Topic

black and african american rights

68 petitions

Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to James G. Bennett, Mark Hartley, Gordon Crews, Jimmy Anderson, James Croft, CJ Thompson, Florida Governor

Remove the painting in the Baker County Courthouse depicting the Ku Klux Klan and other divisive imagery

A mural in the Baker County, Florida Courthouse shows horse-backed, hooded members of the Ku Klux Klan as a part of the "Baker County historical perspective.” It stands larger than life as the first thing you see in the county's halls of justice. It even has its own “sign in” book, which includes supportive statements for the KKK.  We want it removed. There are depictions of blacks as naked and aboriginal with spears (imagery that never existed in Baker County), as well as demeaning stereotyped images of the Native American.  Most notoriously, there is the scene of the three hooded Klansmen on horseback. Even the artist’s own description of the scene shows his denial of the true horror inflicted by the KKK: "Lawlessness among ex-slaves and troublesome whites was the rule of the day. No relief was given by the carpetbag and scalawag government or by the Union troops. The result was the emergence of secret societies claiming to bring law and order to the county. One of these groups was the Ku Klux Klan, an organization that sometimes took vigilante justice to extremes but was sometimes the only control the county knew over those outside the law. The Klan faded from view at the end of Reconstruction. It had minor come-backs in the 1920’s and mid 1950’s. Since then it has become the subject of legend rather than a cause of fear.” Legend? No. Horror? Yes. This mural is not a historic relic -- it was only painted in 2001.  It only stands to fuel an "us" versus "them" story of whites versus non-whites in Baker County.  A story locals say still exists.  It's time to remove it. Baker County has a history of violence against blacks. On October 5, 1920, four black men were jailed as possible witnesses or suspects in the death of a prominent young white farmer named John Harvey. Instead of lawfulness and justice, the Klan and what was described as 50 white men overtook the jail and seized the men from their cells, dragging their bodies across the county, then shooting and lynching them.  And then there is the story of J.E. Fraser, a reported Grand Wizard from Baker County, who threatened that if a "fellow sells his house to a n-----," they will spread the word and that "boy better just get out of the state." The “Baxter Rebellion” is also heavily featured. According to the artist himself, it started in blacks boarded a train headed back home to Baker County. The whites "fingered their long bladed knives hoping for an opportunity to use them” resenting the blacks traveling by train. A black traveler was eventually taunted and a white man, "slashed his throat, almost decapitating him.” Then, "The violence mounted, becoming an orgy of blood as by-stander blacks and some members of the Macon team were indiscrimately (sic) slashed.” The violence didn’t stop on the train and the county erupted in violence with those who helped blacks on one side and those who didn't on the other. Even the Deputy was killed by the white mob while trying to restore the rule of law, and “there was not an unbroken bone in his body when it was dragged from beneath the building.”  When it came time for the trial of the men responsible, the (pro-white) Altman-Dowling-Harvey clans, "surround(ed) the courthouse on the day of the trial. All were armed." No jury would convict out of fear. This mural helps keep that mentality alive, which is entirely inappropriate in a courthouse. It is a hallmark of the past that contains many emotionally damaging, harmful and insulting images. Here are a few other parts of the mural: A young black child amongst Union soldiers next to injured Confederate whites, depicting the “us” versus “them"; The Confederate Battle Flag waves opposite the American flag as soldiers fight; A prominent woodpecker next to the KKK which was notoriously adopted by white supremacist groups; The Camellia flower, which is the official flower of the Klan; The Story of the Baxter Rebellion, which entails the gory slaughter of black men on a train, resulting lawlessness and an inability to get a conviction of the murderers because of intimidation by whites including armed family members standing on the courthouse lawn during trial; Many burned and burning houses; A man making alcohol from a still; and more either illegal or separatist images. This one-sided, insensitive history and lawlessness should not be condoned or memorialized in the very halls of justice which are supposed to hold all men equally accountable. The great people of Baker County are not honored by this mural. They are not lawless. And even their own judges and citizens have asked for this painting to be removed in the past.  It is time.

Florida Justice
8,495 supporters
Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to American Family Insurance Group, United Nations Development Program, Samara Yeshaya, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), President of the United States, Donald Trump, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), FEMA, Hillary Clinton, Council of the European Union, Burger King España, McDonald's, Bank Of America, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Marathon Oil, Klu Klux Klan, FedEx, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Animal Planet, Universal Music Spain, Capital One Financial, American Airlines, American Eagle Outfitters, American Electric Power, American Heart Association, American Red Cross

