Genocidal ex-Governor's namesake might become Prince Rogers Nelson Middle School

The smiling faces of Ramsey Middle School

The smiling faces of Ramsey Middle School Provided

If you're anything like the students at Alexander Ramsey Middle School, you're not down with genocide. 

And that's what makes the Minneapolis school's namesake -- Alexander Ramsey, Minnesota's second governor -- so problematic. During his 1860-'63 governorship, the dude said, "The Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state," and then witnessed the largest mass execution in U.S. history occur in his state. 

So case closed on Ramsey being a monster. 

Which brings us back to Ramsey Middle School. A student-led campaign recently launched in order to find "a new name that would better reflect our values and inspire our students." Five finalists emerged, including Minnesota's very own departed music superstar, Prince Rogers Nelson. 

Here's the complete list of finalists, which the public can vote on through February

Prince Rogers Nelson
Pros: International music icon; not Alexander Ramsey

Dorothy Vaughan
Pros: Pioneering African-American mathematician for NASA, as portrayed by Octavia Spencer in hit 2016 film Hidden Figures; not Alexander Ramsey

Alan Page
Pros: Vikings great/Pro Football Hall of Famer turned Minnesota Supreme Court justice; not Alexander Ramsey

Martha Ripley
Pros: Minnesota-born physician who proudly championed equal rights for women and children at her Ripley Memorial Hospital; not Alexander Ramsey. 

Bde Ota
Pros: Dakota-language word for Minneapolis ("many lakes"); not an Alexander Ramsey quote.

Ramsey students built this extremely helpful website to navigate the public through the name-changing process. The campaign must worm its way though various meetings, assemblies, councils, etc., before ultimately being voted on by the Minneapolis Board of Education in June. The whole thing costs money, and your tax-deductible donation can assist with that. 

Another Minneapolis landmark, Lake Calhoun, endured similar name-change scrutiny in 2015