Ronald Reagan Washington International Aiport

Washington D.C. Needs to Change the Offensive Name of its Airport

July 06, 2014 / by , / 167 Comments

Washington D.C. is a city rich in tradition. It is the epicenter of American history and politics, situated at the convergence of the time-honored Southern and Mid-Atlantic regions. It is this tradition that makes it one of the most fascinating and dynamic cities in the world.

The problem with tradition, however, is that it doesn’t always evolve with society, and tends to cause conflict when it needs to be reevaluated. Right now, nowhere is this dissonance between tradition and progress more apparent than in our nation’s capital; more specifically, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

To a certain extent, one can understand how the name originally was chosen. A few decades ago, things were different. Words like “trickle-down” were thrown around without regard for who might hear them and be hurt. Phrases like “ignoring the AIDS epidemic for a solid decade while his people died” were not yet in the vernacular. Things like “Iran-Contra” and “the national debt” were laughed off. But that’s not the world we live in any more. As we evolve as a society, so too must our airport names. No longer do we have tolerance for the kinds of slurs that once dominated our national lexicon, and this airport is an outdated vestige of a time when they did.

People should be free to fly in to our nation’s capital without having such an offensive name thrust upon them. Imagine, if you will, a class of eighth graders landing in a plane on a class trip to learn about our system of government. Suddenly, a sign appears spelling out the name of the airport. There’s confusion at first, then some anger. One of the students is of Poor-American heritage and takes offense. Soon all the children are repeating the derogatory term and asking what it means. Unprepared chaperones are forced to explain the dark period of cocaine abuse, neon leggings, and government contempt for the mentally ill that was the 1980’s. It is truly a tragic sight.

But it can be avoided if Washington does the right thing.

Simply put, Washington’s Other Airport (as this publication will, from here on out, refer to the DC-area airport that is not Dulles) is an offensive name in this day and age. It doesn’t matter how we got here — it’s time for Washington, DC to understand now that they must #DeReaganizeDCA.

Sign the petition here.