Stop Commemorating Bigotry! Tear Down Arizona's Confederate Memorials!
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Arizona Jews for Justice (AJJ), in solidarity with local chapters of the NAACP, select state representatives, and other local activist groups, call for Governor Doug Ducey to remove statues and monuments dedicated to the Confederate States of America from public lands. As East Valley NAACP President Roy Tatem Jr. so eloquently stated: "We should not acknowledge and commemorate or deify the Confederate soldiers, as they were enslavers. They were secessionists, they were segregationists, they were haters, [and] racial bigots." Indeed, we feel that these monuments are not commemorations of great men, but the perpetuation of a legacy towards the inhumane and cruel practice of slavery.
While Arizona Jews for Justice recognizes that some view these monuments as historical memorials, we are of the opinion that the monuments’ continued existence on public lands is anathema to fostering a more welcoming and diverse Arizona where everyone feels welcome. Therefore, we, the undersigned, urge Governor Ducey to immediately remove the six Confederate monuments from Arizona public lands and to follow the precept found in Pirkei Avot, the Ethics of the Fathers: "Do not judge your fellow until you have stood in their place" (2:4). We must have empathy and stand in solidarity with those who feel threatened by the mere existence of these statues representing a history of hate and oppression.
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