Petition to Debra A. Haaland, Kamala D. Harris, Joseph Biden
Deb Haaland: Stand Against Modern-Day Jim Crow In Indian Country
We call on Representative Deb Haaland to publicly pledge her support for citizenship and equal rights for Freedmen of the Five Tribes in Indian Territory before being confirmed as Secretary of the Interior and to outline and commit to a plan for Freedmen integration and inclusion in Indian Territory. We demand accountability from Representative Debra “Deb” Haaland of New Mexico’s first Congressional district for her exclusion of legislative protections for Freedmen of the Five Slaveholding Tribes of Oklahoma while serving as New Mexico’s First Congressional District’s Representative. As Freedmen of the Five Southeastern Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole Nations) now located in Oklahoma, we have precarious relationships with our tribes of origin. Freedmen descend from those enslaved by tribal members in the 1700 and 1800s, as well as Native people who had been tribal members since before European contact, and free Black people who were tribal citizens and members at the time of Dawes enrollment in the late 1800s. With the Treaties of 1866, all five of the Five Southeastern Tribes abolished slavery and promised their Freedmen citizenship and equal rights. However, in all of these tribes but the Cherokee Nation, Freedmen are either denied tribal citizenship rights or deemed second-class citizens. In the Seminole Nation, Seminole Freedmen are enrolled as partial and unequal tribal members and are counted when the Seminole Nation requests federal funding but are excluded from any tribal housing, healthcare, or educational programs or funding on account of their race--a modern Three-Fifths Compromise. In the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Creek Nations, “Freedmen” are not only denied housing, healthcare, and educational programs, but are also denied basic citizenship and voting rights on account of their race and their ancestors’ statuses as Black and/or enslaved people. Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Creek Freedmen are also excluded from protections afforded Native children in the Indian Child Welfare Act on account of being excluded from tribal citizenship. These modern-day Jim Crow policies can no longer be tolerated. We need a Secretary of the Interior who will enforce the Five Tribes’ treaty obligations to Freedmen and who will investigate and end the discriminatory Jim Crow policies in Indian Territory. Representative Deb Haaland’s past legislative action indicates that she is not a strong supporter of protections for Black Native “Freedmen” of the Five Tribes in Oklahoma. In December 2019, Representative Haaland co-sponsored a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) through 2024 that removed protections for Freedmen of the Five Tribes that had previously been included in bills reauthorizing the funding. Although constituting only 5 of the 573 federally recognized tribes in the United States, the U.S. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has informed the Five Tribes that they can expect to receive 10% of the program’s funding--over $62 million in funding for the program. However, as it currently stands, four out of the Five Tribes receiving this large amount of funding would exclude Freedmen from it solely on account of their race and/or due to being descendants of Black slaves. As Freedmen, we believe that our tribes must follow their own treaties and basic human rights and civil rights principles in order to receive federal tax payer-funded resources. Deb Haaland must speak up now as Biden's nominee for Secretary of the Interior in support of Freedmen of the Five Tribes and--when appointed to the office of Secretary of the Interior--must work diligently to ensure that our rights as Native people are protected. As Secretary of the Interior, she will oversee the Bureau of Indian Affairs and will have the power to investigate the tribes, enforce our treaty rights, and bring an end to the modern-day Jim Crow we are facing. We must have Native leadership that is inclusive of all Native peoples, Black Natives and Freedmen included. Representative Haaland, as Secretary of the Interior, will have the power to uphold the citizenship and civil rights of Freedmen of the Five Tribes. She should understand that this is racism pure and simple, and it’s time to stop Jim Crow like policies in Indian Country. Freedmen and our enslaved ancestors have shared culture and community with other tribal members for generations, and it is time that we are given equal access to our nation and community. Freedmen have long oral histories of our ancestors’ time on the Trail of Tears and in Indian Territory, attend and lead tribal events, speak tribal languages, and identify strongly with our tribes of origin. For us, citizenship is not just a piece of paper or a CBID card, but is the confirmation of our history and our culture. As a Native American woman, Deb Haaland has a moral responsibility to end this racism. Add your name demanding that as Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland right this wrong for good. Written with: The Muscogee Creek Indian Freedmen Band (@MCIFB1866Treaty on Twitter): http://www.1866creekfreedmen.com/ Descendants of the Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association (https://freedmen5tribes.com/ Donate to support Freedmen: https://www.gofundme.com/f/039justice-for-black-creeksquot-aka-creek-freedmen