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. We demand that the state legislature cease and desist creating laws that protect these white supremacist symbols. 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 Louisiana Congress VOTE NO on HB 292 and the State Senate VOTE NO on HB 71, SB 198 and any and ALL present and future legislation designed to protect white supremacist symbols. Call Louisiana State Senators and Congressmen and tell them to VOTE NO!
2. That the city of New Orleans 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 all white supremacist monuments and the choosing of their replacements
Call the Louisiana House of Representatives at 225-342-6945 and demand they VOTE NO on HB 292 and ALL legislation designed to protect white supremacist symbols.
Call the Louisiana State Senate at 225-342-2040 and demand they VOTE NO on HB 71, SB 198 and ALL legislation designed to protect white supremacist symbols.
Call Mayor Mitch Landrieu at 658-4900 and City Council at 658-1000 today and join us in demanding the immediate removal of ALL white supremacist monuments NOT JUST THESE FOUR.
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 citywide. 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 belatedly decided to join this progressive trend by removing the following four monuments: Robert E. Lee (former Confederate general whose 68 foot monument stands in the center of the city)—removed on May 19, 2017, P.G.T. Beauregard (former Confederate officer whose statue sits 27 feet high in front of the City Park entrance)—removed on May 11, 2017, Jefferson Davis (former Confederate president whose statue sits across from a church on Jefferson Davis Highway)—removed on May 3, 2017 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)—removed on April 24, 2017. These monuments represented enslavement, dehumanization and genocide and the mayor was right to call for their removal. Despite the fact that unnecessary litigation and bureaucracy held the process up for nearly 2 years, we are glad to say that these four symbols of White Supremacy are finally gone!
However, we also believe that 4 monuments is a menial offering when the city is littered with over 100 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). Further, with the recent issuance of deceptively designed bills HB 71 and HB 292 by the Louisiana House of Representatives and SB 198 by the State Senate, we have found roadblocks to any potential forward movement of clearing the New Orleans landscape of racist symbols. These bills prevent any monument dedicated to military veterans from being removed, even if those veterans happened to be domestic terrorists and traitors to their own country, or genocidal brutes like Andrew Jackson responsible for the massacre of innocent thousands.
In response to this overwhelming bevy of obvious oppressive symbolism, the oft-slow response of local government, and aggressively racist response of state 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. Call the Louisiana House of Representatives and demand they VOTE NO against HB 292 and call the Louisiana State Senate and demand they VOTE NO against HB 71 and SB 198.
How it will be delivered
Deliver them in person and/or stage a press conference.