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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week
Good morning,
A topic that’ll guarantee a hard debate among Chicagoans nowadays is the renaming of Lake Shore Drive for Jean Baptiste Point DuSable.
Here’s our take: Among a small category of iconic Chicago street names that should be left alone we would include Lake Shore Drive, the perfect name for that glorious ribbon of road that dazzles tourists and life-long Chicagoans alike.
The heart of the matter, though, is that Chicago’s ongoing debate about DuSable and Lake Shore Drive is not really about street names, the Editorial Board writes. It’s about the need for Chicago, like our nation as a whole, to insist on a more honest accounting of its history, across all color lines.
Here’s another hot topic that’s had people talking — mental health and tennis. The sports world was stunned this week when 23-year-old tennis champion Naomi Osaka pulled out of the French Open on Monday after she declined to participate in a post-match news conference. In Commentary, columnist Mary Mitchell writes that Osaka’s bold decision to go public with her mental health struggle shines a light in a very dark place — and it could save lives.
In Letters to the Editor, we read about next year’s primary elections being pushed back by three months under a bill approved by the General Assembly early this week. Bob Manewith of West Ridge gives us three reasons why the temporary move to June should be made permanent.
— Ismael Pérez, editorial board member

Jean Baptiste Point DuSable | Sun-Times Library file
Jean Baptiste Point DuSable | Sun-Times Library file
Nobody in Chicago would seriously consider renaming State Street. It’s that “Great Street,” celebrated in song. It is integral to Chicago’s brand around the world.
Nobody would seriously consider renaming Madison Street, either, if only because State and Madison go together like salt and pepper. The intersection of State and Madison is the starting point for Chicago’s entire street grid.
In the same small category of iconic Chicago street names that should be left alone we would include Lake Shore Drive, the perfect name for that glorious ribbon of road that dazzles tourists and life-long Chicagoans alike. Lake Shore Drive should remain Lake Shore Drive — an advertisement for our town every time the name is spoken — though we appreciate the arguments of those who want to rename it for Jean Baptiste Point DuSable.
The larger point — that the contributions of Black people in Chicago have been underplayed and consciously suppressed in local histories for way too long — is entirely true. And we agree with those who want to do more to honor DuSable, a Black man who was the city’s first non-indigenous permanent settler.
We favor Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposals to honor DuSable with new investments in a park east of Lake Shore Drive, and with monuments and programming on the Riverwalk. As the mayor says, this would be “something that helps teach about the legacy of DuSable and his wife that goes way past a name change.”
We also favor finding a more attention-grabbing way to honor DuSable, such as perhaps renaming the Dan Ryan Expressway or Edens Expressway for him. Dan Ryan was a Cook County Board president. William G. Edens, a banker who headed the Illinois Highway Improvement Association, never even owned or drove a car.
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board is the opinion voice of the hardest-working newspaper in America. It is headed by editorial page editor Tom McNamee and includes Thomas FrisbieLorraine ForteLee BeyIsmael Pérez and Mary Mitchell as members.
What others have to say
Mary Mitchell on Naomi Osaka taking a stand to protect her mental health:
Like other athletes who have defied league rules to make a point, Osaka will likely pay the price for her stance.
It will be worth it.
Naomi Osaka’s activism could save lives
More editorials we published this week
Legislature will own Chicago’s school woes if a bad plan for an elected board prevails
Could Mayor Lightfoot’s confusing stand on General Iron cost Chicago millions?
In your words
“For one, our election season is too long. Starting to gather petition signatures in December for a March primary begins the formal process 11 months prior to the general election.”
— Bob Manewith, West Ridge
Every day we publish submissions from Chicago Sun-Times readers weighing in on issues facing the city and its residents. Send letters to letters@suntimes.com or reply to this email to share your perspective.
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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week

A weekly overview of opinions, analysis and commentary on issues affecting Chicago, Illinois and our nation by outside contributors, Sun-Times readers and the CST Editorial Board.

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