https://www.gofundme.com/f/federal-court-legal-fund-freedmen-descendants Sources: “Black Lives Matter for Freedmen Descendants of the Five Civilized Tribes”: http://theoklahomaeagle.net/2020/07/07/black-lives-matter-for-freedmen-descendants-of-the-five-civilized-tribes/ “Part of the Tribe, But Shut Out”: https://www.redlakenationnews.com/story/2016/08/31/news/part-of-the-tribe-but-shut-out/50568.html “Freedmen ask Choctaws for their rights”: http://tulsabeacon.com/freedmen-ask-choctaws-for-their-rights/ “Slaves of the tribe: The hidden history of the Freedmen”: https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/slaves-of-the-tribe-the-hidden-history-of-the-freedmen/ “The Black Native American descendants fighting for the right to belong”: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/black-native-american-descendants-fighting-right-belong-n1248328
Petition to Calhoun County Board of Education
Change Ohatchee High School’s Mascot
The appropriation of the Native culture by people who are not native and do not exist in a tribe has overwhelmingly shown to offend Native American people for a multitude of reasons. "The headdress is reserved for our revered elders who, through their selflessness and leadership, have earned the right to wear one. It’s a spiritual garb, not just cultural; it's not merely an addition to one's attire. Wearing one, even an imitation headdress, belittles what our elders have spent a lifetime to earn." -- Simon Moya-Smith, citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation and journalist "Both feathers and face paint have purpose and often spiritual significance depending on tribal protocol and individual interpretation. In Native cultures, both feathers and face paint are earned through actions and deeds that bring honor to both tribes and nations. Individuals [outside the community] who wear feathers or face paint were not given the rights or permissions to wear them. This is analogous to casually wearing a purple heart or medal of honor that was not earned." -- Dennis Zotigh, Cultural Specialist, National Museum of the American Indian "[Wearing a headdress] could be similar to if the [shtreimel] became hip. Or the headdress that the pope wears -- if [kids] started wearing that, if that became a trend. I am sure any Catholic people might be disrespected. So for our people, it is the same way." -- Cliff Matias, Director of Redhawk Native American Arts CouncilNot only is the mascot problematic, but for decades the mascot has been more often than not, a Caucasian male or female of the student body and always somebody who is not in a tribe. They wear a full Native American headdress which is a sacred symbol of strength and bravery and have been primarily reserved for the tribes political and spiritual leaders. The name 'Big red' originates from the pejorative terms 'R**s***' and 'Red Indian.' These terms have a well established history of being used contemptuously with negative connotation. Dictionary definitions are virtually unanimous that it is no longer acceptable to use and an “entirely benign” term. The Oxford American dictionary says, “r**s*** lost its neutral, accurate descriptive sense and became a term of disparagement.” It now calls it “dated” and “offensive.” Merriam Webster identified the term as “often contemptuous” as early as its 1898 Collegiate version. The etymology of the pejorative term is much more troubling. Newspapers dating back to 1863 show the use of the word as a slur to refer to those who are called to be killed for bounty. The fact remains that to many Native Americans, the term "r**s***" has long meant the act of our ancestor's scalps being collected for bounty. Kevin Gover, a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma and director of the Institution's National Museum of the American Indian shared these words while discussing the use of the slur: "I'm really not that interested in where the word comes from. I know how it was used. And it's been used in a disparaging way for at least a couple of centuries. Up to and including the time I was growing up in Oklahoma." The usage of these terms and those that have derived from them as well as the appropriations of Native American culture have been proven to be harmful to Native American people who are subject to witnessing their communities appropriate, disrespect, and dehumanize their culture. The appropriation and characterization of their tribes has pushed stereotypical ideas and attitudes about Native people and have harmful effects on the self-esteem and self-identities of Native American youths. The American Psychological Association passed a resolution calling for the “immediate retirement” of Native American names and mascots in 2005. The American Sociological Association followed in 2007, saying that “social science scholarship has demonstrated that the continued use of Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport harm Native American people in psychological, educational, and social ways.” The superintendent of Calhoun County Schools is Donald Turner, firstname.lastname@example.org is his email. The principal of the high school is Bobby Tittle, email@example.com is his email. The assistant principal is Michael Graham, firstname.lastname@example.org is his email. Cultural appropriation:http://www.mtv.com/news/1837578/why-you-should-not-wear-headdresses/https://www.mic.com/articles/151503/is-it-ever-ok-for-a-white-person-to-wear-a-feather-headdressDefinitions on "r**s***":https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/redskinhttps://www.dictionary.com/browse/red-indian 1863 newspaper placing bounty on scalps of native Americans:https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a29318/redskin-name-update/ documentation of psychological problems caused by stereotypes -Dr. Mike Friedman:https://www.changethemascot.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DrFriedmanReport.pdf APA Resolution Recommending the Immediate Retirement ofAmerican Indian Mascots, Symbols, Images, and Personalities bySchools, Colleges, Universities, Athletic Teams, and Organizations:https://www.apa.org/about/policy/mascots.pdf
