Petition to Andrew Cuomo, Central Park, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Bill de Blasio
Racial Injustice: Honor African American Victims of Surgical Experimentation
J. Marion Sims was a physician that lived in the 1800's. Many medical scientists and doctors in healthcare today hail him as a modern hero, earning him the title, "Father of Modern Gynecology." He is credited with the creation of a groundbreaking surgery to fix vesicovaginal fistulas in women. What is not being talked about however, is the unethical and inhumane experimental surgeries he performed on African-American enslaved women and babies. Central Park is honoring a man for treating black slaves like animals. Sims first began studying what he called "trismus nascentium," which is now known as tetanus bacteria. A tetanus bacterium develops from horse manure, and enslaved infants had a higher rate of the disease, most likely from being in close contact with horses and horse barns. His comments in the article are very clear about the way he viewed African Americans. He says, "Wherever there are poverty, and filth, and laziness, or where intellectual capacity is cramped, the moral and social feelings blunted, there it [tetanus] will be found oftener...." Sims bought black slave babies, and using a shoemaker’s awl, pried into the infant's skulls to fix what he called a "misalignment" of the head. He bought these child slaves for the sole purpose of performing these surgeries. After their death he would autopsy their bodies. He then began trying to develop a new surgical technique for vesicovaginal fistulas. Once again, he purchased several black slaves. His method was to perfect his technique on the slaves, and once he mastered it, treat the upper-class white women. He set up a hospital in his backyard where he performed painful, dehumanizing, and inhumane surgeries on these women, none of whom were given anesthesia. The youngest slave was only 17 years of age. He would often round up other surgeons to watch this horrific procedure being performed, and after surgery he gave them very little food or water for several weeks. One woman alone, named Anarcha, had as many as 30 operations. After he had perfected his surgery, he began traveling extensively and treating elite class white women. They were all given anesthesia, and all of them had a choice about whether or not they wanted the surgery. He became a world famous doctor. The statue of him stands tall in the New York City Central Park. The true heroes of this story are the slaves, and they are the ones that deserve a statue placed in the park in their honor. We need to make sure that these brave and courageous women and precious infants are not forgotten. Slavery is now a thing of the past, and we as a nation have come a long way. We want Central Park to tell the entire story, and give credit where credit is due. To honor a man like this is and ignore the true heroes is to disrespect an entire nation of people whose ancestors have suffered at his hands. Please join me in petitioning the Governor and mayor of New York, Central park, and speaker of the New York City council Melissa Mark-Viverito in asking that a similar statue be erected in honor of the slaves. I am a student that is passionate about social equality and justice for a people nationwide. Placing this statue is the first step in paying respect to all of those slaves who had no voice. We are always appreciative to all the pioneers who developed modern medicine, but never at the expense of human test subjects.
Petition to Department of Education
Make African American History a Graduation Requirement
In January of 2017, a student at Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville, Florida staged a sit-in demanding that African American History be offered as a yearlong course. I decided to extend what she did and request that the course be yearlong, a graduation requirement, and an Advanced Placement class in high school. I'm currently a senior in high school, so although this won't affect me, I believe that future generations will gain a lot from taking this course. African American history is very rich and diverse and exposes us to a culture that most do not understand. Many Black people today don't know their own history, which creates a disadvantage to one's own self. There is so much more than slavery and the Civil Rights Movement which is taught in U.S History, or World History. Also, U.S History and World History are offered as yearlong courses, as well as A.P., and Honors. European History is even offered as an A.P. course, but these advantages are not offered to the African American History course. It is important that we teach to future generations that their words matters, and if they have a problem with any societal issue, they speak up about it. Huey P. Newton once said, "The revolution has always been in the hands of the young. The young always inherit the revolution." We must continue to fight for our own rights and our education. According to Florida State Law, an African American History class is supposed to be offered at schools with appropriate textbooks. Many schools in the state of Florida are not offering this course, which means that schools are in violation of Florida State Laws and students are being denied a proper education. We are demanding that African American History be offered as a yearlong course, and also that it be a graduation requirement in Duval County, and in the future, the state of Florida. This petition will be sent to the Florida Department of Education so that all Florida schools can become compliant with the statute cited below for African American studies. In the near future, the petition will also be used for other states in making the course be offered and required. The petition will also be sent to the College Board, so we can also make an AP course dedicated to African American History. In summary we are demanding that: African American History be offered as a yearlong course; African American History be a graduation requirement and as a social studies credit; Florida schools abide by current state law and offer African American History on all school campuses. Fla. Stat. §1003.42(2) Members of the instructional staff of the public schools, subject to the rules of the State Board of Education and the district school board, shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required that meet the highest standards for professionalism and historic accuracy, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction, the following: (h) The history of African Americans, including the history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery, the passage to America, the enslavement experience, abolition, and the contributions of African Americans to society. Instructional materials shall include the contributions of African Americans to American society.
