Petition to Missouri State House, Missouri State Senate, Shawn Rhoads, Don Rone, J. Eggleston, Elijah Haahr, Michael Butler, David J Gregory, Jack Bondon, Alfred J. (Fred) Wessels, Dan Houx, Deb Lavender, Courtney Allen Curtis, Lindell Shumake, Travis Fitzwater, Noel J Shull
HCR10 (Formerly HCR86): Renounce the Dred Scott Decision Today. #drawtheline
HCR 10 (Which was HCR86 in 2018), is a resolution bill for the State of Missouri to formally denounce the Historic Dred Scott decision. It is impossible to speak of American history without acknowledging the centrality of the State of Missouri’s role in creating and perpetuating our nation’s historic racial divides. The 1820 Missouri Compromise set the boundaries between slave states and free states. In 1852, at the 8th Circuit Court in downtown St.Louis, the Missouri Supreme Court denied an enslaved Dred and Harriet Scott the freedom that was legally theirs. In the Court's opinion, Justice John Ferguson Ryland called the pursuit of emancipation and the abolitionist sentiments in other states "a dark and fell spirit". He then accepted the generational consequences of the injustice being committed. "Since then not only individuals but States have been possessed with a dark and fell spirit in relation to slavery, whose gratification is sought in the pursuit of measures, whose inevitable consequences must be the overthrow and destruction of our government. Under such circumstances it does not behoove the State of Missouri to show the least countenance to any measure which might gratify this spirit. She is willing to assume her full responsibility for the existence of slavery within her limits, nor does she seek to share or divide it with others. As to the consequences of slavery, they are much more hurtful to the master than the slave. There is no comparison between the slave in the United States and the cruel, uncivilized negro in Africa.... we are almost persuaded, that the introduction of slavery amongst us was, in the providence of God, who makes the evil passions of men subservient to His own glory, a means of placing that unhappy race within the pale of civilized nations." The case went from there to the U.S. Supreme Court. The outcome in 1857 essentially stripped the Negro race of legal recognition not only as citizens, but as actual humans. In the beginning of the SCOTUS majority opinion, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney wrote: The question is simply this: can a negro whose ancestors were imported into this country and sold as slaves become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges, and immunities, guarantied by that instrument to the citizen, one of which rights is the privilege of suing in a court of the United States in the cases specified in the Constitution? Concluding he says: In the opinion of the court, the legislation and histories of the times, and the language used in the Declaration of Independence, show, that neither theclass of persons who had been imported as slaves, nor their descendants, whether they had become free or not, were then acknowledged as a part of thepeople, nor intended to be included in the general words used in that memorable instrument.* * *They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in socialor political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold, and treated as an ordinary article ofmechandise and traffic, whenever a profit could be made by it. This opinion was at that time fixed and universal in the civilized portion of the white race. It was regarded as an axiom in morals as well as in politics, which no one thought of disputing, or supposed to be open to dispute; and men in every grade and position in society daily and habitually acted upon it in their private pursuits, as well as inmatters of public concern, without doubting for a moment the correctness of this opinion.* * * Now recognized as the most embarrassing SCOTUS decision in our history, it laid the foundation for over 100 years of terror in the Jim Crow South and set an ideological precedent for classifying whole groups of people as less than human. It concluded that the best way for the dignity afforded by "all men were created equal" to be restricted to the white ruling class, was to remove the humanity of the Negro people. This ideology (the dehumanization of a person, class, or group of people) has had devastating and far reaching implications well beyond the boundaries of black and white racial tensions. From zoning laws, violent crime, homicide, healthcare, jobs, education, mass incarceration, to the opioid crisis, sex trafficking, physical/sexual abuse, gender equality, etc. The 13th and 14th Amendments stripped this decision of it's legal power, but did not remove it's social or cultural impact. But we were created in the image of God. On the basis of that understanding, our oppressed foremothers and forefathers persevered. They pursued the manifestation of a society on the earth that reflects the dignity and the worth that has been ascribed to us in heaven. While there are social and political debates about what injustices persists today; American legislative, judicial, and social history is replete with examples of the systemic violation of that core reality. What has been much harder to acknowledge and pinpoint today is the psychological, emotional, and spiritual impact of these violations. Due to unhealed wounds from an all too present past, Missouri continues to experience flashpoints of racial unrest that have become national tipping points. Justice John Ferguson Ryland invited the consequences of these decisions into the land and 162 years later, the generational pain of his words landed in the city of his namesake: Ferguson. Missouri's injustices have contributed nationally to the historic and present day pains of American race relations. Yet because of this grievous history, I am filled with great hope for a glorious future. I'm starting this petition to support the legislation that Representative Mike Moon introduced to the House Judicial Committee. In hopes that as a state, we can play a key our role in the healing of our national wounds through a wholistic approach to restorative justice. It is