Confederate Monuments

84 petitions

Update posted 3 months ago

Petition to Aisha Pridgen, Courtney Bain

UNC Honor Court - Drop the Charges Against Antiracist Activist Maya Little

Maya Little faces potential expulsion for an act of civil disobedience against a Confederate statue. We support the statement below, and we petition the UNC Honor Court to drop the charges against her. Maya’s statement: On June 4, the UNC Office of Student Conduct officially charged me with violating the honor code by “stealing, destroying, or misusing property.” My Honor Court hearing may very well coincide with the criminal trial I already face for spilling red ink and my blood on Silent Sam. The Honor Court will determine whether my protest against Confederate monuments is conduct unbecoming of a UNC affiliate. I can find no record of the Honor Court charging students for painting Silent Sam Carolina blue in 1982. But Daily Tar Heel records confirm that neither campus nor Chapel Hill police made any effort to arrest those students. Similarly, the paper reported that NC State students who painted Sam in 1974 were released by campus police without charges. At UNC, dousing the monument in paint in the name of basketball is deemed a pastime while doing the same to contextualize and fight racism is a crime. Revealing the racist violence upon which Sam was built -- exposing a truth the university would like to keep covered -- could result in my expulsion. UNC uses its disciplinary boards to punish political activism and its police to suppress free speech. Chancellor Folt and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety and Risk Management, Derek Kemp, appointed an undercover police officer to infiltrate our movement and lie to and gather information on students fighting against racism. Why was it necessary to use tactics designed to entrap and engender mistrust among us? Perhaps because they are longstanding tactics of UNC administrators targeting anti-racist activists. Kemp and Folt carry on a practice that can be traced to campus police collusion with the FBI to spy on Black Student Movement (BSM) members in the 1970s. It is likely that black students protesting the 1971 murder of James Cates by a white motorcycle gang in the Pit were also targets of this surveillance.  This spring, Silent Sam protesters created a series of historical markers to educate the public about Cates’s murder and the untold history of white supremacy at UNC. When UNC police ripped apart these markers on April 30, 2018, they destroyed the only memorials to Cates that existed on our campus. The Honor Court, Board of Trustees, and Faculty Council have stood by idly as members of campus police, Derek Kemp, and Chancellor Folt continue to violate our First Amendment rights. How long will students be punished for demanding that black lives matter at UNC? In 2015, another activist wrote “Who Is Sandra Bland?” on Silent Sam. It was a fitting addition to a statue christened by boasts about horsewhipping a black woman who had sought safety on university grounds. Not only did UNC fail to protect her, it bestowed an honorary degree upon her attacker, Julian Carr. To this day, he holds that honorific. He is memorialized  in the names of a building I have taught in and the town that I live in.  Those who speak up are silenced and targeted, but violence against people of color and women goes unpunished. That violence is then celebrated in the protection of monuments such as Silent Sam, Aycock Hall, and plaques to families including the Kenans, who built their wealth on enslaved black labor. These are the crimes I hoped to expose when I poured my own blood on Silent Sam. Now I ask, how will UNC’s Honor Court act? Will they preserve what Dr. King called “a negative peace, which is the absence of tension,” or will they stand for the rights of their peers fighting for racial equality? It is time to truly uphold lux libertas, light and freedom, at UNC. Chancellor Folt, the Board of Governors, and Margaret Spellings have already shown their opposition to both. The student representatives of the Honor Court have chosen to investigate me, but they can still take this opportunity to act for free speech -- and against white supremacy.   The students of the Silent Sam Sit-In ask that the UNC Honor Court drop all charges against me for my protest of Silent Sam on April 30.   We ask that the proper disciplinary boards formally consider charges against university officials responsible for the continued surveillance and suppression of activists involved with protests against racist monuments.   We ask supporters to contact the Director of the Office of Student Conduct, Aisha Pridgen, at and Graduate and Professional School Student Attorney General, Courtney Bain, at to ask the Court to drop the charges against me. We ask our supporters to demand an investigation by the Faculty Council of UNC Police, Derek Kemp, and Carol Folt for the undercover infiltration of our protest and the destruction of our signs. These actions constitute harassment, retribution, and silencing. We ask our supporters to sign and circulate this petition demanding the Honor Court drop charges against me for my April 30th action. As always, we ask our alumni supporters to withhold donations to the university until it removes Silent Sam and white supremacy from our campus. I hope to see you all on August 20 at my criminal trial on a misdemeanor charge for which I could possibly spend 60 days in jail. In the face of these betrayals by officials tasked to protect us, we support each other. When one acts, we act together.   Maya Little, on behalf of the Silent Sam Sit In, UNC Student and Graduate Worker 6/14/2018

