Petition update

An Apology and A Step Back

Tyler Woodbridge
Murfreesboro, TN, United States

Jun 25, 2020 — 

Flavor Nation,

Thank you again for your unprecedented support. What started as a wild idea with perhaps a degree of cheekiness has erupted into an international talking point. I never would have expected this, and I'm humbled by your support.

That said, due to some recent events I will be stepping back from my involvement in driving the petition. I won't be able to return to Ohio to deliver it. I want people who still maintain residence in Ohio to be at the forefront of the celebration. I want current Ohioans to spearhead the change.

I also want to take a moment to apologize to the black and indigenous communities in Central Ohio and beyond. The fight to rename Columbus, which was named for the rapist colonizer and murderer, should be a fight led by those most affected by his dastardly legacy. As a white male, I don't have a say in this besides my rejection of Columbus and the misguided hero-worship thereof. My hope was that leading the charge with an audacious and celebrity-attached name such as Flavortown would call attention to the cause and lead the way for perhaps other names as well. I hope the viral meme helped achieve this.

I did not do this for "clout." The "clout" I've received from this has primarily been in the form of threats and criticisms. I stand by the petition and my original message, but chasing "clout" is not worth it, particularly in this form.

I did not mean for this petition to overshadow the Black Lives Matter movement in any way. I apologize for taking up space in the news cycle and in the fight against oppression. Again, I stress and stand by this statement, BLACK LIVES MATTER. I hope for justice for Ahmad Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the endless and unnecessary scores of other names of black folk who have had their existence snuffed out far short of what they deserved as free people. If I distracted or detracted from this movement, that was never my intention.

I ask for no further media attention on this matter, on any level. Please put all further media attention on Black Lives Matter, indigenous people, the reasons for changing Columbus and so many other names, police brutality, and the inherent white-centered power structures that have inhibited progress for the lower class and minority classes in America for the last 400 years.

Thank you for your time and support. Petition delivery updates to come.

Please voluntarily donate any time or money you can spare to help someone less fortunate than yourself.

Sincerely,

Tyler Woodbridge


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