Topic

Addressing Racist History

631 petitions

Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Judge Paul Pape, Mel Hamner, Clara Beckett, Mark Meuth, Donna Snowden

Remove the Confederate Monuments from Bastrop County Property

Let’s demand the removal of the Confederate Monuments standing on the grounds of the Bastrop County Courthouse, in Bastrop Texas. The monuments are engraved with two crossed confederate flags on one side and the words of a Confederate war song “Lest we Forget” on the other.  They were established by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1910 to honor Confederate soldiers from Bastrop County who fought in the war against civil rights.  These monuments were set on the lawn to memorialize the history of the confederacy.  As it was stated, to cherish the heritage of southern blood and southern chivalry.  The United Daughters of the Confederate supported white supremacy, the Ku Klux Klan, and the altering of textbooks to change the narrative around slavery.   Confederate monuments were built and given places of honor in public spaces.  These symbols of white supremacy have always been memorials to the cause of slavery and the denial of humanity to Black people. Now they are being weaponized to rally white supremacists. We have the power to diffuse these modern-day lynch mobs by removing these statues altogether, instead of giving white supremacists a rally point. The intent of this petition is to request that Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape and the commissioners of the court:  Mel Hamner, Clara Beckett, Mark Meuth, and Donna Snowden, immediately remove all Confederate monuments from all County properties in Bastrop County; including but not limited to, the two confederate monuments currently located on the Bastrop County Courthouse grounds. These monuments are a representation of the pain, affliction and oppression inflicted upon Black Americans.  We are at a time in history where we should be promoting equity for all, and denouncing all forms of racism that poison our communities.   Removing all Confederate monuments would be one step among many in sending the message that we are no longer honoring white supremacy at a societal level.  Join with me today and pledge to support the removal of all Confederate monuments and symbols from the greater Bastrop County communities.   HELP US TAKE THEM DOWN!

Cheryl Lee
9,370 supporters
Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to Williamson County Commissioners, Williamson County Judge

Remove the Confederate Monument from the “Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas”

June 7, 2020 Dear Williamson County Commissioners, I respectfully request a removal of the Confederate Civil War monument from the Williamson County Courthouse grounds located in the "Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas". Like the signs for ‘white’ or ‘colored’ restrooms or drinking fountains, the monument erected during the Jim Crow era of racism against African Americans, is considered to be intimidating and disrespectful to the Black community. For this reason alone, the monument simply must be removed if the town square truly is a place where everyone is equally welcome. In the same way the UT Austin students cried out to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for help with their integration efforts in the 60's, the peaceful protesters, mothers, fathers, children, brothers and sisters all over the world are crying out for justice to people like you today. I do believe in honoring the veterans as the United Daughters of the Confederacy did by erecting the monument in 1916. I am a granddaughter of a wounded veteran, and my uncle was killed in the WWII at age 19 in Hiroshima, Japan, not too far from where those twelve American POWs died. I was taught to honor all people even when the nations fight against nations. I was taught to learn from history and work toward world peace. The monument can be moved to a new location where ALL Civil War veterans are honored and the visitors can learn from the history. We must not forget that Emancipation Proclamation was not delivered to Texas until almost two and half years after President Lincoln signed it. We must not forget that many Confederate Soldier statues were erected to intimidate African Americans that continued to suffer brutality after they were set free and they still do today. We must not forget that Dr. King visited the UT campus to fight for justice alongside the students because many businesses were refusing to end segregation. We must not forget that Texans were taught that slavery was a side issue of the Civil War until 2019-2020 school year. And most of all, we must not forget that injustice is done to black people still today, every day, even in our community. I hope that the history of the “Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas” will soon include the removal of the Confederate monument. I hope that the great people of the Williamson County believe it is never too late to do the right thing even though it has been over 150 years since President Lincoln issued the proclamation declaring “…all persons…shall be free.” Kindest regards, Ayaka Kubo

Ayaka Kubo
2,243 supporters
Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to Michael Mongon, Anthony DiCarlo, Adam Savino, Ben Dilullo, David Furaro, Lawrence Keane, Lucy Massafra, Tanner McCracken, Ray McDonough, Michael Simone

