Editorials

Half-naming The Paseo for Martin Luther King Jr. is a wholly lousy idea

The Kansas City Council on Thursday considered a proposal that would sorta rename The Paseo for Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. on the Paseo, it would be called. The council made no decision on this matter.

But hey, why stop at that mouthful of a half-baked name?

Martin Luther King Jr. on the Paseo or Not has a nice ring to it.

Or even more elegant, Martin Luther King Jr. on the Paseo or Not, Since 2018 or Thereabouts.

It would be better to do nothing than to half-name a street for the civil rights martyr assassinated in Memphis half a century ago.

Is it going to take another half-century to name a whole street for him here?

Council member Jermaine Reed was right to push back against the clunky, half-a-street naming for a man whose convictions cost him his life.

“We need a street that’s fully, fully named after Dr. King and not a partial naming of Dr. King,’’ Reed said, “and I would hope that we as a council and as a community would embrace ensuring that the citizens who live along The Paseo have an actual voice.”

Elsewhere across the land, naming a street for a hero doesn’t seem to have been the epic struggle that it has been in Kansas City.

First, the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Board rejected a proposal to rename The Paseo.

Last spring, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference collected signatures to put the issue of the renaming on the November ballot. But that didn’t happen because they didn’t meet the deadline.

A working group commissioned by Mayor Sly James suggested renaming Kansas City International Airport, 63rd Street or The Paseo. The council could have chosen any of these but did not.

Then Councilman Quinton Lucas tried to slip the renaming into the East Side revival measure that passed on Thursday.

Though we understand his frustration, that wasn’t the way to do it.

Why can’t the City Council just get this done in plain sight, and in this calendar year?

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