Columbus, Ohio was incorporated in 1816 and named for the explorer often credited with discovering the Americas, Christopher Columbus. About 152 years later, Guy Ramsay Fieri was born in that city, and he's the man often credited with keeping anti-cholesterol drugmakers in business as well as being the Mayor of Flavortown.
Now a petition at Change.org seeks to strike Columbus from city charter and put Guy Fieri in his stead, in a way—by renaming the capital of Ohio to "Flavortown."
The reasoning behind such a big change, per petition creator Tyler Woodbridge, is the following:
Columbus is an amazing city, but one whose name is tarnished by the very name itself. Its namesake, Christopher Columbus, is in The Bad Place because of all his raping, slave trading, and genocide. That's not exactly a proud legacy.
Why not rename the city Flavortown? The new name is twofold. For one, it honors Central Ohio's proud heritage as a culinary crossroads and one of the nation's largest test markets for the food industry. Secondly, cheflebrity Guy Fieri was born in Columbus, so naming the city in honor of him (he's such a good dude, really) would be superior to its current nomenclature.
Christopher Columbus did explore and make major discoveries throughout the New World. When he later became Viceroy and Governor of the Indies, he was also allegedly a brutal tyrant and—in the words of historian Consuelo Varela—"Even those who loved him had to admit the atrocities that had taken place."
Protests for social justice around the world have led to the toppling of statues created to remember famous figures who have been revealed through historical research as brutal and murderous at the worst and at the very least, racist.
But this isn't quite the same as dragging a statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis to the ground and doesn't seem on the face of it like the kind of thing that will actually happen—but plenty of people want it, regardless.
As of early afternoon on June 22, 2020, nearly 28,700 had signed in favor of making Fieri's signature term the city's name.
It's not hard to make a case for the chef and philanthropist getting the honor:
- He fed over 1,000 California wildfire evacuees and sought no publicity for the deed.
- Fieri raised more than $20 million to help restaurant workers unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- In 2015 he officiated 101 gay weddings to honor his late sister, who was a lesbian.
- He's already the damn mayor of Flavortown, anyway.
And who wouldn't want to tell people they were planning a vacation to Flavortown? Sounds like a win-win, all the way around.