/ Letters / Plantation ‘woke’

Plantation ‘woke’

July 21, 2020

To the Editor:

When I read the report about “BLM” (for Black Lives Matter) being sprayed at The Plantation Supper Club, I first thought, “Now that’s going too far.”

But on second thought, as I fathomed the plantation experience of black slaves, it struck me that the name “The Plantation” was, at least for black people in this country, as insensitive as The Wounded Knee Supper Club would be for Native Americans. Or the 9-11 Disco in Manhattan, or the Buchenwald Bar in Brooklyn or Skokie. 

Yes, it’s a shame that the vandalism occurred, and I don’t condone it. But it’s a worse shame that it was on plantations that so many black people were enslaved, whipped, raped, bought and sold, killed … that a word itself can howl in horror.  

And maybe it’s also shameful that we white people would be so oblivious to the black experience that we could have, thoughtlessly, such jolly times at a place, right here, with such a painful name as “The Plantation.” Even if, historically, that name once was used for area tree farms. The word has acquired new meaning, much like Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor.

Would WWII vets be upset about a happy place named The Pearl Harbor Supper Club? Or Bataan Dance Hall? Would they feel that they were living in a country so dismissive of horrific deaths and their experience that vets’ lives did not matter? Would they not want a name change?


Dennis Corrigan

Lac du Flambeau


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