Late Friday afternoon a popular facebook group for short-term housing throughout Chicago changed its name to “Ghostlight Housing Chicago” after a series of complaints from users.
In a post after the name change, group admin Matthew Kilgore explains that the group that the name change came after a long time of personal reflection.
“In response to ongoing polarizing views over the name of this group, I am pleased to announce the transition to a new name,” Kilgore said. “While Gypsy Housing was never intended to discriminate against any ethnicity, race, creed, heritage, or culture, Gypsy is, in fact, a racial slur used derogatorily against Romani people.”
The group itself has over 11,000 members, and is a standby for many folks in Chicago looking for short-term housing in the various neighborhoods throughout the city.
Many groups continue to still use the slur, including NYC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta.
Daniel Johanson (he/him) is a journalist and digital media specialist living in Chicago, Illinois. He serves as Editor-in-Chief at Scapi and in that capacity manages all things content, including writing and editing articles and producing digital content. His most recent work includes the docuseries Heart of a Nation: Tracking Socialism in the Midwest and co-hosting the podcast Scapi Radio. He spends his free time with cats.
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