• Jeffrey Zalles

Drop the Plantation

Plantation. As the word crosses my mind, I envision Scarlet O’Hara in her beautiful mansion on her idyllic estate, surrounded by loyal and obedient servants. Then, slowly, another vision enters my brain; one of torture, of rape, of family separation, of genocide. Too often this vision is upon me, for as I return daily to my home in St. James, the word “Plantation” welcomes me.

My children have urged me never to tell anyone that my home is in a place called Plantation, for it is too embarrassing to them. I have friends and neighbors who are ashamed, as I am, and when asked where they live, will reply only “St. James”.

Let us stop pretending that the name of our community is not offensive. It is. As Martin Luther King once said, “The time is always right to do what’s right.”

The time to do what’s right is now.