the focus shifts from problem solving to feel-good titles and names.
We don’t think this is a good idea for the community, but we would support this if it were the citizens deciding they wanted the name phased out. But we have no idea what the community wants – maybe the Stapleton Redevelopment Project should have asked.