Addressing Racist History
Petition to Bryan Hughes
Stop Texas representatives from removing minority history from the K-12 curriculum
BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other people of color) histories are under attack in Texas. On July 9th, Bryan Hughes, a Republican member of the Texas State Senate, introduced bill 87(1) SB 3 for committee consideration in the state legislature. The bill effectively seeks to erase marginalized histories from "the social studies curriculum for each grade level from kindergarten through grade 12." On July 16, the bill was passed in the Senate. Just take a look at one of the parts of the bill that removes from the curriculum "the history of white supremacy, including but not limited to the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which it is morally wrong." Among the other provisions is the removal of "the history of Native Americans" and elimination of "historical documents related to the civic accomplishments of marginalized populations," including those related to "the Chicano movement," "women's suffrage and equal rights," and "the American labor movement" from the curriculum. If Governor Greg Abbott signed SB 3 into law, "Martin Luther King Jr.'s... 'I Have a Dream speech," "the Emancipation Proclamation," "the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth," Amendments to the United States Constitution," and "The United States Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education," would all be eviscerated from classrooms. Names like Frederick Douglass, Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Héctor P. García would disappear from curricula. What would remain would be a condensed, whitened version of the history of Texas and the United States that ignores BIPOC struggles and triumphs. How can students be equipped to reckon with the racial realities of today without knowledge of our racist past? As a first-generation Asian-American, I am deeply concerned by Hughes' crusade against diverse narratives within Texan and American history. Racism is an infection. By ignoring it, we only allow it to clench its fist more tightly around our society and systems. Only by having frank conversations and uplifting BIPOC narratives from the very beginning, starting with our K-12 classrooms, can we spark meaningful change. Join me in showing Hughes and the Texas House of Representatives that legislation stifling marginalized stories and voices in our classrooms is regressive and unacceptable. Act now against SB 3 by sharing this petition and taking a stand. Want to take more direct, personal action? Go to the Action Center: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XFY8EnI7Q9QkbEqOunyNQICzNg0a8xnbZywJ5Dez5i8/edit?usp=sharing Full text of the bill: https://capitol.texas.gov/Search/DocViewer.aspx?ID=871SB000031B&QueryText=%22social+studies%22&DocType=B
Petition to Wentzville School District Board of Education, Teachers, Parents, Activists
Change Holt’s Mascot that is Racist to Native Americans by Cultural Appropriation
Holt High School (apart of the Wentzville School District) has had their school represented through their mascot, a Native American. This is a huge symbol of disrespect towards the Native American tribes that have struggled to keep their culture alive and respected. Holt having their mascot as an Indian (Native American) is a form of cultural appropriation and disrespect. For example, if their was a school with an Asian or Black person as their mascot, it would be quickly shut down. Native Americans deserve the same amount of consideration to their culture just as much as any other race does. Sign this petition so we can slowly help fight against racism. This may not seem like a “big deal” but small actions will start to add up, and we can make our country better than it was yesterday.
Petition to Bellefontaine City School Board
Change the Chieftain mascot of Bellefontaine City Schools
It is time for the Bellefontaine City School Administration to change their Chieftain mascot and end the many forms of cultural appropriation that has stemmed from it. The harm that this mascot, as well as others like it, have on Indigenous communities can be best explained by John Two-Hawks, an activist and member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe. He stated “for starters, they insult. More importantly, they cause our children to feel embarrassed and ashamed of who they are. On a larger scale, ‘Indian’ mascots serve to trivialize us as a people”. The use of our Chieftain mascot is aiding in the spread of unrealistic stereotypes that people have created of Indigenous people. It is unjust and hypocritical for a predominantly white community to use this term after our ancestors have stolen Native land, brutally murdered and raped Natives, and forced survivors into schools where they were stripped of their culture, language, and traditions. The Bellefontaine City School district has allowed students to “dress as Indians'' with headdresses, braids, and face paint for sports team photos. The elementary school has also used paper feathers, to be put on a headdress, to recognize the positive behavior of students. How can our community sit back and continue to culturally appropriate Natives, as if they are not people, but caricatures to be used as props and mascots? There is no historical significance for this mascot. After extensive research on the Bellefontaine City Schools website, no history behind the use of the Chieftain mascot can be found. The Chieftain mascot is also not honoring the Indigenous people who once lived in Bellefontaine, Ohio. If this was truly a mark of honor, the whole town of Bellefontaine would know, and be taught, every detail about the history of the Myammia and Hopewell tribes, whose land we now live on. Instead of a mascot, we should honor Natives by teaching our students the true, unaltered history of the tribes that lived in Logan County and why they are no longer found here. The use of this mascot in 2020 shows the failure of the United States and Ohio’s education system on correctly teaching about Indigenous tribes and the racism that has plagued them since Europeans “found” the Americas. How can the very systems that aim to educate the children in our community be responsible for fueling cultural appropriation and racism? Please join us in our fight to change this demeaning mascot to one that better reflects the values that Bellefontaine claims to have. The Chieftain mascot enforces harmful racial stereotypes and hides the brutality that Natives have faced on this very land. Bellefontaine City Schools must recognize the wrongdoings of the past and actively work to change for the better. By signing this petition to remove the Chieftain mascot, you are making it clear that racism has no place in this district. Thank you for your support, Lilli LeVan and Caroline Eader
