Is It Time for the Return of Mount Tahoma

As you may have heard over the weekend President Obama announced that Mount McKinley in Alaska will be officially changing back to its native name, Denali.

With this out-of-state news about Alaska's biggest peak, we can't help but think about Washington's biggest peak...

While the President is in the mood to change names, maybe it's time to declare that Mount Rainier revert to its original native name, and became Mount Tahoma? Or Mount Takhoma? Or is it Mount Tacoma...?

Which do you like?

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DeeBee Cooper

I think we should ask the first tribes for the spelling but I prefer Takhoma.

August 31, 2015 at 4:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

6 | 1


How would they know? They didn’t have written language, never mind a comparable alphabet, when we came in and renamed all their stuff.

September 1, 2015 at 1:44 am / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 6

Dr. Who Cares

Who cares? Do you honestly think the Indians that live here do? Effn no!! Our government back in the day took their land…and you think some Indian is going to care…with all that’s happening in the world…this is what some of the idiots want to waste our time with…

August 31, 2015 at 7:05 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 12


Somebody needs a hug…

August 31, 2015 at 7:52 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

14 | 2


Are you the designated spokesperson for the entire Native Amerrican population?

August 31, 2015 at 8:56 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

8 | 0

Mike P

Here here… let’s talk about JBLM and the Nisqually before we start doing wide-gestures.

September 11, 2015 at 10:05 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


Sure why not. Upper Tacoma went back to Hilltop and some weren’t happy about it.

August 31, 2015 at 8:16 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


Original name… Why not Talol?

August 31, 2015 at 11:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


Denali is a way cooler name than McKinley. Rainier, however, is cooler than any of the Native American alternatives, mostly because of Rainier Wolfcastle. So that settles it.

Also, we name things so that people know what we’re talking about. People know Mount Rainier, so if you start calling it Takhoma, people are gonna be like “the city?” Thus defeating the purpose of language.

September 1, 2015 at 1:40 am / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 4


This region has much bigger fish to fry than renaming this mountain. 

Renaming Woodrow Wilson High Scholl should be our first priority.

Mr. Monroe Trotter. Mr. President, we are here to renew our protest against the segregation of colored employees in the departments of our National Government. We [had] appealed to you to undo this race segregation in accord with your duty as President and with your pre-election pledges to colored American voters. We stated that such segregation was a public humiliation and degradation, and entirely unmerited and far-reaching in its injurious effects. . . .

President Woodrow Wilson. The white people of the country, as well as I, wish to see the colored people progress, and admire the progress they have already made, and want to see them continue along independent lines. There is, however, a great prejudice against colored people. . . . It will take one hundred years to eradicate this prejudice, and we must deal with it as practical men. Segregation is not humiliating, but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen. If your organization goes out and tells the colored people of the country that it is a humiliation, they will so regard it, but if you do not tell them so, and regard it rather as a benefit, they will regard it the same. The only harm that will come will be if you cause them to think it is a humiliation.

Mr. Monroe Trotter. It is not in accord with the known facts to claim that the segregation was started because of race friction of white and colored [federal] clerks. The indisputable facts of the situation will not permit of the claim that the segregation is due to the friction. It is untenable, in view of the established facts, to maintain that the segregation is simply to avoid race friction, for the simple reason that for fifty years white and colored clerks have been working together in peace and harmony and friendliness, doing so even through two [President Grover Cleveland] Democratic administrations. Soon after your inauguration began, segregation was drastically introduced in the Treasury and Postal departments by your appointees.

President Woodrow Wilson. If this organization is ever to have another hearing before me it must have another spokesman. Your manner offends me. . . . Your tone, with its background of passion.

Mr. Monroe Trotter. But I have no passion in me, Mr. President, you are entirely mistaken; you misinterpret my earnestness for passion.


President Wilson’s initial policy measures were so stridently anti-black, Du Bois felt obliged to write “Another Open Letter to Woodrow Wilson” in September 1913. Du Bois was blunt, writing that “t is no exaggeration to say that every enemy of the Negro race is greatly encouraged; that every man who dreams of making the Negro race a group of menials and pariahs is alert and hopeful.” Listing the most notorious racists of the era, including “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman,** Du Bois wrote that they were undoubtedly encouraged since “not a single act” or “a single word” from Wilson “has given anyone reason” to believe that he will act positively with respect to African Americans citing the removal of several black appointees from office and the appointment of a single black whom was “such a contemptible cur, that his very nomination was an insult to every Negro in the land.” Altogether the segregationist and discriminatory policies of Wilson in his first six months alone were judged by Du Bois to be the “gravest attack on the liberties” of African Americans since Emancipation.

