19 petitions

Update posted 7 months ago

Petition to Virginia General Assembly, Commonwealth Transportation Board, Governor Ralph Northam

Stop Memorializing a Slave Owner and White Supremacist: Rename Jefferson Davis Highway

Jefferson Davis was hailed as the “champion of a slave society” when he was selected in 1861 to become President of the Confederate States of America. Davis was an unrepentant white supremacist who fervently believed the Southern cause, slavery and segregation were right and just until his last dying breath in 1889. It is therefore outrageous that a major Virginia thoroughfare, Jefferson Davis Highway (aka Route 1) which abuts the Pentagon and other US Capital landmarks continues to bear the name of a morally depraved, non-Virginian who rejected the very idea of a United States.   The back-story of the decision in 1920 to name southern sections of Route 1 after Davis adds to the disturbing legacy of racism in America. At that time, the Daughters of the Confederacy along with US Rep. Earl B. Mayfield of Texas, a close ally of the Ku Klux Klan, began a campaign to attach the name of the Confederate president to Southern roads in a futile attempt to create a transcontinental highway bearing his name. At the height of the Jim Crow era, when lynching of Southern blacks was conducted with regularity and impunity, these advocates of white domination routed a road symbolizing black oppression and enslavement across several predominately black neighborhoods, as if to reinforce the message of racial subjugation. The choice of name is, therefore, an affront to African-Americans and, indeed, all Americans who are repulsed by the evils of slavery, segregation and racism. It's time for the Commonwealth of Virginia, to remove the name of this Confederate leader from all sections of Route 1 in Virginia. Virginia is a state that prides itself on its diversity, technological innovation, leadership in education and progress. The name Jefferson Davis is far from what the state should honor. Let's stop indulging the race haters who named the road after their race hating hero. Let’s change the image of this important roadway from hatred and rename it to memorialize hope and progress. Please sign this petition calling on Governor Terry McAulliffe, the Virginia General Assembly and the Commonwealth Transportation Board to rename  all sections of Jefferson Davis Highway.  

Daniel Zim
4,434 supporters
Update posted 2 years ago

Petition to State of Georgia, David Ralston, LaDawn Jones, Vincent Fort, Stacey Abrams, Jon G. Burns, Christian Coomer, Matt Hatchett, Bruce Williamson, Carolyn Hugley, Stacey Evans, Bob Trammell Jr, Pat Gardner, Howard Mosby, Gloria S. Butler, Emanuel Jones, Gail Davenport, Elena Parent, Earnest Williams, Billy Mitchell, Pam Stephenson, Tonya P. Anderson, Dar'shun Kendrick, Karen Bennett, Jan Jones, Carolyn Hugley

Change or Remove Stone Mountain Confederate Carving

Today, The Confederate Carving on Stone Mountain has been re-branded with laser shows, animated with colored beams of lights. The Confederate Carving is being glorified and celebrated as if the cause of the Civil War was not over. Our goal is to make the Stone Mountain Confederate Carving more inclusive and to change its designation. Who should be included in the carving on Stone Mountain? Native Americans, African Americans, women, Lincoln, Sherman, Grant. The carving should be removed if it cannot be made more representative of the Civil War history. The men in the Confederate Carving on Stone Mountain were not from Georgia. The capitol of the Confederate States of America was not in Georgia. There were no battles in Georgia led by General Robert E. Lee, nor General Stonewall Jackson. There was no major Civil War battle at Stone Mountain. In addition, there were no soldiers buried at Stone Mountain Park. So why is Stone Mountain Park designated a Confederate Memorial? We do not seek to destroy history, but to make it more inclusive and realistic. The defenders of the status quo, seek to re-brand the legacy of the Confederacy and the Civil War. The reality is that both the Union and Confederate monuments do not truly represent or do justice to our story. The Union won the war, the slaves were freed, and the Confederacy was re-admitted into the Union. President Lincoln in his Gettysburg address reminded us that America was "...conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal". The Confederate States of America sought to spread slavery and had it placed in the Confederate Constitution.  Every time we go to war, we change history. In 1915, Samuel Venable the principal owner of Stone Mountain was a member of the Klan and hosted KKK events on his mountain for decades afterwards. Both Venable and the carving sculptor Gutzon Borglum were associated with the KKK. The KKK was a terrorist group who believed in white supremacy and race separation. The Venable Brothers deeded the north face of the mountain to the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1916 to create the carving. The UDC established the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial Association (SMCMA) for fundraising and on-site supervision of the project. The Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial Association was packed with KKK members. In 1958, the State of Georgia purchased Stone Mountain. However, the Confederate Carving was not completed until 1972. The story of Stone Mountain actually predates both the first white settlers and the Creek Indians before them. At least 12 Archaic Indian sites have been identified in the vicinity of Stone Mountain. Crystal Mountain was the name given it in 1567 when Spanish explorer Juan Pardo visited it, in search of the Moundbuilder civilization discovered by deSoto on an earlier trip. The Moundbuilders were gone, replaced by Creek Indians who called the peak Lone Mountain and used the easily spotted mountain as a meeting place. In the early 19th century, the area was known as Rock Mountain. Woodland Indians built a rock wall, encircling the top of the mountain. By the beginning of the 20th century the wall had disappeared. At the beginning of the Civil War, 22 million people lived in the North and 9 million people (4 million of whom were slaves) lived in the South. About 2.75 million soldiers fought in the Civil War 2 million for the North and 750,000 for the South. Over ninety-five percent of African Americans lived in the South. Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War. By the end of the Civil War, roughly179,000 black men (10% of the Union Army) served as soldiers in the U.S. Army and another 19,000 served in the Navy. Nearly 40,000 black soldiers died over the course of the war—30,000 of infection or disease. Even though a majority of African Americans lived in the South, the racism was so deep that African Americans were not allowed to join the Confederate army or have weapons. They served only in support roles. 28,693 Native Americans served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. 250 documented cases of women serving as soldiers in the Civil War but it is suspected there were many more than that. Some say let it be, why make trouble? just except things as they are. "There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" -- JFK ----- O Say Can We See By The Dawn's Early Light:  What is Wrong with the Confederate Flag and the Carving?    

