1,000 signatures reached
To: New Orleans Mayor and City Council
Take Down ALL Symbols of White Supremacy in New Orleans
We the people of New Orleans demand that the Mayor and City Council take immediate action to remove all monuments, school names and street signs dedicated to White Supremacists. These structures litter our city with visual reminders of the horrid legacy of slavery that terrorized so many of this city's ancestors. They misrepresent our community. We demand the freedom to live in a city where we are not forced to pay taxes for the maintenance of public symbols that demean us and psychologically terrorize us. We demand:
1. That the city release a timeline for the immediate removal of the 4 monuments that Mayor Landrieu listed
2. That the city expand the definition from 4 specific monuments to encompass all monuments to White Supremacy
3. That the city develop a community driven process for the removal of the monuments and the choosing of their replacements
Call Mayor Mitch Landrieu at 658-4900 and City Council at 658-1000 today and join us in demanding the immediate removal of these abominable symbols.
Why is this important?
The New Orleans family is defined by the diverse, inclusive nature of its culture in spaces both public and private. Public spaces are for everyone and should not be used to promote the abhorrent views of the white ruling class to uphold symbols of Black oppression. Not only that but our tax dollars should no longer be used to maintain these structures. We walk to the river, to work, to school, to visit a friend, and look up into the faces of men who traded human beings as property and fought to protect the ability to do so. There is no basis to support the continued littering of our public squares and buildings with monuments, street names and public schools named after white supremacists. These memorials only serve as constant reminders of the past and present domination of black people by the rich white ruling class. They are insulting to anyone with a sense of history and who supports progress and democracy. These symbols also represent present day reality where most decisions and government policy are determined by those who accept white supremacist notions that Black people and all non-white people are less and deserve less than white people.
Some people believe that the struggle to remove white supremacist symbols is a deflection from the more meaningful struggle to end present day discrimination. They couldn’t be further from the truth. These monuments and signs are so much more than symbols of bygone days. They are active parts of an abusive system in which intentionally unequal distribution of power and resources goes unchecked. The white supremacist ideas represented by these symbols permeate USA society and result in actual discrimination and murder. That is why policemen with white supremacist conceptions of young Black people can murder them so easily. This is why the so-called criminal justice system can practice mass incarceration of Black people with the approval of most white people. This is why we have over 50% unemployment for Black men in New Orleans and there is no editorial outcry by the white ruling class press.
If our New Orleans family is to have a chance at real racial reconciliation, we must remove all obvious symbols of white supremacy to show our collective will to address entrenched systemic oppression, which is wreaking havoc in the minds, homes, and neighborhoods of our families city-wide. Now is our opportunity to be proactive. All over the USA, especially in the South, progressive Black people and their allies are leading struggles to rid the South of the symbols of treason, domestic terrorism and racist oppression. State governments in South Carolina and Alabama have removed the Rebel Flag. The Memphis city council has voted to remove the statue and the body of confederate General and founder of the KKK, Nathan Bedford Forrest. The Georgia NAACP has called for the removal of the Stone Mountain memorial to the confederacy.
Our Mayor and City Council have belatedly decided to join this progressive trend by offering up the following four monuments for possible removal: Robert E. Lee (former Confederate general whose 60 foot monument stands in the center of the city), P.G.T. Beauregard (former Confederate officer whose statue sits 27 feet high in front of the City Park entrance), Jefferson Davis (former Confederate president whose statue sits across from a church on Jefferson Davis Highway) and Liberty Monument (a 20 foot tall obelisk that commemorates the Crescent City White League’s murder of several police officers, both black and white, in an attempt to uphold White Supremacy in Louisiana in 1874). These monuments represent enslavement, dehumanization and genocide and the mayor is right to call for their removal. City Council has however called for a 60-day period of discussion that has now extended far beyond that time. Then the mayor recently postponed plans to revisit the conversation at least another 30 days into the future.
Our position is that the Mayor and City Council’s plan for removal is too limited and too slow. We also believe that 4 monuments is a menial offering when the city is littered with several other monuments, public spaces, school names and street names named after prominent White Supremacists (i.e., statues to Andrew Jackson, author of the Trail of Tears, Bienville, author of the Black Codes, and E.D. White, member of the aforementioned White League; public spaces like Jackson Square, Palmer Park, and McDonoughville; all schools named after John McDonough, one of the biggest slave owners in Louisiana history; streets like Bienville, Iberville, Carrolton, and Claiborne named after other unabashed White Supremacists and the list goes on and on and on). In response to this overwhelming bevy of obvious oppressive symbolism and the inept response of local government, we have the above mentioned demands. Call Mayor Mitch Landrieu at 658-4900 and City Council at 658-1000 today and join us in demanding the immediate removal of these abominable symbols.
How it will be delivered
Deliver them in person and/or stage a press conference.