To: Governor Terry McAuliffe and Virginia Assembly

Replace Confederate Names on VA Military Bases and Schools

Replace Confederate Names on VA Military Bases and Schools

Dear Governor Terry McAuliffe and Virginia Assembly:
We demand that you rename/remove Ft. A. P. Hill, Ft. Pickett, and Ft. Lee as well as all Virginia schools named for confederate leaders to names of freedom fighters, abolitionists and loyalists who were the true heroes of the Civil War, such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, William Lloyd Garrison. The confederate leaders upon whom these honors are currently bestowed, ironically represent disloyalty, divisiveness, and preservation of a cruel and inhumane economic system of slavery in direct conflict and defiance of the principles this country is predicated upon. By today's standards, they were rebels, insurgents, domestic terrorists, and traitors to their own country!
Instead, we demand that homage is paid to those who died in the quest to free themselves from from the hands of those who sought to keep them as laborers never as citizens and as property not as people. People like Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman. William Lloyd Garrison and Sojourner Truth.

We demand that you permanently remove names and symbols of white supremacy throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The time has come for us to stop honoring both those who fought to preserve the institution of Black bondage as well as those who profited from it.

Why is this important?

We should not have to attend schools or walk streets named after traitors who fought to keep others in bondage or profiteers who grew their wealth and power on the backs of those they saw as less than human.
They are not heroes! Naming institutions and streets after Confederate Generals and slave peddlers contributes to the myth of the noble Confederacy and the romanticizing of slavery as being "not that bad."
This works to harm Black Americans by creating a false perception of just how far anti-Black racism reaches from past actions to present policies. It stands in the way of having honest dialogue about what system level changes need to happen to truly give America the courage to battle entrenched racism and truly become exceptional.

This must end.

It is time that we honor the lives and deaths of those who came before us in the fight for the humanity of Black people.

Virginia, United States

Reasons for signing

  • Why keep honoring the leaders of the wrong-headed lost cause of slavery?
  • Even honor George Henry Thomas,a former slave-owner,who ,in the face of suspicion of his fellow officers and the hatred of his family,remained loyal to his nation and his oath of service,saving the Union Army at Chickamaugua and winning the Battle of Nashville for the United States.
  • There are so many worthy names! Others that come to mind are Bayard Rustin (not appropriate for the military bases, though, due to his Quaker convictions), Julian Bond, and Mahalia Jackson.... We should especially seek out names of women--I am embarrassed I don't know more of them myself. Also, if the commonwealth does not have the authority to rename some or all of the bases, it should pressure the appropriate federal authorities to do so.

Updates

2015-08-17 14:05:37 -0700

500 signatures reached

2015-07-24 12:13:32 -0700

100 signatures reached

2015-07-24 10:06:48 -0700

50 signatures reached

2015-07-22 14:30:31 -0700

25 signatures reached

2015-07-22 10:12:17 -0700

10 signatures reached