40 ACRES AND A MULE REPARATIONS FOR MOST HIGH CHILDREN

INTRODUCTION Harriet Tubman became famous as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad during the turbulent 1850s. Born a slave on Maryland’s eastern shore, she endured the harsh existence of a field hand, including brutal beatings. In 1849 she fled slavery, leaving her husband and family behind in order to escape. Despite a bounty on her head, she returned to the South at least 19 times to lead her family and hundreds of other slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Tubman also served as a scout, spy and nurse during the Civil War. In 1849 Tubman fled Maryland, leaving behind her free husband of five years, John Tubman, and her parents, sisters, and brothers. “Mah people mus’ go free,” her constant refrain, suggests a determination uncommon among even the most militant slaves. She returned to the South at least nineteen times to lead her family and hundreds of other slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Utilizing her native intelligence and drawing on her boundless courage, she eluded bounty hunters seeking a reward for her capture, which eventually went as high as forty thousand dollars. She never lost a fugitive or allowed one to turn back. Did You Know? Harriet Tubman's birthname was Araminta Ross. Two things sustained her: the pistol at her side and her faith in God. She would not hesitate to use the pistol in self-defense, but it was also a symbol to instruct slaves, making it clear that “dead Negroes tell no tales.” Timid slaves seemed to find courage in her presence; no one ever betrayed her. She affirmed her faith in God in her statement, “I always tole God, I’m gwine to hole stiddy on to you, an’ you’ve got to see me trou [through].” Tubman collaborated with John Brown in 1858 in planning his raid on Harpers Ferry. The two met in Canada where she told him all she knew of the Underground Railroad in the East. Advising him on the area in which he planned to operate, she promised to deliver aid from fugitives in the region. Brown’s admiration for her was immeasurable, and he wanted her to accompany him on the raid. Tubman planned to be present but was ill at the time and could not participate. Tubman’s resistance to slavery did not end with the outbreak of the Civil War. Her services as nurse, scout, and spy were solicited by the Union government. For more than three years she nursed the sick and wounded in Florida and the Carolinas, tending whites and blacks, soldiers and contrabands. Tubman was a short woman without distinctive features. With a bandanna on her head and several front teeth missing, she moved unnoticed through rebel territory. This made her invaluable as a scout and spy under the command of Col. James Montgomery of the Second Carolina Volunteers. As leader of a corps of local blacks, she made several forays into rebel territory, collecting information. Armed with knowledge of the location of cotton warehouses, ammunition depots, and slaves waiting to be liberated, Colonel Montgomery made several raids in southern coastal areas. Tubman led the way on his celebrated expedition up the Combahee River in June 1863. For all of her work, Tubman was paid only two hundred dollars over a three-year period and had to support herself by selling pies, gingerbread, and root beer. After the war, Tubman returned to Auburn, New York, and continued to help blacks forge new lives in freedom. She cared for her parents and other needy relatives, turning her residence into the Home for Indigent and Aged Negroes. Lack of money continued to be a pressing problem, and she financed the home by selling copies of her biography and giving speeches. Her most memorable appearance was at the organizing meeting of the National Association of Colored Women in 1896 in Washington, D.C. Two generations came together to celebrate the strength of black women and to continue their struggle for a life of dignity and respect. Harriet Tubman, the oldest member present, was the embodiment of their strength and their struggle. Sarah Bradford, Harriet: The Moses of Her People (1886); Earl Conrad, Harriet Tubman (1943); Dorothy Sterling, ed., We Are Your Sisters: Black Women in the Nineteenth Century (1984). This is more than history this is a Biblical moment that our ancestors pave the way for us to have I am being led by the Holy Spirit to start this movement of getting us reparations so that we can heal ourselves from the wounds of our ancestors pain and affliction. I can only imagine to change that this could bring to the people of the Lost tribes I pray that everyone takes heed and understands that this is the time the first will be the last and the last will be the first praise the most high for His blessings Samara Yeshaya

Samara Yeshaya
308 supporters
Update posted 5 months ago

Petition to Todd Spitzer (Orange County Supervisor 3rd District), California Governor, Tony Rackauckas, Loretta Sanchez, Loretta Lynch, Kamala Harris, Barack Obama, DIane Feinstein, Alex Padilla

Exonerate Kenneth Clair: DNA Evidence Points to Someone Else.

On November 15, 1984, 5-year-old Jerrod Hessling witnessed the beating, rape, and stabbing death of his babysitter. When asked to describe the killer, he said, without hesitation, that it was a white male. Another child present during the murder saw a white man’s tattooed arm reach inside the house to open a sliding glass door. Yet somehow, the lawyers in the case determined that Kenneth Clair, a dark-skinned African-American homeless man who had been squatting next door, was the killer. When Jerrod saw him on the witness stand and insisted they had the wrong man, the prosecution chalked it up to youth and trauma and pursued the death penalty for Kenneth Clair. To this day, 31 years later, Mr. Clair sits on San Quentin’s death row, awaiting his execution date. [UPDATE: I was recently made aware that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals secretly overturned Mr. Clair’s death sentence and changed it to life in prison without parole. This is mixed news -- his life is spared, but he no longer has the right to an attorney under habeas corpus laws, and he has not been granted a retrial. That means the exonerating DNA evidence will NOT be seen in court. We now have to focus our energy on asking Governor Jerry Brown and California State Attorney General Kamala Harris to investigate the case and exonerate Kenneth Clair for this crime he did not commit. It is Mr. Clair’s only remaining chance for justice. ] But that’s not the biggest bombshell in this case -- in 2008, forensic testing revealed that DNA found on the murder victim did not match Clair’s. DNA taken from a glove found at the scene also did not match. It matches another individual, but the Orange County District Attorney insists that “confidentiality is required” concerning this evidence, and for 7 years now, the identity of the person whose DNA does match the swab has remained a secret. In the interest of justice, we must call on the Orange County DA and California state lawmakers to demand that the DNA evidence be turned over to Kenneth Clair’s defense. Since his conviction, Clair has struggled with ineffective counsel. He wanted his lawyers to work at investigating the crime, rather than simply trying to free him from death row, but they never did. His plea for substitute counsel even made it to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012, and he did eventually receive a switch of counsel. Finally, he is being represented by people who are dedicated to his exoneration. But their hands are tied without this crucial DNA evidence, and more of Clair’s precious life is wasting away in prison as they fight to obtain it. Please sign my petition if you feel that the disclosure of the identity of a possible “person of interest” is something that the prosecution should not be allowed to withhold.

C. J. Ford
161,146 supporters