Petition to UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI, Patricia A. Whitely, Jacqueline A. Travisano, Rudy Fernandez, Jacqueline R. Menendez, Maite Alvarez, Adriana Verdeja, Annette M Herrera, Hilarie Bass, Jeffrey Duerk, George Feldenkreis, Edward A. Dauer, Laurie S. Silvers, William L. Morrison, Betty G. Amos, Jose P. Bared, Fred Berens, Charles E. Cobb, Phillip Frost, Phillip T. George , Jorge M. Pérez, Patricia W. Toppel, David R. Weaver, G. Ed Williamson II, Dr. Linda L. Neider, JoNel Newman, Helen Bramlet
Rename University of Miami facilities with a racist history
While the University of Miami has made great strides in becoming more inclusive to everyone, our university still has a long way to go before realizing true equity and inclusion for all people. In light of our nation’s current racial climate, a group of University of Miami students and staff convened to investigate UM’s history on race relations. Over several weeks, our group discovered several troubling findings, specifically regarding our university’s relationship with George E. Merrick. Working with local Miami-based historians, our group investigated Merrick’s past and discovered much evidence confirming that George E. Merrick both held and acted upon racist, segregationist beliefs throughout his life; including in his role as head of the Miami-Dade Planning Board. Below, we have attached a number of articles and sources that support our findings, as well as a letter written by our group to the University of Miami’s President and administration addressing our findings and recommended steps forward. We demand: 1. That the University of Miami swiftly and immediately remove the Merrick name and likeness from all University buildings, structures, streets, and properties. 2. That the University of Miami forms an independent committee— representative of students, alumni, faculty, administrators, and Miami-Dade County residents— to review each University of Miami property and its corresponding name in order to ensure that those figures whose likenesses represent our University continue to represent the ideals and values of our current UM: those that do not should be removed. 3. A written confirmation and acknowledgement from the UM Board of Trustees and administration committing that all facilities named after racists, segregationists, or bigots will be renamed in a reasonable amount of time. Below, you will find our group’s letter and several supporting documents and sources. Thank you for your support! Letter of Request for Building Name Changes: University of Miami The University of Miami (UM) was chartered in 1925. It did not integrate until 1961. (https://scholar.library.miami.edu/umdesegregation/60s.php.html). "George Merrick, the founder of Coral Gables and the person who donated the land for UM to be built. In the 1930s, he advocated for all Black families to be pushed out of Miami's city limits and into “negro towns” in West Miami-Dade." (https://www.wlrn.org/post/after-being-called-n-word-student-um-summer-camp-was-asked-apologize-her-reaction#stream/0) Mohl, R. (2001). Whitening Miami: Race, Housing, and Government Policy in Twentieth-Century Dade County. The Florida Historical Quarterly, 79(3), 319-345. Retrieved June 19, 2020, from www.jstor.org/stable/30150856 “In a speech to the Miami Realty Board in May of 1937 Merrick proposed a ‘complete slum clearance… effectively removing every negro family from the present city limits.’ This black removal, Merrick asserted, was a ‘most essential and fundamental’ for the achievement of Miami’s ambitious planning goals” (Trouble in Paradise: Race and Housing in Miami During the New Deal Era Raymond Mohl, Page 13).
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!
Petition to Montgomery County School Board
Change the MOCO Indian Mascot. It’s disrespectful and perpetuates negative stereotypes.
We continue over the years to fight for justice for all people. We disrespect Native Americans by having a mascot that represents their people, heritage and culture. That is not an honor. The human race is not meant to be a mascot. That is not an honor. It is not respectful and does not exemplify great esteem. Please stand with me for Justice for our Native American brothers and sisters to honor them by removing the Indian name and replacing it with a more appropriate name.
Petition to City of Charleston, John Tecklenberg
Reinstitute Calhoun Street's original name, Boundary Street
One of the main streets in downtown Charleston SC has been known as Calhoun Street for the past 170 years, named after John C. Calhoun. This was a man who led the pro-slavery faction in the Senate and espoused the belief that slavery was the key to the success of the “American dream”. Prior to its renaming, it was originally known as Boundary Street, as it was an early boundary of the city. On "Calhoun Street" sits both the Mother Emanual AME church, and the new International African American Museum (built on the former site of Gadsden's wharf, where a staggering 40% of enslaved Africans brought to the United States initially landed). The renaming of only one block of this road to honor the Mother Emanuel church is not nearly enough. It is past time for Charleston to cleanse this road of the name Calhoun entirely. This petition calls upon the City of Charleston to rename the remaining portions still called "Calhoun" with their historic name, Boundary Street. Please sign this petition and share with others to tell Mayor Tecklenburg and the Charleston City Council that Charleston residents (and the many visitors who love the city) demand to see this street name changed, and reject the honoring of a man whose American dream relied upon the oppression of human beings. Our American dream, is together as equals.
Petition to Robert Clark
Removal of General Custer Statue in Monroe, MI
I am requesting the removal of the General Custer statue that is centered in downtown Monroe, MI. This statue represents a man who was glorified by using mass genocide of Native Americans. It does not represent what our town stands for in 2020. By taking this statue down it will give the community a sense of change and hope for the future of future members of monroe. We want our kids to grow up safe, happy, healthy, and unafraid to die.