Lindsay Ayling
6,802 supporters
Started 5 months ago

Petition to Mississippi State House, Phil Bryant

Remove the Confederate Symbol from the Mississippi Flag

At least 581 people have been lynched in the state of Mississippi throughout U.S. history, the vast majority of whom were hung because of one thing: they were black. This history is troubling enough, but it’s even more so when you see Mississippi’s junior Senator, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, making a joke this month at a political fundraiser where she laughs about how if one of her donors invited her, “she’d attend a public hanging.” The comment drew sharp responses from voters on the left and the right, noting that Sen. Hyde-Smith’s opponent is an African American. But Sen. Hyde-Smith has yet to apologize. This kind of language would be unacceptable in so many places around the country. But not yet in Mississippi, my home state, where one of the most violent and destructive symbols in all of American history -- the Confederate emblem -- still adorns our state flag. It’s time to say enough is enough. Join me in calling on Mississippi to remove the Confederate symbol from its state flag. Over the last few years we’ve seen so many communities come to terms with the racist and shameful legacy of the Confederacy, and pull their support of this symbol which for so many people represents the violence and hatred that led to hundreds of “public hangings” all around the South. South Carolina’s government stopped displaying the Confederate symbol; cities around Mississippi, including tourism-friendly places like Biloxi, have also stopped flying our state flag because it bears the Confederate emblem. Even a judge in Mississippi over the last month removed the Mississippi State Flag from his courtroom because he felt the Confederate symbol sent the message that not everyone was welcome or equal in his court. The Confederate symbol in our state flag is a dying, hate-filled relic, and it’s time for a change. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s comments are appalling and show a complete lack of understanding at the race-based violence so many people in Mississippi have faced for the last 150 years. But her comments are just a symptom of a larger issue in our state that stems directly from the tolerance, acceptance and celebration of the Confederate symbol in our state flag. A symbol that for so many years has been championed by those who want to hurt, minimize, humiliate, and enslave an entire population of people. I'm proud to call Mississippi my home state, but I know that it not only can do better -- it needs to do better. Now is the moment to show Mississippi and the rest of the country that hateful symbols have no place in our politics. Let’s send a message now to Mississippi lawmakers that the historic emblem that normalizes so much violence toward people has no place in our State Flag. Join me in calling on Mississippi lawmakers to remove the Confederate symbol from our flag.

Aunjanue Ellis
35,707 supporters
Started 8 months ago

Petition to President Kent Fuchs, University of Florida Board of Trustees

Remove the Confederate Monument Located on University of Florida Property

This petition is for the removal of the monument to Confederate General William Wing Loring on prominent public display in downtown St. Augustine, Florida.  It is located on property owned by the University of Florida. Signers of this petition hold that this monument represents a glorification of the Confederate ideology that defended the preservation and expansion of the unethical institution of slavery, and that the University of Florida should therefore remove it from its place of prominent public display in recognition that this ideology does not reflect the university’s values and out of respect for the millions of victims of slavery. General William Loring was a complex and interesting man, who, among other things, was a general in the army of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. He thus fought for an organization dedicated to the preservation and expansion of slavery. The St. Augustine monument to Loring was constructed in 1920 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, 34 years after his death. It is not the intention of the signers of this petition to remove the memory of General Loring from history.  He, and his monument, are well documented in numerous publications.  His monument could be appropriately displayed in a museum setting that provides historical contextualization with reference to the complexities of American history needed to better understand General Loring’s life in the 19th century, the United Daughter’s of the Confederacy’s campaign to construct the monument in the early 20th century, and the meaning of the monument to successive generations.  However, without the appropriate museum contextualization, the monument should not remain on public display.  While a marker of the past, such a monument exists in the present and has the potential to influence the future.  The words on this monument to General Loring proclaim its purpose: “That the record of his life be an inspiration to American Youth.”  We must not let his misdeeds be an inspiration to our youth. It is recognized that General Loring’s cremated remains are located at this site, and that all grave sites should be treated with respect no matter the actions and ideologies of the interred individuals.  The remains should therefore be removed to a private cemetery, or remain at the site separate from this monument. 

Paul Pluta
261 supporters