Barack Obama
**FILE** Former President Barack Obama speaks to students at the University of Illinois where he accepted the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government in Urbana, Illinois, on September 7, 2018. The award is an annual honor given by the university's Institute of Government and Public Affairs to recognize public officials who have made significant contributions in public service. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The silver lining to President Trump’s overtly racist behavior is the continued rise in popularity of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

In what would undoubtedly be precedent-setting if New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council concur, an online petition is calling for the Big Apple to rename a stretch of Fifth Avenue as President Barack H. Obama Avenue.

The stretch of Fifth Avenue the petitioners have identified is where the current president’s famed Trump Tower building sits.

“We request the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets be renamed, ‘President Barack H. Obama Avenue,’” Elizabeth Rowin, the lead petitioner wrote in a message to de Blasio and City Council.

“Any addresses on that stretch of Fifth Avenue should be changed accordingly,” said Rowin, who sought 100,000 signatures.

As of this writing, more than 130,000 people have signed the petition.

New York City Council hears street naming requests twice a year, in April and October.

Under the city code, a prospective honoree should have a minimum of 10 years community involvement and should have demonstrated an extraordinary and consistent voluntary commitment and dedication to the community.

The criteria stipulates that it should be a person who has contributed significantly to New York City or national life and have lived or otherwise are identified with the community in a substantial way.

The one line in the criteria that could stymie efforts in naming a city street after Obama is that the individuals must be deceased for at least two years prior to consideration.

An exception could be made at the council’s discretion “where the proponent sets forth a rationale which, although not falling precisely within the guidelines, demonstrates extraordinary and highly acclaimed accomplishment or involvement to such an extent that it meets the spirit of the guidelines.

Trump has upset many with his racist rhetoric and policies, including caging immigrants in a detention center and separating babies from their parents.

Among his recent racially charged messages, the president said four congresswomen of color should “go back to their countries.”

Trump repeatedly has taken shots at Obama, the nation’s first African American president.

For years, Trump promoted the so-called “birther” movement, which pushed the false claim that Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

Trump also made claims that Obama secretly wire-tapped his office. Since taking office, Trump has decimated the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature health care legislation.

He immediately withdrew from a nuclear deal with Iran that Obama orchestrated and  rolled back Obama’s policy that attempted to warm U.S. relations with Cuba.

The city of Los Angeles recently honored Obama by renaming a stretch of the 134 Freeway near downtown in his honor.

“We request the New York City Mayor and City Council do the same by renaming a block of Fifth Avenue after the former president whose many accomplishments include: saving our nation from the Great Recession; serving two completely scandal-free terms in office; and taking out Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind September 11th, which killed over 3,000 New Yorkers,” the petition reads.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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