Retiring Mahopac's 'Indian' Mascot

Since its founding over 80 years ago, Mahopac Central School District has perpetuated inequity and capitalized on colonialism. Despite our district claiming “it’s…important to us that students’ social, emotional, and overall wellbeing is supported,” our community continues to ignore bigotry as an issue. Have we forgotten the headlines denoting four instances of racism related to Mahopac student conduct—once in 2012, twice in 2014, and again in April of this year? Turning a blind eye to toxic ideology will only exacerbate the problem for current and future generations living in our community. In a comprehensive research report by Brown University’s Dr. Michael A. Friedman, “Indian” sports mascots were shown to harmfully “perpetuate negative stereotypes of America’s first peoples and contribute to a disregard for the personhood of Native peoples.” Furthermore, “hundreds of tribal nations, national and regional tribal organizations, civil rights organizations, school boards, sports teams, sports and media personalities, and individuals have called for the end to harmful Indian mascots.” Currently, Native Americans are still being oppressed and marginalized in society. They face the continual loss of territory due to oil industry buyouts, voter repression via unjust legislation, and high levels of violence, especially toward Native women (which is often disregarded by local authorities) among many other injustices. Mahopac’s “Indian” mascot is a reminder of these acts of divisiveness and marginalization, which further emphasizes our community’s inability to eliminate racism. We need to unite together to end the racial discrimination scarring our community by removing a symbol that has held us back from healing for far too long. Therefore, I propose that instead of complacency, we implement a united systemic transformation of belief. My action plan involves three steps: Community engagement, educational forum development, and rebranding. Step 1 involves you. I am calling upon individuals to sign this petition to inform the School Board of the Mahopac Central School District and Anthony DiCarlo, the superintendent of the Mahopac Central School District, of our concerns and propose the solutions addressed in Steps 2 and 3. Step 2 involves the community. Together we can develop an open forum for our municipality to safely and appropriately discuss taboo topics (i.e., race, gender, ethnicity). Let us better ourselves through conversation and education. Lastly, Step 3 involves Adidas. In 2015, Adidas launched the “Mascot Change” initiative, which is a voluntary program for high schools that “would give schools access to the company’s design team for logo redesign and uniform design across all sports.” This is a grant-funded initiative that requires a simple proposal from a school district to instigate change at little monetary and temporal cost. It is not my intention to eliminate Native American culture from Mahopac entirely. The biggest issue in our mascot, besides its racist connotation, is that there is no public education regarding the ancestors of our land. Together, we can celebrate and learn about the Wappinger tribe that lived on this territory, and how Mahopac as we know it came to be. There is irony surrounding our pride for the “Mahopac Indians” without knowing anything about the tribe’s history. All three steps can engage the community toward fostering a more inclusive neighborhood. In our current cultural climate, many people will feel that this initiative is too “politically correct” and that they are not responsible for what happened to Native Americans. No, we may not be independently responsible for the genocide and injustices that Native American communities have faced throughout history; however, we are responsible for the cultural appropriation that Mahopac has undertaken in using the “Indian” as our mascot. There is precedent from nearby districts taking action to address similar appropriation. In 2002, Ossining High School changed its “Indian” mascot after the state education commissioner “requested that districts stop using American Indian symbols as mascots”. Most recently, in November 2019, Superintendent Andrew Selesnick voted with the Katonah-Lewisboro School Board to retire their 'Indian' mascot stating: "In 2019, maintaining the mascot is at odds with our educational mission...If we are to teach our students the importance of truly listening when someone or some group tells us that our behavior or our words are harmful or unwelcome, then we as a district should serve as a model.” By separating ourselves from a symbol of imperialist oppression, we can begin the process of redeveloping our values as a community. I am proud and privileged to have grown up in Mahopac, but without a plan to curb the harmful rhetoric that has been tolerated for far too long, our district will be known for our tolerance for racism, rather than the wealth of knowledge and abundant resources in our area. ~Sincerely, Daniel Ehrenpreis, 2012 graduate of Mahopac High School dsehrenp@gmail.com

Daniel Ehrenpreis
6,649 supporters