Committee on Stone Mountain
1,207 supporters
Update posted 2 years ago

Petition to University of Oregon


MURAL BOASTING THE PRESERVATION OF WHITE SUPREMACY IN PUBLIC LIBRARY OF A FEDERALLY-FUNDED UNIVERSITY As a college student, it is common for me or anyone else at any point in time to need to end up in the library. Being a student at the large, federally funded public university, the University of Oregon, it can be a place that people spend a significant amount of their college career at. The library is supposed to be a place of learning without fear or distraction. Upon entering the Knight Library, the largest and most trafficked library on our campus, in order to go upstairs (which we all obviously have to do at some point), the West stairwell features a mural that is riddled with racist and white supremacist undertones. The mural reads as follows:   THE MISSION OF A UNIVERSITY The University process is a social process that does not stop short of transforming men. To achieve such profound results it must utilize the principle of all for each and each for all directed to the highest ends of life. Its organization must evoke the most intimate interplay of thought & purpose. It must amount to a life process fully socialized. From now on it must be a climb if our nation is to hold its position among the nations of the Earth. It means conservation and betterment not merely of our national resources but also of our racial heritage and of opportunity to the lowliest. This must be our passion and the universities must be its prophets. Frederick George Young B.A. LL. D. 1858-1929 Professor of Social Science and Dean of Sociology 1895-1928   I have bolded the portions that I, as well as a number of my concerned peers, found to be extremely offensive and degrading to students of color, denigrating our very existence on this campus. Upon reading this mural, I immediately felt unwelcome and disconnected from a sense of fellowship and safety in the space meant for learning. The argument that these professors lived in a “different time” or any other sort of euphemistic jaw-flapping is just given to excuse the existence of overtly racist statements and symbols. This mural has no place in 2017 on the campus of a public university. It is not as though the campus library is an anthropological museum, documenting the racial grievances of a past generation, serving as a reminder to not repeat history. This is a library in a public university, whose contents and purpose serve to facilitate the pursuit of education and encourage acceptance for everyone who seeks knowledge to be able to gain it without fear of reproach. The placard stands at nearly three times my height and is impossible to avoid when going up the stairs. It serves as a constant reminder to myself and other students of color that we are not welcome here. We are not meant to be a part of this university. We are “the lowliest”, being thrown a bone in order to humor the university and bolster its ability to boast of its percentages of racial minorities. This façade of inclusion and diversity is shameful and hard to justify in the 21st century. The mural was created in 1937 by the former University of Oregon art professor, Nowland B. Zane featuring the words of Frederick George Young, the dean of the School of Sociology at University of Oregon from 1919 until his death in 1929. Not much else is written about about these two individuals in terms of their personal opinions on race and preservation of whiteness on the campus, but Oregon being a historically white state, it can easily be deduced what is meant by conservation of "racial heritage". Oregon proclaimed themselves a "whites only" state, banning the "N*gro and Mulatto" beginning in 1859, and the statute was not technically removed from the books until 1922. Also, the 15th Amendment was not ratified in Oregon until 1959.  Not to mention, racial discrimination in public accommodations was completely legal until 1953. This is not the only time way in which the University of Oregon has participated in tacitly racist behavior. There used to be several academic and residence halls named after individuals either who were involved with the KKK or were Klansmen themselves. The University begun a half-hearted attempt to change these names in response to some pushback. However, in the year 2017, there still remains a hall named after a Confederate officer Benjamin Hawthorne, as well as another mural in the same library that depicts overtly racist social darwinism. These subtle forms of racism may exist undetected by the untrained eye, but for those already deeply impacted by the current resurgence of racially-charged aggression, these symbols and ideations are insulting and detrimental to their learning environment. It’s not as though there aren’t any other perfectly good and historically significant artwork that could replace it. Hell, even a toddler’s crayon drawing of a cat would be better than what is there now. So f*ck it. Let’s let University of Oregon know it’s time that we #TearItDown  

Francesca Smith
1,880 supporters