Group asks for change of Stapleton neighborhood named after KKK member
DENVER (KDVR) — Residents in Denver's Stapleton neighborhood woke up to thousands of fliers, banners and signs blanketing the area Sunday. The signs were put up by a group calling for a major change.
"What we want is for people to reckon with the history and the present realities of this country," said Kenny Wiley, an activist with Black Lives Matter 5280.
"Did you know the Stapleton was named after KKK clansman Benjamin Stapleton?" the fliers asked.Activists said it was time the community learned the history behind the name.
"Letting them know about the history of Benjamin Stapleton. He's a former clansman. Served as mayor here in Denver for 20 years," Bianca Pullen said.
"Some people would just say, well it's just a name. But what we say about Stapleton is that, that's a signal and a signifier of lingering white supremacy in our culture," Wiley said.
The hanging of the fliers was just one event planned for Sunday. Sunday night the group gathered in Denver's historic Five Points neighborhood preparing to march.
"Remembering our history, remembering Mike Brown and we're looking for ways to move forward and so that is what the change the name move was birthed out of, the need to move forward, the need to create some change, the need to create a better place for our people."
Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, the teen shot and killed by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer. Asking people to remember and act, the group hopes more will rise up to rewrite the Stapleton name and also remember that all lives matter.
"We shouldn't continue to promote white supremacy through the use of that name and we'd like to have it changed," Pullen said.
"Definitely change the name of Stapleton," said Viviana Weinstein, who showed up to support the cause.
An online Change the Name Stapleton petition had nearly 500 signatures by Sunday night.