Rhode Island has started the process of changing its full name, the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, due to its slavery connotations, sparking a fierce and vibrant response from social media users both from the Ocean State and across the nation. Discussion across Twitter was sparked on Monday after Gov. Gina Raimondo signed an executive order to officially shorten the name to "Rhode Island" on government documents and also put forward a bill to alter the name entirely.
In the order, Raimondo wrote that "many of the State's residents find it painful that a word so closely associated with slavery should appear in the official name of the State," according to CBS News. She promised to do "everything in our power to ensure that all communities can take pride in our state." For an official and permanent name change to occur, voters will need to vote to amend the Rhode Island Constitution in November.
News of the possible name change shook social media. As the first reports began to surface, "Rhode Island" became a trending term on Twitter, with many social media users voicing their support for or against the possible change. Others simply stated their shock at the knowledge Rhode Island had a much longer name. Keep scrolling to see what Twitter had to say.
Wait a minute. Rhode Island is not the full name of the state?! I swear I’ve discovered more about history in these last few weeks than I ever did in school. I’m quickly beginning to realize that history class was bullshit. pic.twitter.com/Qm7DSNS37r— Mikey Hutch Co-Host of In Your Howse ✨ (@HutchIyh) June 24, 2020
I was today years old when I realized “Rhode Island” isn’t the whole name of the state 😮 https://t.co/wdNn6RoAu3— lil uzi veritas (@polumechanos) June 24, 2020
me, a Rhode Islander, watching the whole tl learn Rhode Island’s full state name pic.twitter.com/olZySiuoIW— DEFEND DACA (@CharlotteAbotsi) June 24, 2020
Change is good. Moving forward is a great feeling.— Rhoda Bishop (@RhodaMick) June 24, 2020
*looks at calendar*
You’re late. By a couple of centuries.— John Desrocher (@JohnDesrocher1) June 24, 2020
I guess we need to change New York since named after Duke of york that created Britains slave empire.— Lithcause (Twitch) (@Lithcause) June 24, 2020
The State of Rhode Island and WHAT?! pic.twitter.com/mfeLDzx0iE— Qin (@Qinnith) June 24, 2020
Renaming the State doesn't change history. You people better be careful with this renaming. That complicity is part of this nations history and accountability for it is a burden it should hoist throughout the future. Renaming removes some of that burden.— PattyC (@pattyas123) June 24, 2020
When you wake up and see #RhodeIsland trending 😱— Millie Minet ☔️ (@MillieMinet) June 24, 2020
If you’re yelling about a #namechange and wanting to leave the most beautiful place on earth- Good. Go. More room for those of us who would RATHER be there 🏡⛵️🌊🌊 #WednesdayMotivation
I was today years old when I knew that Rhode Island wasn’t the full name but glad they are changing it.— beckie avery (@beckieavery4) June 24, 2020
We live in incredibly stupid times.— Brian Doherty (@BDOH) June 24, 2020
People didn't even know #RhodeIsland had a longer name- this includes people who live in the state. You think a school curriculum that doesn't even teach the full name of the state is going even ankle deep into #racism in its history classes? pic.twitter.com/6tRHZhmgWb— Topher-with-grace (@Topher_w_grace) June 24, 2020
How many people actually knew this before it was announced though?— coffee&smoothjazz (@CSmoothjazz) June 24, 2020