Historic British 'Little White Town' Forced to Change Signs Over 'Racism' Complaints
Bideford in Devon accused of 'white supremacy' over 160-year-old name
The historic British port of Bideford in Devon, nicknamed "The Little White Town" due to the color of its buildings, has been forced to change its signs following complaints of "racism."
Bideford, in South West England, was dubbed “The Little White Town” by the Victorian author Charles Kingsley over 160 years ago in the historical novel Westward Ho!
The name was a reference to the many white buildings which give the town its character.
Bideford’s houses were first painted white in 1850 when the town was battling outbreaks of cholera, according to local history website East-the-Water.
The site says the council ordered houses to be lime-washed and the street to be spread with ash in a bid to combat the disease.
"The Little White Town" of Bideford is to now change its signs over fears “the town council could be classed as a racist white supremacist [sic],” however.
According to Breitbart, town councilor and former town mayor Dermot McGeough complained that “The wording ‘Little White Town’ can be perceived as causing a racist slur and not politically correct” and should “be rectified immediately.”
At a council meeting, he put forward a motion that “Following a number of complaints from parishioners, I propose that the words ‘Little White Town’ are removed from all signs within the town and at the town entrances”.
“If this wording is not removed, the town council could be classed as a racist white supremacist [sic],” McGeough warned colleagues, according to a local report by DevonLive.
A survey on this supposedly contentious issue found that 69 percent of Bideford residents were in favor of leaving the town sobriquet unchanged, compared to just 31 percent who thought it should change — so naturally, councilors voted in favor of changing it.
The town council did offer a sop of sorts to traditionalists like councilor Doug Bushby, who said the proposal was “political correctness gone mad,” by not dropping Bideford’s identity as “The Little White Town” entirely.
Instead, they decided that signs will now bear the rather clumsier moniker “Charles Kingsley’s ‘Little White Town’ (1855)” — to add “context.”
It has not been reported how much money will be squandered on the changes, but critics have questioned where the current mania for politically correct revisionism will end.
“[Town councilor] Peter Lawrence didn’t want to cause any offense but [I] did wonder where this might lead asking if ‘Bideford Black’ paint should be renamed ‘Bideford Slightly Dark’?” recounted Peter Christie, another town councilor, in a local newspaper column. (Bideford Black is a unique earth pigment mined in the area.)
McGeough’s efforts to alter Bideford’s identity showcase the determination of social justice-minded politicians to have their way on such issues.
A previous attempt by town councilors to scrap ‘The Little White Town’ name in 2008 had failed in the face of local protests.