in this arena of the heart, the mind, the spirit that we must all (black, white, hispanic, asian, republican, democrat, etc.) win dire victories together if we are to hope for any form true healing, reconciliation, or justice. In post-apartheid South Africa, Bishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela understood the power of intentionally righting the historical wrongs beyond legislative change. Therefore they established a federal truth and reconciliation commission to explore the wholistic impact of their history on both the oppressed and the oppressor. Simply adopting HCR 10 as a resolution, is a small act that would be a major step toward the Truth and Reconciliation that we need, in concert with the various pursuits of justice that are happening in our state. It is somewhat common for modern governments to formally denounce past laws that no longer reflect the ethos or sentiment of present day society in order to ensure that the law is no longer referred to as a precedent or standard for future law-making. It also adds to the record, that the present governmental system is not in agreement with that past tradition. Missouri has never done that, so in effect, even if subconsciously, this ruling still holds influence in Missouri. I am confident that bringing resolution to this generational desolation in the state of Missouri; closing this door that his been open 160 years too long, will help to bring salve to an infected wound that is festering not only here in our state, but across the nation. For our call to action, we need this legislature with it's history of drawing DIVIDING lines, to draw a UNITING line that everyone can stand on. Taken from line #46 of the bill, we are asking them to DRAW THE LINE between our unjust past and our present inequities, to make way for a much more equitable future. Here is a link for you to read the actual bill: HCR 10 I'm hoping to secure at least 1,000 signatures to show our state legislature that the people of Missouri and others across the nation are eager to shut this door. UPDATE: ROUND ONE VICTORY! On Tuesday, May 1, 2018 HCR 86 PASSED through the Judiciary Committee in a unanimous 9-0 vote. But the push has only just begun. UPDATE #2: ROUND TWO VICTORY. On Monday, May 7th, HCS HCR 86 passed through the House Rules-Legislative Oversight Committee in a unanimous 11-0 vote. Now it will go to the House floor for debate and a vote. THEN we will need your help to contact our senators. UPDATE #3: HCR 86 made it to the Senate floor on the last day of the 2018 General Assembly but never made it to a vote due to the close of the Session. UPDATE #4: It has been reintroduced as HCR 10 in the 2019 General Assembly by Rep. Mike Moon. For today, please sign the petition and share it with friends! Special Thanks to those legislators serving on the following committee's for standing on the right side of history! Missouri House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Missouri House of Representatives Rules-Legislative Oversight Committee
Petition to Excellency Secretary General, United Nations Organization New York, USA
Establish a UN Universal Center for Dialogue and Conflict Resolution in Lebanon
This petition to establish a UN universal center for dialogue and conflict resolution in Lebanon is addressed to His/Her Excellency the Secretary General of the United Nations Organization in New York, USA. This is a civil society effort. In his address to the UN General Assembly on the Dialogue between Cultures and Religions (Item 45: Culture and Peace) on November 12th, 2008, His Excellency, President Michel Sleiman, stated that “the philosophy of the Lebanese entity is based on dialogue, reconciliation and coexistence”. He declared that the Lebanese people would like Lebanon to “become an international center for the management of the dialogue of civilizations and cultures and consequently a global laboratory for that inter-entity dialogue”.St. Pope John Paul II, Ayatollah Muhammad Mahdi Shamseddine, the Muslim-Christian Summit at the Maronite Patriarchate in Lebanon and hundreds of thousands of people in Lebanon and around the world, we believe that Lebanon is more than a country it is a message of freedom, a model of pluralism and a special space for dialogue and coexistence of different cultures, ethnicities and religions. We also believe that Lebanon’s vocation is to embody this message and to strive to live it and to promote it despite all the challenges and the obstacles faced. We started this petition to capitalize on the call by former President Michel Suleiman to the UN to designate Lebanon as “an international center for the management of the dialogue of civilizations and cultures and consequently a global laboratory for that inter-entity dialogue”. Your signature will make a difference because the world needs a place where dialogue takes place not on the macro levels but also on the micro levels – on the levels of people in their daily lives as it is the situation in Lebanon. Your signature will give people hope and strengthen their resilience not only in the Middle East, but also around the world for an alternative to disputes, conflicts and wars. The Middle East needs Lebanon to be this space and your signature will make it happen. The Initiative is Notre Dame University project using civil society track to achieve its objectives. It is supported by Lebanese people, friends of Lebanon, people of good will, civil society advocates and organizations who believe that Lebanon is a land of dialogue and needs to be internationally acknowledged as such by the UN and its member states. My name is Dr. Guita Hourani. I am the Director of the Lebanese Emigration Research Center, member of the Initiative's Steering Committee and the Petition Campaign Coordinator of the Initiative. On behalf of Notre Dame University, the Steering Committee, the Executing Director and the Advisory Committee of the Initiative thank you in advance for supporting this initiative and for signing the petition. "Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will not themselves be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistence." Architect Daniel Hudson Burnham (1846 – 1912).
