Now There Is a Civil War Among Neighbors Over Confederate-Named Streets

A woman tends to a lawn at the corner of Confederate Lane and Plantation Parkway in the Mosby Woods neighborhood of Fairfax on Wednesday. The city is considering changing several names in the Civil War-themed development, but neighbors are divided. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)
A woman tends to a lawn at the corner of Confederate Lane and Plantation Parkway in the Mosby Woods neighborhood of Fairfax on Wednesday. The city is considering changing several names in the Civil War-themed development, but neighbors are divided. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

On the corner of Confederate Lane and Plantation Parkway in the Civil War-themed housing development of Mosby Woods, a “Black Lives Matter” lawn sign faces the two street markers.

A few blocks away in the same Northern Virginia development, other signs urge neighbors to “Save Ranger Rd!!” while cars bear parking permits with the neighborhood’s logo: a Confederate Raider on horseback charging into battle with saber raised.

Mosby Woods, a quiet cluster of 523 homes in Fairfax City built in the mid-20th century, is a community that has grown divided over its identity as the City Council considers renaming its Confederate-named streets.

For decades, street names that reflected Virginia’s Confederate past were a sometimes awkward fact of life for the neighborhood’s residents, in line with the surrounding landscape of Civil War battleground sites and historical markers, monuments and highways honoring Confederate generals like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

That changed with the murder of George Floyd by a former Minneapolis police officer in 2020, which unleashed a reckoning over systemic racism in the country that, in turn, ignited a backlash against perceived anti-White sentiments that has filled social media feeds and fueled a culture war over race and ethnicity.

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Source: Washington Post