In a tone that was almost threatening Du Bois wrote the president that there exist “foolish people who think that such policy has no limit and that lynching “Jim Crowism,” segregation and insult are to be permanent institutions in America.” Pointing to the segregation in the Treasury and Post Office Departments Du Bois wrote Wilson of the “colored clerks [that] have been herded to themselves as though they were not human beings” and of the one clerk “who could not actually be segregated on account of the nature of his work” who, therefore, “had a cage built around him to separate him from his white companions of many years,” he asked President Wilson a long series of questions. “Mr. Wilson, do you know these things? Are you responsible for them? Did you advise them? Do you know that no other group of American citizens has ever been treated in this way and that no President of the United States ever dared to propose such treatment?” Like Trotter later Du Bois ends by threatening Wilson with the complete loss of black votes for any of his future electoral quests or that of his Democratic Party. Du Bois relied on questions to hammer home his point. “1. Do you want Negro votes? 2. Do you think that ‘Jim Crow’ civil service will get these votes? 3. Is your Negro policy to be dictated by Tillman and Vardaman? . . . “

September 1, 2015 at 8:22 am / Reply / Quote and reply

5 | 5


“Segregation is not humiliating, but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen.”–Woodrow Wilson

If you all want to know how I learned of Wilson’s despicable legacy I was perusing a selection of biographies and came across this book

The Guardian of Boston: William Monroe Trotter. Reading that book and further independent research into Woodrow Wilson’s Administration, particularly with regard to resegregating what had been a desegregated federal Civil Service and US Military made me sick. I live right down the street from Woodrow Wilson High School and hundreds of black high school students must sit in a building named in honor of this man if they wish to take advantage of their right to public education. This is not just wrong, it is obscene.

Educate yourself and if you don’t agree with me that this man’s name has no business anywhere near a place of honor in public education you are certainly entitled to your opinion. But you and I will never agree on that.

While president, he made sure to avoid admitting black students to Princeton’s undergraduate program. When a black man from South Carolina wrote of his desire to attend Princeton, Wilson wrote back and “politely” informed him that blacks were not welcome at his school, though also suggesting that he apply to Princeton’s Theological Seminary, an institution separate from the main university.

In his writings, Wilson eulogized the antebellum South and lamented the period of reconstruction that followed the Civil War. To quote Wilson himself on this subject, “self-preservation [forced whites] to rid themselves, by fair means or foul, of the intolerable burden of governments sustained by the votes of ignorant negroes.”

September 1, 2015 at 8:24 am / Reply / Quote and reply

5 | 5

Way to piss all over others and belittle their car

Just because it’s of little importance to you, or just because YOU personally put higher priority on something else, IN NO WAY means what YOU care about is more important. And just because you don’t care doesn’t mean the mountain isn’t worthy of attention.
Furthermore, people aren’t limited with ONE TRACK MINDS.
MULTIPLE issues can be considered, without the need of anyone pissing over another in an attention whoring spotlight grab attempt.

But personally, .... IMHO…..
A HIGHLY VISIBLE mountain, viewed and enjoyed by not only natives but tourists/visitors throughout the year is a TAD more important in naming than a school.
Only a SMALL minority of the populous care about the school, let alone even know that it exists.

There would be MUCH more beneficial for awareness of the native heritage of the area, if a PERMANENT and HIGHLY VISIBLE landmark take priority.

September 1, 2015 at 4:15 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 6


Is the mountain named in honor of a virulent racist and segregationist who, as soon as he took office, instituted an aggressive program to REsegregate the federal Civil Service and US Military?  Yes, you read that right, re segregate that which had been largely desegregated over the course of the preceding five decades. 

Well, is it?  Did Woodrow Wilson block the admission of black students to Princeton (at a time when other schools were opening up their admissions to blacks) when he was President of that school? 

Is having black students have to accept the Faustian bargain of attending a school named in honor of the most virulent racist and segregationist President in the last hundred years demeaning and insulting?  You bet it is. 

Am I going to keep pointing out the blatant hypocrisy of the grievance mongers and opportunistists every chance I get?  You bet I will. 

September 2, 2015 at 12:11 am / Reply / Quote and reply

5 | 3


And before the “progressive” apologists for this rabid segregationist and all around bigot even get started defending him by trying to point to the defects of others: 

The difference between Washington and Jefferson and Wilson is that the first two both through their writings and actions made efforts to start the process to end slavery. Jefferson proposed legislation in Virginia in 1778 to stop importation of more slaves, and 1784 he proposed outlawing slavery in the Northwest territories. Washington similarly made efforts to further the debate on ending slavery.

