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 Among the other provisions is the removal of "the history of Native Americans" and elimination of "historical documents related to the civic accomplishments of marginalized populations," including those related to "the Chicano movement," "women's suffrage and equal rights," and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 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 Brian Kemp, Richard Woods, Mike Long, Dr. David "Butch" Mosely, Helen Odom Rice, Lisa Kinnemore, Kenneth Mason, Scott Sweeney, Mike Royal, Jason Downey, Martha Zoller, Dr. Stanley W. DeJarnett, Scott Johnson, Matt W. Donaldson, Leonte Benton, Phenna Rene Petty, Tracey Nance Pendley
Tell Georgia's State Board of Education to stop censoring American history in our schools!
Georgia's Board of Education passed a resolution on Thursday, June 3, 2021 essentially seeking to eliminate discussion & teaching in Georgia’s schools of racism and racial challenges we people of color have faced and continue to face in America. This resolution makes shockingly inaccurate claims including statements which seek to rewrite our history, e.g., "with respect to their relationship to American values, slavery and racism are anything other than deviations from, betrayals of, or failures to live up to, the authentic founding principles of the United States, which include liberty and equality." Teaching civics, social studies, and history with a social justice lens, incorporating DEI and CRT pedagogy & practices, and acknowledging the past and present racial traumas in American society, especially given our state's role, are necessary to build awareness, understand and address major societal & systemic challenges faced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities, and heal intergenerational trauma. Just as recent voter suppression legislation was passed in Georgia to placate unfounded claims of fraud, we believe this is another attempt to further suppress our voices, our stories, and our truth. We must teach our children America's true and complete history! We call on Georgia's State Board of Education leaders to immediately reverse this resolution as well as work with Georgia’s BIPOC families, community leaders, and DEI, antiracism, & CRT pedagogy experts, educators, & practitioners to define a plan for how best to proactively, inclusively, and truthfully include these components into Georgia's schools.
Petition to Fresno Unified School District, Fresno Unified School District Board of Trustees
Change Fresno High School's Mascot Image!
This is Yokuts Land and we are Valley Natives for CHANGE! (FB) 65% of Native Youth (link)57% of Natives who strongly identify with being Native (link)67% of Natives who frequently engage in cultural practices (link)STAND AGAINST AND ARE DEEPLY INSULTED BY NATIVE MASCOTS. 896 high schools have removed Native mascots since 2014 (and counting).That's an average of approximately 150 per year! Fresno High School sits on #YokutsLand. This land was taken through acts of genocide, systemic racism and oppression. The use of generic Native imagery as a mascot has not only caused pain to many Natives in the community, it reinforces archaic and racist ideas about Native Americans as violent savages from a bygone era. This concept of the "Noble Savage" is one of the oldest racist tropes used against our people, yet, is surprisingly one of the most used within the framework of the Native mascot issue. Unbelievably, Fresno Unified School District allowed for this patently racist idea to have a platform in what was billed as a "Town Hall discussion" under the guise of "Community Voice & Diversity of Thought" Racist concepts like this, reinforced by shame, ridicule, disdain, threats of violence, etc., have forced many Natives to live in silent shame, to hide from or abandon their culture. This divisive dehumanization has to end, for the sake of our children. Q: Is this just a local issue, or is it bigger than the Fresno area?A: TENS OF THOUSANDS of Native voices have fought the use of Native mascots since the NCAI - Native Congress of American Indians first launched a campaign against these dehumanizing mascots in 1968. The NCAI is the oldest and largest organization representing "over 566 federally recognized tribes, all of which are sovereign nations – with lands located within the borders of 34 states. Over 5.2 million American Indian or Alaska Native people were counted in the 2010 Census representing close to 2 percent of the US population." (link - page 5)1,500+ Native organizations and advocates have signed a letter asking for the removal of ALL Native and imagery. That is not a small minority group, that is a NATIONAL MOVEMENT! Listen, Native People have decidedly spoken out against this gross misuse of our culture, and the time is now to move on this issue in Fresno, Ca. The right side of history beckons us, our children beckon us, and Native people are offering their hand in friendship. Make the move towards reconciliation and healing by removing this dehumanizing relic of a shameful period in American history. Fresno Unified School district recently passed an "Anti-Racist Institution Resolution" where it vowed to take a stand against racism, and any divisive idea that separates children from the learning experience. It's time to MOVE on this issue.The Golden State Warriors did it! They moved from a dribbling Indian racist caricature, to an Indian headdress, to an image of "The City", and still remained WARRIORS. It can be done! The time is NOW! CHANGE THE MASCOT.Change the #FresnoHighMascotChange every #NativeMascotWe are #NotYourMascot#FUSD
