Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson affirmed to President Donald Trump that St. Louis won’t be changing its name after a petition circulated claiming the French king and Catholic saint glorifies anti-Semites, the Associated Press reported.
More than 1,000 people signed the petition to change the name of the city. The subject came up Tuesday during a discussion about reopening schools, according to the Associated Press, when Trump asked Parson “And you won’t be changing the name ‘St. Louis’, will you? Huh?”
“No, we will not be doing that,” Parson replied.
Trump expressed his gratitude for the stance, saying “Thank you. Thank you very much. That’s very important.”
Amid the vandalism and tearing down of statues across the country, the activists cited concerns about the treatment of Jews and Muslims by Louis in the 13th century. (RELATED: St. Louis Authorities Will Investigate Homeowners Who Met Trespassing Protesters With Guns)
“St. Louis has a large and vibrant Jewish and Muslim community and it’s an outright disrespect for those who are part of these faith communities to have to live in a city named after a man committed to the murder of their co religionists,” reads the petition.
“In this day, when we are reexamining history, taking a hard look at history… we can also take a look at those things that glamorize and glorify anti-Semites,” said Umar Lee, one of the creators of the petition who briefly ran in 2016 as a Republican candidate for St. Louis mayor, according to St. Louis Jewish Light.
— Joel Currier (@joelcurrier) June 27, 2020
Louis is the only king of France to have been canonized in the Catholic Church, and many Catholics know the saint for his charity, often inviting the poor to his own table and waiting on them. He founded numerous charitable institutions, like hospitals for the poor and lepers.