Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Dutch City: Street Names Too White, Will Be Made More Diverse
The local government of Rotterdam has decided to name all new streets in the city after women and minorities after complaints by some local politicians that the current names are too male and too white.
The Dutch city’s government announced that it would be accepting the proposal to make the city’s street names more "diverse" a year after the initiative was put forth by left-wing party Democrats 66 (D66), the GreenLeft and the Labour party, Dutch newspaper Telegraaf reports.
Councillor Nadia Arsieni, of the D66 party, was the one to initially recommend the proposal and said she was happy the local government had accepted it saying, "A sample showed that a large number of the streets were named after men of Western origin. That doesn't fit in the Rotterdam of today."
Deputy Mayor Bert Wijbenga explained that diversity was the main motivation for the move and said, "In order to give substance to more cultural diversity, the policy rules stipulate that the attribution of names of women and other underrepresented groups from society should be preferred for personal names," and added, "diversity's at the forefront." Wijbenga also announced that there were no intentions to rename existing streets stating that, "there will always be room for the great men of Rotterdam."
Rotterdam's one of the most heavily migrant-populated cities in the Netherlands and has struggled with the integration of certain minorities such as Turks who rioted in 2017 after Turkish ministers were refused entrance to the Netherlands during a campaign for a referendum in Turkey.
The issue's become so pervasive that the mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Muslim himself, said in 2015 that Muslims who "don't like freedom can pack your bags and leave" in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.
Islamist ideology's also crept into the cities local politics with the Islamic extremist party Nida briefly having a coalition with several left-wing parties ahead of last year’s local elections. The alliance collapsed after a tweet from Nida surfaced comparing the state of Israel to Islamic State.
at 9:51 AM