Now leaving Columbus ... next stop Flavortown?
A new Change.org petition is gaining momentum to change the name of Ohio’s capital city to a moniker made famous by native son — and celebrity chef — Guy Fieri. Flavortown is Fieri’s signature invention, and he’s the self-styled mayor of the place, having dedicated his professional career to finding fresh ways to allow diners to savor bold flavors. And as the online petition suggests, that’s a better legacy than the city’s current namesake, Christopher Columbus.
“Columbus is an amazing city, but one whose name is tarnished by the very name itself,” writes the petition’s mastermind, Tyler Woodbridge. “Its namesake, Christopher Columbus, is in The Bad Place because of all his raping, slave trading, and genocide. That's not exactly a proud legacy.” And, in fact, the Columbus city government is already taking steps to disassociate themselves from the 15th-century explorer, with Mayor Andrew J. Ginther announcing Thursday that a Christopher Columbus statue outside of City Hall will be promptly removed.
It’s the latest monument to be taken down amid a broad re-examination of America’s history of racial injustice in the wake of protests that followed the death of George Floyd. "For many people in our community, the statue represents patriarchy, oppression and divisiveness. That does not represent our great city, and we will no longer live in the shadow of our ugly past,” Mayor Ginther said in a statement. “Now is the right time to replace this statue with artwork that demonstrates our enduring fight to end racism and celebrate the themes of diversity and inclusion.”
Speaking with CNN, Woodbridge — who lived in Columbus for seven years, but currently resides in Tennessee — said that Fieri’s charity work, along with his famously upbeat attitude, makes him a more suitable role model for a major metropolis. Additionally, he feels that “Flavortown” more accurately captures the cultural, and culinary, melting pot that the city has become. “[Flavortown] honors Central Ohio's proud heritage as a culinary crossroads and one of the nation's largest test markets for the food industry,” his petition reads.
So far, more than 27,000 people and counting are eating up Woodbridge’s idea on Change.org. And while Fieri himself has yet to comment, Twitter is toasting Mayor Fieri with Donkey Sauce-filled dipping bowls.
Yes, and while we’re at it, replace every Columbus statue with Guy Fieri https://t.co/f5tCZl6CJY— Clay Winstead (@ClayWinstead) June 21, 2020
If they rename it Flavortown and put up statues of Guy Fieri all over town, I’m down— Casey Brefka (@caseybrefkatpt) June 20, 2020
If Columbus is renamed Flavortown does Guy Fieri automatically become mayor or will there be an election? https://t.co/ac7GP1WuNO— draglikepull (@draglikepull) June 21, 2020
Lmao @ all the people who think anyone is serious about renaming the city Flavortown. But like tbh I signed the petition because even Flavortown is better than having the city named after a genocidal rapist— Gay Wrath And The Jaspers (@JazWritesLines) June 19, 2020
Normally I’d think renaming a city is stupid, but I’m okay with this. I’d love to be able to say I’m from Flavortown.— Christopher Beaty (@beatyc82) June 20, 2020
Forget it, Emeril — it’s Flavortown.
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