Racial Justice

243 petitions

Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Department of Justice

Charge Accused White Supremacist Killer of Iranian American Student with a Hate Crime

On September 7, 2015, Shayan Mazroei, a 22-year-old student was stabbed by Craig Tanber – an admitted white-supremacist, outside of a local bar he frequented in Laguna Niguel, CA. Shayan later died of his wounds at the hospital. Tanber and his longtime girlfriend and Orange County employee, Elizabeth Thornburg, began hurling racial slurs and epithets at Shayan as he and a friend dined at the pub. The pair called Shayan “terrorist,” “Arab,” and “f--cking Iranian” before Tanber fatally stabbed him in the chest, leaving him bleeding on the floor as he took off in a car driven by Thornburg. Surveillance video from the bar also shows Thornburg spitting on Shayan at least three times. Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has not only failed to charge Shayan’s murder as a hate crime, but has also not charged Elizabeth Thornburg with any crime at all, despite her involvement in the events that led up to the fatal stabbing, as well as her driving Mr. Tanber away from the crime scene. As the anti-Iranian sentiment and hate crimes against Iranians-Americans and other people from majority Muslim countries have seen a staggering rise by hate groups across the country, it is more important now than ever to prosecute hate crimes as hate crimes under the law. When a local or state authority fails to properly charge and prosecute, it is the duty and responsibility of the federal government to intervene, investigate, and charge hate crimes as appropriate. Failure to do so would effectively concede that the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crime Prevention Act was nothing more than a symbolic law that will seldom be utilized – that hate crimes against certain communities are tolerable or acceptable in the United States. A successful hate crime prosecution requires two main elements: a known suspect and a motivation by animus or bias towards a protected class of people. Here, we have a known white supremacist suspect, and multiple witness accounts which establish this fatal stabbing was motivated by Shayan Mazroei’s Iranian heritage. It is our position that Mr. Tanber and Ms. Thornburg violated 8 U.S.C. § 249 by committing an offense motivated by the actual or perceived national origin of Shayan Mazroei after noticing a prominently placed Iranian-inspired tattoo on Shayan’s forearm with Farsi script spelling “esgh” which translated to “love.” Mr. Tanber, with the encouragement and active participation of Ms. Thornburg, hurled racial slurs at Shayan and willfully stabbed Shayan to death using a knife which traveled in interstate or foreign commerce. Mr. Tanber was then driven away by Ms. Thornburg in a motor vehicle on a public roadway, which qualify as an instrumentality and channel of interstate commerce under the statute. Given the failure of the State authorities to charge a hate crime in this case, it is the position of the undersigned that a prosecution of Mr. Tanber and Ms. Thornburg by the United States under 8 U.S.C. § 249 is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice. Perpetrators of federal hate crimes must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law, and Shayan Mazroei is no exception to this rule. Craig Tanber and Elizabeth Thornburg took something from the Mazroei family that night; they took their only son, a bright and caring young man who touched the lives of everyone he met and had the brightest future this country has to offer ahead of him. But even more, Tanber and Thornburg took something from the community that night as well: a sense of peace and safety. Hate crimes must never be normalized in a civil society. We ask that the Department of Justice open a federal hate crime investigation into the fatal stabbing of Shayan Mazroei, and bring federal charges as appropriate.

Shayan Modarres
60,083 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Erie County District Attorney

Help free Valentino Dixon, an innocent man wrongfully convicted!

Valentino Dixon was sentenced to 33 years to life in prison after a jury wrongfully convicted him of 2nd-degree murder, despite the fact that there was no physical evidence implicating him, and his conviction was solely based on unreliable eyewitness testimonies. Meanwhile, more than 10 witnesses say that Valentino didn't commit the crime, and the actual shooter has confessed multiple times. Valentino was convicted based on false evidence. Three men testified that Valentino was the shooter. One was on cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol at the time of the incident. The second initially said that he was not sure if the shooter was Valentino because it happened so quickly, but later claimed that it was Valentino, adding that his memory gets better with time. The third witness told a private investigator that he gave false testimony at trial because of threats from the District Attorney. The entire trial proceedings should be called into question. The two witnesses who said that Valentino was not the shooter were charged with perjury by the prosecutor, which prevented them from testifying. And Valentino’s defense lawyer didn’t make an opening statement and didn’t call a single witness to the stand. The real shooter has confessed 5 times on record. The shooter himself says that Valentino is innocent.  Valentino Dixon is innocent. He has been in prison for 26 years for a crime he didn’t commit. He has appealed three times, but all were rejected.  Please sign our petition to urge Erie County District Attorney's Office to overturn Valentino Dixon’s wrongful conviction.   For more information please visit the following.  Website:  FreeValentinoDixon Instagram Page Watch Valentino's Documentary "Meet Valentino Dixon" Read Valentino's Article "Drawings From Prison" Read Valentino's Article "Valentino Dixon Is Still Drawing"          

