Proposition F has passed. Martin Luther King Jr. Way has had its name changed back to Market Street. The outcome of the vote deeply saddened me. I believe that, unfortunately, racism did indeed play a role in the final tally.
The people of San Diego had two choices. By voting for Market Street, they could send a message to the City Council to act responsibly. Or, they could honor Dr. King and his movement by voting to keep the street in his name. But since the street already held his name, to change it back would be an insult to those who continue the push for equality.
In choosing Market Street, San Diego voters not only withheld an honor from a national hero, but they said his life was not worth the asphalt that carried his name.
Racism was a factor in people's decisions. It is conscious in some, unconscious in many. It includes the beliefs that the struggle for equal rights is not a worthy one, that Martin Luther King was a troublemaker.
The history of our civil rights movement is too important to neglect. I urge San Diegans to write their council members and ask that something else be named in Dr. King's honor, the convention center perhaps.