Petition to Chairman Ray Stallings Smith, III,, Jeff Cown, Director of Parks, Recreation & Historic Sites, Gregory Bernard Levett, Sr., Mayor Rey Martinez, Carolyn D. Meadows, SMMA Board of Directors, Michael Thurmond chief executive, Rev. Abraham Mosley, Mark Williams, Joan Bostick Thomas, Georgia Governor, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
Stone Mountain Park Remove Confederate Flag also Robert E Lee Blvd Must Be Replaced
Good afternoon, I hope that this message finds you well. I am starting this petition to hopefully change Robert E. Lee Blvd near Stone Mountain. For some of you that may not know, Robert E. Lee owned and managed slaves for over thirty years. In April 1861 he oversaw two hundred slaves. There is also a New York Times article supporting this. During this time, the slaves could have been freed due to their “owner’s dying wish”, but Robert E. Lee chose to ignore this. He was given a chance to make this right, but he did not. Below are inserts from the infamous letter that Robert E. Lee wrote to his wife in 1856. “Of all the letters by Lee that have been collected by archivists and historians over the years, one of the most famous was written to his wife in 1856. “In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country,” he wrote. But he added that slavery was “a greater evil to the white man than to the black race” in the United States, and that the “painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction.” How can someone believe that a human being needed to be tortured, beaten and hung for their “instruction”? I feel as though this sign and flag is disrespectful to the community and all human beings. To look up and see the confederate flag displaying in the park is extremely disrespectful to the African American race. This is also showing the world that we STILL AGREE with racism and the systematic injustice that we have endured for 400 plus years. How am I supposed to explain to my daughter what this flag represents? I hate to hold the truth from my child, but this is something that can no longer go unheard. As a NATION we have stayed silent for too long. With the removal of this sign I am hopeful that we can change this world into the place that we all know it can be! A place of love and laughs. A place where you can make great memories with friends. And lastly, a place where we are all treated the same. I think we should learn from the United States Marine Corps as they have decided to remove the public displays of the confederate battle flag. I greatly appreciate your time and pray for protection over your loved ones. Mike Rosser
Petition to Timothy Sands & Bernice Hausman
Reject white supremacy at Virginia Tech
As former graduate students in the English Department at Virginia Tech, we were disturbed and horrified to hear that Mark Neuhoff, a current English MA student & English composition teacher, is an avowed white supremacist. We were even more disturbed to see how the department, and the university as a whole, have handled the complaints lodged against Mark. As graduates of VT’s English Department and former graduate teaching assistants, we’re deeply disappointed by the lack of leadership, accountability, and compassion we’ve seen in the university’s response to white supremacy on campus. University administrators have the privilege and responsibility of creating an inclusive campus for all students. That means acknowledging the fear that students and colleagues of color feel when they’re faced with a white supremacist on campus. It means taking real action to mitigate that fear. It means being willing to step up and speak out against white supremacy. We stand with students who are protesting Mark Neuhoff’s continued employment with the English Department. It’s long past time to take real action. We want to see Bernice Hausman, Timothy Sands, and other university administrators respond to these concerns with the gravity they warrant and remove Mark Neuhoff from his teaching position. Silence is tacit approval. At a moment in history when racist ideology is an ever-growing threat to people of color in our country, you are in the unique and privileged position of having the power to take REAL action to protect students of color. Protecting these students is not only your privilege, but your responsibility. We want to see increased transparency about actions the university is taking to protect Jewish students and students of color, and we want to the university offer a clear, unequivocal rejection of Mark Neuhoff’s views. We also want to see you do the right thing and reject white supremacy on Virginia Tech’s campus by taking action to remove Mark Neuhoff from his teaching position. To read more about Mark Neuhoff and the university's response, please see our post on Medium here.