Wilson on the other hand made concrete efforts to roll back integration and expand the reach of segregation.

You can certainly argue that Washington and Jefferson could have done more, though they probably would not have succeeded at that time, but Wilson had no such excuse because all of his efforts were directed at making things worse for Blacks.

September 1, 2015 at 8:26 am / Reply / Quote and reply

5 | 4


So today in “enlightened” Tacoma, we have a situation in which if hundreds of black families who wish to have their teenager educated in the local public school are faced with the choice of accepting the Faustian bargain of having their child submitted to the degradation and humiliation of having to attend classes in a school named after the most rabid segregationist bigots to have held the office of President of the United States, at least since the Civil War ended, but IMHO one of the worst ever. 

If this isn’t an insult to black families in Tacoma and a travesty I don’t know what possibly could be.

September 1, 2015 at 8:34 am / Reply / Quote and reply

5 | 4


Oh, it gets worse, much worse: 

On the evening of March 21, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson attended a special screening at the White House of THE BIRTH OF A NATION, a film directed by D.W. Griffith and based on THE CLANSMAN, a novel written by Wilson’s good friend Thomas Dixon. The film presented a distorted portrait of the South after the Civil War, glorifying the Ku Klux Klan and denigrating blacks. It falsified the period of Reconstruction by presenting blacks as dominating Southern whites (almost all of whom are noble in the film) and sexually forcing themselves upon white women. The Klan was portrayed as the South’s savior from this alleged tyranny. Not only was this portrayal untrue, it was the opposite of what actually happened. During Reconstruction, whites dominated blacks and assaulted black women. The Klan was primarily a white terrorist organization that carried out hundreds of murders.

After seeing the film, an enthusiastic Wilson reportedly remarked: “It is like writing history with lightning, and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.” African-American audiences openly wept at the film’s malicious portrayal of blacks, while Northern white audiences cheered. The film swept the nation. Riots broke out in major cities (Boston and Philadelphia, among others), and it was denied release in many other places (Chicago, Ohio, Denver, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Minneapolis). Gangs of whites roamed city streets attacking blacks. In Lafayette, Indiana, a white man killed a black teenager after seeing the movie. Thomas Dixon reveled in its triumph. “The real purpose of my film,” he confessed gleefully, “was to revolutionize Northern audiences that would transform every man into a Southern partisan for life.”

As the NAACP fought against the film and tried unsuccessfully to get it banned, the Ku Klux Klan successfully used it to launch a massive recruiting campaign that would bring in millions of members. Griffith later regretted the racial prejudice that his film promoted. He tried to make amends by making INTOLERANCE, a film attacking race prejudice. But INTOLERANCE never approached the success of THE BIRTH OF A NATION.

September 1, 2015 at 8:43 am / Reply / Quote and reply

5 | 5


And I have documentation wherein all of the Tacoma School District Board, The School Superintendent, The Mayor and entire City Council of Tacoma , The Pierce County Executive and County Council have been made aware of this situation, which if they were in the least concerned as concerned as they would have you believe they are about racism they would consider this a scandal and disgrace.  Not one of them has shown the least bit of interest in getting it corrected, in fact many have defended continuing to honor Woodrow Wilson by retaining his name on this public school. 

This isn’t “micro-aggression,” it goes way beyond that, it is in your face humiliation and degradation directed directory at black teenagers who are forced to consider whether to sit down and shut up if they want to attend their neighborhood PUBLIC high school.

September 1, 2015 at 8:50 am / Reply / Quote and reply

5 | 5


That settles it. Mount Woodrow Wilson it is.

September 1, 2015 at 10:47 am / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 3


Well it appears that the representative of the Klu Klux Klan, posting under the handle “Stu,” has weighed in and favors further honoring a bigoted segregationist. 

You may want to consider a run for public office Stu.  The electorate here in Tacoma has put quite a few others in office who share your view that subjecting black public school students to humiliation and degradation if they wish to exercise their RIGHT to public education by attending the school right in their own neighborhood is a laughing matter. 

You will have to excuse me, I really don’t think this is one damn bit funny.

September 1, 2015 at 11:39 am / Reply / Quote and reply

5 | 7


JDHasty…. sarcasm and/or facetism isn’t dodgeball.
Try not to ACTIVELY miss the point. ;-p

September 1, 2015 at 4:21 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 2


Lighten up, Francis. It was funny.

I happen to agree with you, in this case. Woodie Wilson was a jerk when it came to his beliefs about race. To send a person of color to any school that bears the name Woodrow Wilson is an insult. I’m surprised a name change has not already been made. It’s long overdue.

