Montana judge changes racist name from ‘Lost Coon Lake’ to ‘Lost Loon Lake’
- Montana judge grants petition to rename a small lake near the town of Whitefish
- ‘Lost Coon Lake’ will now be known as ‘Lost Loon Lake’, according to the judge’s order
- Whitefish is known as the part-time home of white nationalist Richard Spencer
- Residents said the lake’s original name once contained the ‘n word’
- In the 1980s, the name was changed to ‘compromise’ after visitors were offended
A Montana judge has granted a petition to rename a lake near Whitefish because the name contains an insulting term referring to a black person.
District judge Dan Wilson on Tuesday approved the petition to change the name from “Lost Coon Lake” to “Lost Loon Lake.” Flathead Beacon reported.
The town of Whitefish filed the petition in August on behalf of residents living around the lake.
Known as the part-time home of white nationalist Richard Spencer, the city has faced racist issues.
The renaming comes during a national reckoning on racism.
A judge in Montana has approved a petition from Whitefish residents asking to change the name ‘Lost Coon Lake’ (above) to ‘Lost Loon Lake’
It is not clear when the Montana Lake got its name; previously the name was the N word, residents said.
“ We literally can’t find out who requested the name change or who established the (current) name, ” Frank Sweeney, Whitefish City Council member, owner of lakeside property, said in August.
He said he saw a printed card with the previous name.
“I don’t think there was any (racist) intent” in the current name, Sweeney said.
However, it offended some visitors who then found a Wikipedia page saying that the racial epithet was in the lake’s previous name and that the current name was some sort of compromise.
“People have been extremely offended,” Angela Jacobs, Whitefish City attorney, said in August.
‘We have had different citizens, different visitors who complain to us that this information is available. I guess whether it’s true or not, people are really offended. ‘
Under state law, the lake’s name change will become official in January.
The lake covers a tenth of a square mile (a quarter of a square kilometer) on the southern edge of Whitefish.
Whitefish has tackled racism in the recent past.
The town of Whitefish filed the petition in August on behalf of residents living around the lake
A black woman who took part in a Black Lives Matter rally in June, following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by police, was confronted by a white man screaming in her face.
The confrontation, where she lifted her sunglasses and stared him in the face, was captured on video.
Samantha Francine said her late father told her to face opponents by looking them straight in the eye “so they know you’re human.”
Another problem started when Spencer delivered a speech to his white supremacist think tank the National Policy Institute in November 2016, in which he mentioned Whitefish and stated, “ Greetings Trump! Hail our people! Victory to victory! ‘
His mother, Sherry Spencer, faced backlash in Whitefish over his speech, telling the media she might be forced to sell a commercial building.
A Jewish real estate agent in Whitefish was subjected to a ‘troll storm’ advocated by Andrew Anglin’s neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer after Sherry Spencer accused the real estate agent of threatening and harassing her to sell her property, the court said.
Anglin published the telephone numbers, email addresses and social media profiles of the woman, her husband and their 12-year-old son.
A federal judge sentenced Anglin to pay $ 14 million in damages to the agent and her family after receiving hundreds of threatening emails, letters, texts and phone calls from December 2016 to April 2017.
Anglin did not appear in court to defend the family’s lawsuit. The agent’s lawyers have said Anglin has not paid the verdict.
Whitefish, Montana, is the part-time home of white nationalist leader Richard Spencer (seen above in 2017)