Petition to Ray Sweet, Archbishop Jose Gomez, Eric Garcetti, Pamela Hutton (Johnson), Dr. Yolanda Brown, Susana Santana, David Garcia Executive Director, Maria Herzer, Nancy Stellos
Demand that Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood close the racist SVDP conference!
One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul www.svdpusa.org is allowing a culture of racism within its structure and has successfully covered it up for years just like the sex-abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church until someone stood up and said “ I am not taking this anymore, I am going to tell anyone who will listen. Hollywood, Calif. ― A chapter of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (Blessed Sacrament Conference) failed to appropriately respond to reports of racism inside the conference, as well as other complaints of unequal treatment made to the organization’s Los Angeles District upper council. Martin Miller, former volunteer of the Blessed Sacrament Conference said “We met in October and at the beginning of the meeting our Vice-President LaNordo Conn announces that there are more White people on Section 8 Housing than Blacks or Hispanics. He looked directly at me during the announcement." Leonardo also said "I have a job interview and I betcha the job will go to some white guy that has less experience than I do." I am white and those were two of many racial remarks that hurt." We were not there to gather statistics we were there to raise money and allocate funds to help the poor. The entire conference laughed and thought it was funny and swept it under the rug. Nancy Stellos-Miller’s attitude was “he means well,” “try to ignore it we do not want any problems.” the conference President Maria Herzer admitted to the upper-council Susana Santana (Deputy Executive Officer of Operations) that she heard the comment but did not act. Apparently, this is not the first time that the Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood has been involved in a scandal and reported for allowing inappropriate conduct to continue within its walls. BishopAccountability.org who "documents the abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church" uploaded this article originally reported in the California Catholic Daily http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2007/11_12/2007_11_28_CaliforniaCatholicDaily_JustGo.htm Pope Francis said, “Racism today is the ultimate evil in our world.” By signing this petition, the community can be active in addressing racism and discrimination! As taxpayers and business owners, we can refuse to donate to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (including its thrift stores) until they visibly change their policy on racism.
Petition to Melanie Haas
Prevent Racial Discrimination in future generations
Students K-12 are required to take a cultural history class to educate them on different cultures like indigenous tribes and who black people were before slavery. This will open their minds to different types of people to prevent racial discrimination in the future. Not only that ELA classes have to include more diverse pieces of writing and authors. Educating our youth about this is very important since they are more easily influenced than adults. I believe this will have a great impact on the future generations.
Petition to University of Central Florida, Dr. Michael Johnson, Dr. Florian Jentsch, Dr. Tosha Dupras
UCF: Fire Psychology Professor Charles Negy
We are calling on the University of Central Florida to dismiss psychology professor Charles Negy due to abhorrent racist comments he has made and continues to make on his personal Twitter account. In addition to racism, Negy has engaged in perverse transphobia and sexism on his account, which is just as reprehensible. While he has a right to free speech, he does not have a right to dehumanize students of color and other minority groups, which is a regular occurance in his classroom. By allowing him to continue in his position, UCF would simply be empowering another cog in the machine of systemic racism. UCF is a diverse, welcoming campus of 60,000 students from all across the country and the world. Our diversity is our strength, and we should have faculty who understand and promote that - not the opposite. College is a place to learn and be exposed to new ideas, but for so many Black students, racism is not just an idea, but something they have experienced for their entire life, and the same goes for the LGBT community with trans and homophobia. They deserve better, and so does the entire campus community. I once again want to reiterate my love for this university. We are a community which always has each other's back. As a student coming from a place of privilege, this is me having the backs of my fellow Knights. Please dismiss Professor Negy for the good of the entire campus community.
Petition to The Government
DEFUND THE AMERICAN SCHOOL SYSTEM
For years people of color have been bullied and teased just for the color of their skin (see here: https://twitter.com/LilBoyGroomer/status/1346484969456201731?s=20 by signing my petition you are signing a petition to defund the American school system!