It's time to change a Huddersfield Street named "Kaffir"

It's time to change a Huddersfield Street named "Kaffir"

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Pursuit of Happiness started this petition to Kirklees Council

Kaffir - The Oxford English Dictionary describes this word as

  • An offensive and derogatory description of black people and was widely used during the apartheid era of South Africa.
  • A noun used by Muslims as a pejorative term for a people who do not follow Islam, its use is considered offensive and intended to offend.

As residents of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, we believe that the street name has been ignored in the borough of Kirklees for long enough and with your support, in light of the black lives matter movement, the climate has arrived to replace this name. It is the ONLY street in the entire UK with this name.

It sits alongside Grade II listed buildings with historical links to the slave trade and as a black community, for those of faith and those of no faith, the time is right for the residents to do the right thing.

Changing a street name requires 2/3rds of the residents to agree to the street name change. We have engaged with the residents and the response has been underwhelming. Hence, a public campaign with direct action is the only option we have to ensure the streets of Kirklees do not insult and offend our community.

At the heart of the origin of Kaffir is religious disagreement. The earliest evidence of its usage in English attests that it is used as a noun by Muslims as a pejorative term for a person who does not follow Islam – a use that is both considered offensive and intended to offend. 

Over the centuries Kaffir was adopted by white colonialists to describe black Africans. By the 20th century, kaffir was widely understood to be a slur. Its power to insult and offend only grew in apartheid-era South Africa, so much so that its use became legally actionable.

We are asking for your support to force the local authority to have the courage to act, especially as we have given the knowledge of how offensive we find this word to the residents who so far have refused to accept that times have changed.

 

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At 35,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!