A Vic Creek W/ A Racist Name Is Getting An Indigenous One & Some Locals Think *That’s* Divisive

jim crow creek racist name renaming djaara language

A creek in central Victoria with a wildly racist name will be given a new name derived from the local Indigenous language following two unanimous council votes. The proposal did get some objections though — which is unsurprising really — and they’re a fkn ride I tell you what.

Per the ABC, the Hepburn Shire and Mount Alexander Shire councils both voted for the name change this week. It will see the Jim Crow Creek (which was named in the 1830s and runs from Newstead and Hepburn) become the Larni Barramal Yaluk. A name suggested by the Dja Dja Wurrung community and traditional owners of the lands.

The phrase “Jim Crow” is a deeply derogatory term linked to the segregation, racism and slavery of Black people in the United States around the same time the creek was named.

But the decision didn’t come without a bit of protest from 30 locals who thought the name was just fine and didn’t need to be changed. I’m sorry… what?

Apparently, some of the objections to the name change — which would make it not a deeply derogatory term and instead mean “creek that’s the home of the emu” in Djaara language — thought the name wasn’t even racist at all.

Again: what?

Of the 30 objections that were lodged during the public consultation phase, some claimed the replacement name was “too hard to pronounce” and changing the name to Indigenous language was “divisive”.

One again for the people in the back: W H A T?

Despite that absolute noise that’s left me with my head in my hands, over 140 public submissions supported the change. Another 41 nearby locals didn’t respond to requests and were marked down as giving “tacit approval” (which essentially means they said “hmm none of my business, go on then”).

Hepburn Mayor Tim Drylie told the ABC it was a “celebratory moment” for the region and local Councillor Don Henderson added that they have to keep up as “time moves on”.

“Captain Hepburn, if he was as educated as we are today, wouldn’t have referred to it as Jim Crow Creek,” Mr Henderson said.

“We must have a name for things, so let’s have a good name.”

Not wrong, Don. Not wrong.