We’re generally not big fans of the current wave of renamings. It generally smacks of virtue-signaling that serves as a fig leaf for actually doing the heavy lifting of moving a community, or country, forward.
But we think the Vienna town government is being reasonable in wanting to dump the name of Confederate Lt. Gen. (and later South Carolina Gov.) Wade Hampton III from one of its residential streets. A public hearing is slated at the Vienna Town Council meeting next week.
Hampton does have local ties, but only as the leader of a Confederate force that encamped in the Vienna during the Civil War (or, as he might have known it, the “War of Northern Aggression” …). His name was engrossed by town leaders on the former Lewis Drive, S.W., in 1961 for reasons that seem lost to the mists of history.
So, let’s agree to ditch the name. The question now becomes: Do Vienna leaders rename the road based on the wishes of those who live there, or for their own purposes?
Apparently a return to Lewis Drive is not being considered, because there is another one in town (albeit with different quadrant letters). Residents of the to-be-renamed road seem to favor Roland Street, S.W., as their street already connects to the existing Roland Street nearby.
Seems the sensible choice.