Petition to Mayor Ken Moore, City Of Franklin, Board of Aldermen
Remove the Confederate Monument in Franklin, Tennessee
We hereby request that the monument to Confederate soldiers that stands in Franklin, TN be removed by the city in a show of respect for the African American residents of our community and a sign of the social progress that has been made in the past 150 years. We believe that this monument no longer represents the ideals and values that we uphold as a community. Remembrance is important, but a monument celebrating those who would hold others in bondage is inappropriate. Franklin, TN has many things to offer as a community and is a tourist destination for people from all over the world. We find this statue, and its placement at the center of our town, to be an embarrassment. Surely there is a more appropriate person or group of people we could honor than those that would choose to fight a war so that slavery of human beings could continue to be a societal norm. Perhaps a monument to Ben Franklin, for whom our town is named, would be a fitting replacement. Let us show the world that racism and hate have no place in our beautiful town. We have made considerable progress since the Civil War but there is still work to be done and this would be a strong symbol of the desire for racial reconciliation. Removing this statue would show the world that we hold dearly the American values of freedom and justice for all.
Petition to Forgive.Us
Forgiveness Will Heal Our Nation
Our mission is to catalyze forgiveness and reconciliation across racial lines in America. The societal relational state of Americans of European descent and Americans of African descent is at a crossroads. In the last year we have experienced a spate of police shootings of unarmed individuals, fatalities that have caused rioting, and a mass shooting in a house of worship. Behind a veil of political correctness, we pretend that segregation no longer describes the landscape of churches, neighborhoods, and nation. How long will we let this wound fester and divide us at present as well as divide our future that has yet to be written? In my heart I realize the best of us all has yet to be seen. It has been said that as it goes in the heart, so it goes in the Nation. It’s easy to point fingers at the government, or other segments of society and blame them for the present state of segregation, bias, and discrimination. However, if the country is segregated along racial lines, catalyzing change in the nation starts with bringing change in our own hearts. Protesting injustice is easy. It's much more difficult to confront the pride, un-forgiveness and hatred in our own hearts. We plan to invite people to sign the Declaration of Forgiveness (“The Declaration”) as a manner of confronting the injustice in our own hearts and society. Ideally, a local organization or church would partner with another church of different racial disposition (where applicable) in their city to jointly host a signing for individuals to participate in. We are asking for a move of God that will lead to a move of racial reconciliation in America. Declaration of Forgiveness: Over the course of the history of this country it has become clear we have overcome a bevy of insurmountable odds. By way of Europe, explorers arrived and displaced many Native landowners. Africans were forcibly led into the New World to serve the ambitious aims of our founding fathers. The despotism suffered on behalf of England was violently confronted. We have a history riddled with wars on scales large and small with a death toll reaching the skies. In the midst of our nation building we have lost sight of the humanity that connects us to the past, present and future. Yet we are still here with a tremendous capacity as a people to feel empathy for each other, and act in compassion. We hold that there is a fabric connecting the heart and soul of every man woman and child. We are distinctly created for a great purpose that grows in quality, equity and clarity when shared with all people. We as a people have come to a crossroad littered with contested police shootings of unarmed black men, deeply ingrained segregation, guilt, demonized government and offense that bubbles at the surface of all discussions concerning race. Our resignation to division confirms the lie that our best days are long gone. Yet we are here and the Dream will be awakened. The love and brotherhood as declared by one man one sunny August day, is more accessible than ever and hope cannot wane in the face of vibrant belief. Now is the time to let go of any disdain, bitterness, offense, indifference and apathy that exist between the races. This action is necessary to let the rain of right-standing produce the fruit of a healthy nation; Love, compassion, peace, empathy and hope for a greater quality of life for ALL. Although many have made admirable efforts through protests, policy reform, revolutionary movements, education, philanthropy and community programs, we are still here. We, Therefore as representatives of the richly diverse United States of America, by the grace of a generous and loving God, declare adherence to a new state of governance in which our hearts are awake to the plight, miscasting and misfortune of our neighbors. We offer Forgiveness to those who have wronged us whether by perception or truth. We declare: Let Love reign in this great land.