Petition to Donald J. Trump
African American "New Deal" Petition
Request for a $4 billion trust, paid out in the form of; 0% interest for 5 years - guaranteed business loans for small and start-up African American minority ventures. The need for this petition comes out of understanding the historic struggle of the African American people. By knowing the history, we can see what advancements have been achieved and what areas still needs to be gained... But, for petition sake, the history will be kept brief... From 1620 to 1860, the captive African descendants on American soil endured the harsh brutality of slavery for 240 years. In 1861, the Civil War was fought and the “Negro” received Freedom!... With this freedom “Negroes” were to receive equal rights, proper education, and 40 acres + a mule (resources)... This was an executive order by Abraham Lincoln, but after his assassination, it was vetoed by Andrew Johnson. Negroes received liberty, but were still subject to separation, open racism, unequal laws, oppression, and murder on a daily basis. This continued for 100 years, then, in the 1960’s, the Equal Rights Movement lead by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. resulted in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The African American received equal voting rights, access to better education, and more opportunity! However, from the 1970s thru today, African Americans have experienced a strategic systemic racism... Example; During the 1980’s, under the Reagan/Bush administration, black communities nationwide were funneled Cocaine / Crack from Nicaragua. This action severely weakened community development by poisoning residents and by targeting the dealers! Hundreds of thousands have died from overdoses and tens of thousands serve long prison terms for selling it. This is but one example... Racial Profiling, Police Brutality, Mass Incarceration, Welfare Dependance, Medical Exploitation, and Eugenics (Sterilization & Population Control) are a few other methods! Despite systemic racism; the desire, imagination, and ingenuity of the African American people remains strong. We have plenty of innovations, inventions, and business ventures just yearning to be realized! The problem is... we lack the resources to make our aspirations of building strong communities a reality. Remember, those resources from Lincoln were vetoed... we never got them! 40 acres + a mule, for that time, represented the resources needed for a basic farming business. Reparations are long overdue!... And a form of monetary endowment is absolutely necessary!... But we are not asking for a handout! What the African American currently has is Liberty, Equal Rights, and Opportunity... what we lack are the resources needed to fund businesses! So, we propose a New Deal! Simple and straight forward... We the signers of this petition request of President Donald J. Trump, a $4 billion trust, paid out in the form of; 0% interest for 5 years - guaranteed business loans for small and start-up African American minority ventures. In addition, when paid back, the original loaned amounts go back into the trust and are made available to future minority ventures. We call on President Trump to finish what Abraham Lincoln started and to do what NO OTHER President has attempted since... Empower African Americans to build strong communities, strengthen the nation, leave a legacy for our children, and to help America to flourish!
Petition to NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL
Replace "The Star-Spangled Banner" with "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
The last year has seen controversy over the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner at sporting events. This controversy has mainly been centered on athletes refusing to stand for the anthem. While their reasons are primarily focused on the current treatment of African-Americans in American society, criticism has also been leveled at the origins of the song. Francis Scott Key, the author of the poem that became the song, was a slave-owner and makes reference to killing slaves in a rarely-sung verse in the song. While originally I was wholeheartedly opposed to the actions of these athletes I slowly began to realize why they may feel the way they do about the song and realized the song and its origins appear contradictory to the values that we as Americans claim to profess. So what to do about this? Some have said sports leagues and entertainment entities simply should stop making patriotic gestures. I disagree with this. I am proud to be an American and I believe the majority of my fellow Americans agree with this sentiment, however disappointed we may be in our country at various times of our lives. As Americans, when we encounter problems we don't simply wipe our hands of them and be done, we strive to fix them. Recently, I heard a rendition of The Battle Hymn of the Republic- the de facto anthem of The Union during the Civil War. Upon hearing it for the first time in many years it became clear what the next course of action should be.The Battle Hymn of the Republic is a beautiful song, a beacon of unbelievable light written in our nation's darkest hour. It makes no reference to killing slaves, but instead implores Americans give their lives to set them free. While the Star-Spangled Banner was written by a slave-owner, The Battle Hymn of the Republic was written by a courageous woman, Julia Ward Howe, who dedicated her life to the abolition of it. The song is about everything Americans hold dear: courage, faith, love, and the nobility of dying for a cause that is worth it. In short I believe it is a song that that can rally Americans of every race, class, religion and gender together. So how do I plan on enacting this change? My hope is that this petition will collect enough signatures to eventually get noticed by the major sports leagues (NBA NFL MLB NHL) around which this controversy has swirled. More specifically, I hope to get this noticed by the teams that comprise these leagues. All it takes is one team- one team to adopt this song of indescribable beauty to be sung before its games in replacement of The Star-Spangled Banner. The media coverage that this move will garner will be immense, especially in today's sports media culture. I believe this will have a snowball effect and more and more teams will follow suit. There will be some holdouts, of course, but I believe that within decades this song can become the de facto national anthem until such time as the government makes it official. I ask that you sign this petition if you believe that a song that so powerfully represents the ideals of this country should not play second fiddle to a poem by a slave owner, but should instead be thrust onto the main stage for all to hear, admire and be inspired by. Thank You.