Perhaps it is time to stop naming public buildings, places and spaces after individuals. Who among us can stand the test of time? It’s impossible to know. Today’s hero may well be tomorrow’s goat.

Like Wilson.

September 1, 2015 at 7:32 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 2



It would be funny if it were not for the FACT that we here in Tacoma nad Pierce County do not have a single elected official who will come forward and say:

I happen to agree with you, in this case. Woodie Wilson was a jerk when it came to his beliefs about race. To send a person of color to any school that bears the name Woodrow Wilson is an insult. I’m surprised a name change has not already been made. It’s long overdue.

Given that they can no longer plead ignorance, I have provided them with what Woodrow Wilson’s record on race is it makes me wonder what capacity these individuals have to actually appreciate injustice other than as a tool to exploit to advance their own agenda items and increase their own political power. 

Here within the next few days they will, one and all, be making statements on the humiliation and degradation that people of Chinese origin we’re subjected to a century ago, but the irony of their own lack of ability to recognize that they are doing absolutely nothing to end the degradation and insult that a black student must endure TODAY by having to enter into a school named after a virulent racist and segregationist will be totally lost on these hypocrites. 

September 3, 2015 at 4:45 am / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 5


Oh my god we’re stuck in italics.</i>

September 1, 2015 at 5:16 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 0


If Exit 133 really cared, they’d change their font to Tahoma??  Fun with fonts!

September 2, 2015 at 10:05 am / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 0


Tahoma or Tacoma or Takhoma really just means “mountain”, it isn’t necessarily specific to our mountain. I think that we’re in a different situation than Denali. Most people call it Denali and there are few cultural associations with the name McKinley. Rainier on the other hand… there’s sports teams and beer that share the name. Need I say more?

September 2, 2015 at 9:42 am / Reply / Quote and reply

3 | 1


Let’s just settle on the better pronunciation:  Rainy-er
The appropriateness of that name, no one can deny!

September 3, 2015 at 11:19 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


For about thirty years, perhaps as a trial-run for the new name of North America’s highest mountain, Denali National Park replaced the name Mount McKinley National Park.  Now the parkland around Washington’s highest mountain can be renamed Takhoma National Park.  Theodore Winthrop recorded in the 1850s at Fort Nisqually the tale of the Mountain callled “Tacoma and the Indian Legend of Hamitchou” that described salmon and how the mountain sustained their lifecycle. Awestruck by the beauty of the peak as he viewed it from what he called Puyallup Bay, he criticized the named Rainier and deemed Tacoma a more melodiously title, as the native peoples called it, per his book “The Canoe and the Saddle”.  Winthrop’s memory is honored with name of a glacier on his Tacoma and a hotel in Tacoma.  Some scholars dispute whether Winthrop had egalitarian regard for native people in how he sometimes seemed to make fun of them in his diary but in 1870 Hazzard Stevens and Philemon Beech van Trump published an article in The Atlantic magazine about their journey to the top of Washington Territory’s highest peak, a feat they probably could not have accomplished without the help of their guide, a native man named Sluiskin, who feared the fiery bowels atop the peak.  Sluiskin did not go to the summit bu those steam vents were what save Stevens and van Trump from a freezing overnight death when they got trapped on top.  “The Ascent of Takhoma” is how they titled their article.  Brighter people tend to know the peak as Takhoma or Tacoma.  Let the Rainier Club and the Tacoma Rainiers and Seattle’s Rainier Avenue have their mountain (for now) but a move should rise from the economically powerful tribes of Washington to encourage the establishment of Takhoma National Park around Mount Rainier.  The tribal stories of the mountain must be revived, just as the state park planned for development at the confluence of the Mashell and Nisqually rivers will commemorate the outrageous and unjust massacre of innocent native peoples there in the 1850s during the terrible so-called Indian wars to oppress native people waged by climber Stevens’ father, Isaac Ingalls Stevens, the territory’s first governor.  Even in the racist Pierce County of the 1850s (white men married to native women were jailed at Steilacoom without habeas corpus as Stevens declared martial law), where Chief Leschi was sentenced to death for his alleged crimes of murder of a white soldier, pioneer Ezra Meeker felt an innocent man had been put executed on a Lakewood prairie for acts he had done in defense of his people during war against the unfair/unilateral Stevens treaties that were later slightly revised to favor Leschi’s people, the Nisqually.

September 4, 2015 at 9:47 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


How about naming the Mountain after someone whom was very important for the development of Washington territory namely former Sercretary of War Jefferson Davis.
See here from the detailed information about Jefferson Davis Park in Washington State.

September 6, 2015 at 5:47 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 1

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