Group Calling for Coon Rapids, MN to Change Its Name
A non-profit group called Transformative Circle did a survey to ask if the city of Coon Rapids, MN should change its name due to the perceived racial overtones it carries.
Transformative Circle started the conversation on their Facebook page and put out a survey asking, "Some residents feel that it's not a problem, others see it as a racial slur. What is your opinion?"
Several people commented on the post, Isobel said, "While I support change, this one seems silly. It's well known that Coon also stands for Raccoon, and Minnesota is among one of many norther starts that were part of fur trading up and down the Mississippi." Katie said, "The name should have been changed a long time ago, and doing so would be a boon to the city’s image. Even if you aren’t offended by it, if you own property or a business in CR it’s in your own self-interest to re-name it because other people are and trust me, they avoid the place."
After 464 votes the results were shared earlier this week with the majority of people, 62% said the city should NOT change its name. 38% of respondents said that the name should be changed.
Transformative Circle said when posting the survey results, "Several people said that they didn’t know that the word “coon” is a disparaging racial term. I can almost guarantee that there is not one Black child in the United States over the age of 12 who has not had that word used against themselves or people that they know."
On the official City of Coon Rapids website they say the name origin is tied to the name of Coon Creek saying, "Raccoons populated the low swampy areas in and around Coon Creek. History tells us that land owners hunted raccoons for their pelts. Because of the abundance of the raccoons, it is probable to assume that is where the name of Coon Creek originated."
Coon Rapids is the 13th largest city in the state with over 61,000 residents, the city incorporated in 1959 after shortening the name from Coon Creek Rapids, the name it took after the Coon Rapids Dam was finished in 1914.