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Call to rename the White Cliffs of Dover after Black Lives Matter is criticised as 'moronic' and detrimental to fight against racism

A call to rename Dover's iconic white cliffs after the Black Lives Matter movement has been lambasted as a prank that damages the campaign's poignancy.

A petition created Hannah Stubbs has been accused of making a mockery out of the movement which has spiked in interest since the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in the US.

The cliffs at Dover
The cliffs at Dover

The cliffs, between Deal and Dover, have been immortalised in Dame Vera Lynn's wartime song (There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover.

They've been a platform for many memorials and campaigns over the years too. Lasers have projected messages of a political or historical nature on subjects, from Brexit to the Centenary of the First World War.

But April Fools jokers have also utilised the structure's blank canvas appeal, most notably in the continually running hoax claiming they've had a lick of paint in a spring-time spruce-up.

Ms Stubbs' campaign, had collected over 80 signatures, has been met with disbelief and anger.

The page claimed the cliffs' historical name is "microaggression against people whom 'white' does not describe."

A countdown to Brexit was projected onto the White Cliffs of Dover below Aycliffe, by a company called Wagestream. Picture by Georgie Scott
A countdown to Brexit was projected onto the White Cliffs of Dover below Aycliffe, by a company called Wagestream. Picture by Georgie Scott

She added: "Is it really appropriate and sensitive in this day and age to persist in calling a national symbol "white"?

"The fact that these cliffs are called "white" stands as a racially-insensitive reminder of white privilege and white dominance in a country where many people are Black or Minority Ethnic.

"Why should marginalized people have to utter the name of the race that oppresses them in order to refer to a geological feature?"

In a scathing attack, someone with the account name Me You said: "Your an absolute moron!! (sic)

"Your making a mockery out of the BLM movement, people are offended by this! Do you honestly think that will make any difference?

Dame Vera Lynn will forever be associated with the cliffs. Pictured here with Swingtime Sweethearts
Dame Vera Lynn will forever be associated with the cliffs. Pictured here with Swingtime Sweethearts

"Lets change the names of everything what has the word white in it to Black Lives Matter.

"We call it a white Christmas because it’s white with snow, now called a Black Lives Matter Christmas.

"Do see how ridiculous this petition is, I can’t even believe it’s real. You are the problem and your ignorance is what is wrong with today’s society..."

Facebookers have shown disbelief too.

Claire Hall said: "This is surely a joke? Every human, no matter what race, sexuality, religion, etc, should be treated equally. I 100% agree with that but our cliffs are white. So do we re-write the Vera Lynn song next?"

The petition has now been taken offline.

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