Free Valentino
4,733 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Tony Martinez, Jessica Tetreau, Cesar de Leon, Joel Munguia, Ben Neece, Ricardo Longoria, Rose Gowen

MOVE Jefferson Davis Monument to Museum

Many cities across the United States of America are removing statues/memorials from public spaces and renaming roads and buildings that honor Confederate leaders. Brownsville has had numerous racist incidents in the past. Our biggest one happened in 1906. Please Google: Brownsville Black Raid. The Brownsville Herald was biased in its reporting. The soldiers involved were later exonerated by President Nixon. We also had a bridge known as "N" bridge and it appeared on local maps with the racist slur. We can only imagine what took place on that bridge. Yes, we are a city full of history and we're proud of it. We can't deny that we were part of the Confederacy. But, what is the purpose of keeping the Jefferson Davis Memorial at Washington Park? It was originally on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Palm Blvd. It marked the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway which never really took off. It was then moved to Washington Park in the 1970s. Hundreds of families enjoy this park, especially during big community events like Sombrero Festival and Cyclobia. What do you think the monument tells families when they are enjoying the park? We have a growing population of African-Americans in this community. This monument does not welcome the descendants of those who were enslaved and oppressed in the past. Our nation fought to unify our country during the Civil War. Sadly, many people did not obtain full rights until the 1960s. We don't need reminders of a bygone era in a space that should be welcoming. We need to stop kissing up to the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy! They claim that it is heritage. Their heritage believes that it was a God-given right to own people. Washington Park currently has three monuments dedicated to: Miguel Hidalgo, Jose Marti, and Jefferson Davis. The first two were liberators. Davis was the opposite. He fought to keep human beings enslaved. He was not a liberator! He also saw mestizos (mixed European and Native American) as inferiors. The majority of Brownsville is mestizo. We don't want it destroyed. We are asking the City of Brownsville and the Brownsville Historical Association to place it in a museum. For many people, this monument represents HATE and feel that it doesn't belong in a public park. Washington Park should be welcoming to ALL people! Please VOTE on relocating it to the Historic Brownsville Museum.

Antonio Castillo
5,615 supporters
Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to Arie Slob

Stop the Dutch government subsidizing blackface on children’s television.

I didn’t realize that children associated blackface with people of color until my, then, nearly 3 year old did it.  She pointed at a black man in the bus and shouted “Zwarte Piet, Zwarte Piet!”  During her time at kindergarten,  my child had learnt to associate black people with a sort of clown . This is racism- and happened because kindergartens, schools and children's television in the Netherlands promote a specific racist caricature as part of their annual national tradition: Sinterklaas.  This has got to stop! Zwarte Piets, or Black Petes, are characters in a children’s television show, played by people in blackface wearing Afro wigs.  The Black Petes are portrayed as child-like, silly people, who belong a wise, old, white boss. Working for the wise, old, white boss is their only real reason for being, and the wise, old, white boss gives them the guidance they need. That associations are made between these subservient buffoons and regular people, merely based on having a dark skin color and Afro hair, is alarming.  This Dutch tradition is even more offensive because the Black Petes wear clothing resembling the uniforms of enslaved 17th century Africans.  There are many paintings featuring enslaved Africans of that era, which confirm this. Every year children and adults of color, especially people of African descent, endure ridicule connected to Black Pete.  It is a humiliating affront to their dignity.  People literally dread the weeks leading up to 5th of December, because the racist caricatures are to be seen everywhere. The daily children’s television series which is central in showcasing the Black Petes, is called: Het Sinterklaasjournaal.   The vast majority of elementary schools in the Netherlands air the television series to their pupils. The NTR television company,  which makes the blackface series, also generate income by selling lesson material to elementary schools. The Dutch government continue to subsidize this racist, yet popular children’s television series despite various human rights reports recommending the removal of discriminatory elements in Black Petes appearance.   The Dutch children’s ombudswoman also recently included the aforementioned advice in her position on the subject.  Despite this, blackfacing in schools and in the media, including an annual minstrel show: Het Sinterklaasfeest, is also subsidized by the Dutch government. People should be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of the colour of their skin.  Blackfacing in schools and in the media is supported by government subsidy, and is a form of institutionalized racism.  Tell the Dutch government to stop subsidizing blackface.

J. van L.
12,477 supporters