Petition to Barack Obama
Clemency for Chalana McFarland
We are the family of Chalana McFarland and we are seeking support for her petition for Clemency from President Obama. Chalana, a first time non-violent offender, was sentenced in 2005 to 30 years in prison for her role as a closing attorney in a mortgage fraud scheme. The loan officers in the case received sentences of 24 months and 5 months respectively. Various other participants, including those with prior criminal records, received up 87 months. Chalana received nearly four times that of any other participant. The judge in her case cited the need for her case to serve as an example to other attorneys who fail in their roles as gatekeepers against fraud. McFarland's sentence at the time was the longest in the history of the United States for a closing attorney. Other attorneys, sentenced by the same judge in cases after Chalana's, have received sentences ranging from 33-54 months. Chalana has currently served over 10 years (120 months) and has exhausted all of her appeals. Clemency is her last chance to return home to raise her daughter, now 15 years old. Her case is one in which the sentencing guidelines which are intended to provide sentences that are equitable and fair, has resulted in a sentence which is simply unjust. From Chalana Remorse is a ghost that haunts my life. It is hard to express the sorrow I feel about the choices I made that led to my incarceration. I am ashamed of my actions. Its more than just mere embarrassment or regret. It is a deep hurt that makes me wonder if I will ever feel whole again. Countless days I have laid in my bunk reliving my mistakes over and over. If I could go back in time, I would do so many things differently. At first I laid the blame at the feet of all my co-conspirators. They duped me…they tricked me…they lied to me. Even though on many levels all of that is true, at the end of the day, I am responsible for the behavior that I chose to engage in. I, solely, am responsible for my incarceration. That fact was a bitter pill to swallow. At times, I wondered if I was worthy of redemption after all the pain and embarrassment I caused my family and the harm to my community. A recurrent nightmare I have is that my greatest fear comes to pass and everyone in my family dies off or forgets about me. I have seen countless friends and family members fall by the wayside over the past 12 years. My parents are in their 70s and their health is failing. I have one daughter, who at the age of 16, will soon embark on her own life. If I lose my parents, will my daughter consider me a burden? Will I miss her graduations, wedding, and the birth of her children as I have all the other events in her life so far? She was three years old when I was sent to prison to begin serving a 30-year sentence as a first-time nonviolent offender. I committed mortgage fraud and I will be 62 years old when I am released from prison. What kind of life would have when I am released as a senior citizen? I had hard choices to make about how I was going to survive incarceration. The first step was realizing that despite my fervent wishes, I cannot change the past. I decided to become the best person that I could be from that day forward. Prison strips you down to your true self. Every aspect of your individual identity is challenged. One must decide who one is and what one believes. Over the last decade, I have gotten to know my true self and I like her. I have learned that family is the most important treasure you can ever have in your life and I am so thankful for mine. I also came to the realization that the world owes me nothing. I owe a debt to my daughter that can never be repaid because my choices left her motherless. I know she loves me and I pray that someday when she is old enough to grasp it all that she will forgive me. When Pres. Obama’s clemency initiative was announced, I began to hope that somehow God might grant me a second chance. I celebrated with each of the ladies I knew that received clemency. I saw lives be restored and I wondered if someday I would also be granted a reprieve. All I need is another chance. I know that I will be able to move forward and be an asset to my family and community. I humble ask for your support and continued prayers as I seek clemency. We are asking you to forward Chalana's story to as many people as possible and to post your comments. Let's help bring her home.