Immediately Form an Inclusive Task Force to Select a New Name for Fort Bragg, CA
This petition made change with 919 supporters!
Prepared by the Mendocino Coast Progressive Action Network for MendoCoast BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color)
The brutal murder of George Floyd by a white police officer on Memorial Day in Minneapolis has sparked action and renewed calls for racial justice around the country. The hundreds of sites still named after Confederate generals who fought to preserve slavery, including schools, monuments, military bases, and cities, are salt in the wounds of those who still suffer the legacy of slavery, Native American genocide, and the ongoing systemic racism related to both.
Retired Army General David Petraeus has called for the retiring of military base names of Confederate leaders, including Fort Bragg, NC, named after Braxton Bragg, "The most hated man of the Confederacy" - a man who personally owned 105 slaves, fought to preserve the practice of slavery, and was generally regarded as an incompetent and inept military officer.
On 6/12, our City announced its intention to discuss placing a November ballot measure to change the City’s name.
However, we the undersigned believe that it is the Council’s responsibility to begin this process immediately - not put what is a Civil Rights and Social Justice issue to a vote. It’s time for courageous and concrete action and leadership. Putting this issue to a vote is not that action. Passing the buck is not that leadership. It is not appropriate to put up for a vote a name that causes real harm to traumatized people right here and right now.
Therefore, we respectfully demand that the Council vote to immediately form a Task Force to Select a Just and Inclusive New Name, composed of thoughtful, informed, and emotionally-intelligent residents. We demand it include representation from all communities, especially the Black folk for whom the name Bragg represents the legacy of slavery and the Native folk whose land was taken for the original military outpost.
Racist monuments are literally falling at an unprecedented rate, taken down by American citizens fed up with the glorification of our racist history. We must reckon with that same racism embodied in our City’s name.
If this Council does not move to change our name, it will be choosing to perpetuate the energy of a history of slavery and genocide. This Council must best support our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) by beginning now the process of selecting a just and inclusive name for which all residents and visitors of our beautiful City can be proud.
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