Some say effort to change name of Ruffin Street not worth the effort
Thomas Ruffin's portrait has been taken down at the North Carolina Supreme Court, a statue of him has been removed from the state Court of Appeals building and references to him have been scrubbed from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus. Now, some residents of a neighborhood in west Raleigh want him gone as well.
UNTIL LATE THIS YEAR TO BEGIN DRAWING NEW MAPS. >>> A NEW CALL TO REMOVE NAME OF A WHITE SUPREMACIST FROM A PLACE OF HONOR IN RALEIGH. THIS TIME A NEIGHBORHOOD ONES THOMAS RUFFIN'S NAME OFF OF THEIR STREET SIGNS. >> Reporter: A STREET OF OBSERVATION AND HOLLIES AND HANDSOME HOMES DATING BACK TO HERBERT HOOVER BUT THE NAME DATES BACK TO THE OLD SOUTH, RUFFIN, THOMAS RUFFIN, FIRE BRAND, DEFENDER OF SLAVERY, OWNER OF ENSLAVED PEOPLE HIMSELF. HE SERVED AS CHIEF JUSTICE FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA CIVIL COURT BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR. HIS PORTRAIT CAME DOWN IN DECEMBER AND NOW SOME SAY HIS NAME SHOULD COME DOWN FROM THE STREET. >> THIS ISN'T ERASING HISTORY. LET'S CHOOSE ANOTHER HISTORICAL NAME. >> SEVERAL STREETS ARE NAMED FOR LONG AGO JUSTICES. WHAT HE FINDS ESPECIALLY REPUGNANT ABOUT RUFFIN WAS RULING IN STATE VERSES MAN WHICH DECREED A MASTER WOULD NOT BE CRIMINALLY LIABLE FOR ASSAULTING AN ENSLAVED PERSON. >> IF WE DON'T KNOW OF AN EVIL, THEN WE DON'T KNOW. IF WE DO KNOW, ISN'T IT OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? >> Reporter: HE WENT ON THE NEIGHBORHOOD SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE NEXT DOOR SAYING WILL WE FOLLOW SUIT IN WEST RALEIGH? THAT DROVE DOZENS OF COMMENTS. >> MAYBE A THIRD ARE SUPPORTIVE. 25% ARE DISMISS CIV. >> Reporter: WHAT'S IN A STREET NAME CHANGE? A PETITION FOR ONE. IF NOT ALL RESIDENTS SIGN APPROVAL A, IT GOES TO PUBLIC HEARING TO CITY COUNCIL WHICH ULTIMATELY DECIDE. BUT IS IT WORTH IT. >> WHAT GOOD IN THIS DAY AND AGE IS THAT GOING TO DO? IT WILL TAKE A LOT OF TIME. >> ONE INDIVIDUAL OR A HANDFUL UPSET ABOUT SOMETHING IS NOT WORTH CHANGING A STREET THAT'S BEEN NAMED THIS SINCE 1929. >> IT'S A STREET WHERE BLACK LIVES MATTER SIGNS MIX AMONG MAGNOLIAS, A STREET THAT COULD WELL BE AT A TURNING POINT. >> RALEIGH SPOKESPERSON SAYS IN THE LAST SIX MONTHS THERE HAS BEEN ONE OFFICIAL APPLICATION