Petition to Ralph Northam
Replace Confederate War Memorials statues with Martin Luther King Jr Statue
To facilitate racial unity in Virginia, USA and the world. I propose a statue of Martin Luther King Jr replace one of the soon to be removed confederate war memorial statues in Richmond Va. We need assistance of all who value human rights to uphold the dignity of those oppressed and mentally scared by the reminders of the institution of slavery and even the loss of life of adults and children of African Americans and our Caucasian supporters, #ItTakesAvillage. For there to be change for the minority, it will come at the partnership and strength of the majority. Silence is Compliance! Confederate monuments have always been symbols of white supremacy. The majority of the monument building, between 1890 and 1920, was also a time of extreme racial violence, as Southern whites pushed back against what little progress had been made by African-Americans in the decades after the Civil War. As monuments went up, so did the bodies of black men, women and children during a long rash of lynching (derived from brothers Charles Lynch and Willie Lynch, see Willie's letter to slave owners http://thetalkingdrum.com/wil.html) My personal negative experiences are riding through the Confederate War Memorials located on Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA and USA Civil War reminders in Appomattox VA near where I was raised. In Appomattox Court House Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his 28,000 troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the American Civil War. The confederate idolologies should have died with the surrender and not been tolerated until this day. We need leadership at all levels of government to make this and other social and economic changes. In addition, they must condemn not only their actions but also the symbols of white supremacy itself. It will require political assistance to include, but not limited to, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Richmond VA Mayor Levar Stoney. Truly patriotic Americans, of all colors and creeds, should stand up to them as they did this past weekend. But we also need leadership at all levels of government to condemn not only their actions but also white supremacy itself. Thank you for your consideration.
Petition to Judge Hoppy Haden
Remove the Confederate Statue from the Caldwell County Courthouse
There is a Confederate monument in front of the Caldwell County Courthouse in Lockhart, TX. It was put up in 1923 by United Daughters of the Confederacy. We will be presenting this petition to the Caldwell Country Commissioner's Court on June 9. We are proposing that the monument be removed and put in a museum, graveyard or on private property where it can be appreciated in an appropriate historical context. There is a Veteran's Memorial just across the square where locals and visitors can still pay respects to fallen soldiers. The UDC has supported white supremacy, the Ku Klux Klan, and altering textbooks to change the narrative around slavery. They were particularly active during the time this statue was erected. According to lawyer Greg Huffman, writing in Facing South, "[p]erhaps nothing illuminates the UDC's true nature more than its relationship with the Ku Klux Klan. ...The UDC during Jim Crow venerated the Klan and elevated it to a nearly mythical status. It dealt in and preserved Klan artifacts and symbology. It even served as a sort of public relations agency for the terrorist group."Historical Marker Database: https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=91554
Petition to Williamson County Commission, Tennessee Historical Commission
Remove Confederate Branding from Williamson County Seal
Public displays of the Confederate battle flag have long been controversial, and the Williamson County (TN) seal has featured this flag in the top left corner since 1968, coincidentally the same year as the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and shortly after the integration of the schools in Williamson County. The recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, along with the subsequent vigils, rallies, and marches in Williamson County, all 50 states, and dozens of countries, have forced many of us to have difficult conversations about racism. As residents and leaders in Williamson County process and respond to racial injustice in our community, now is the time for our county to do something to show a commitment to diversity, unity, equity, and justice. Businesses, churches, and community organizations redesign their logos to show a renewed vision, mission, or purpose. Williamson County should take the opportunity right now to replace this seal with an new design.