Credo Action

Time for Confederate symbols to go

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Tell federal, state and local government officials:

“Take down all symbols of the Confederacy. There is no room in America to celebrate white supremacy and racist terror.”

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    Time for Confederate symbols to go

    Donald Trump just can’t stop siding with white supremacy. Yesterday morning, he called confederate monuments “beautiful” and irreplaceable and said the “history and culture of our great country is being ripped apart” by their removal.1

    Confederate monuments are symbols of white supremacy and racist terror. White supremacists did not erect them right after the Civil War. Instead they put those symbols up during the early 1900s when they were using Jim Crow laws and KKK terror to establish de facto slavery in the South, and during the 1960s and 70s, to lash back at civil rights movement advances.2 They did not put up those symbols to commemorate history, they put them up to foment, condone and institutionalize white supremacy.

    White supremacist Nazis chose to bring their racist terror to Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend because city officials are planning to move Confederate statues from city parks. But no matter how much Donald Trump tries to focus us on “beautiful” statues, the terrorists’ planned race riot in Charlottesville was not just about symbols. It was about propagating and attracting recruits to their vile and unacceptable ideology of white supremacy.

    Donald Trump’s racist hate has given white supremacists an invitation and opportunity to grow and expand their movement and be bolder and more threatening in their attempts to reverse decades of civil rights progress. We cannot give them an inch or let them slow down our fight to reclaim our public spaces from symbols of racist hate and terror. That why we are joining with our friends at Color Of Change to demand that all Confederate symbols come down now.

    Join us in calling for the removal of all Confederate symbols in America.

    Confederate monuments and statues attempt to glorify and erase a stain on our nation’s history for which we have not made amends and from which we have still not recovered. It is not just statues, plaques and monuments. There are at least 1,500 Confederate symbols in public spaces across the country.3 Almost 200 schools, as well as buildings on many college campuses, are named after Confederate leaders.4 Some states still allow drivers to have the Confederate flag on their license plates.5

    Since Dylann Roof massacred churchgoers at Mother Emanuel AME in Charleston, South Carolina, activists have been organizing to remove symbols of the Confederacy across the nation. As anti-racist organizers have found success in cities like Charleston, New Orleans and Charlottesville, white supremacists have become more desperate. At the same time, they have been emboldened by Donald Trump’s racism and fascism to bring their hate into a much more public light.

    Today’s white supremacists and neo-Nazis latch onto these symbols as a way to gin up their racist base. They rally around Confederate statues and use them as a pretext to commit terrorism and murder. We can no longer coddle white supremacists and Nazis or indulge their lies about our country’s racist heritage. It is past time that we stop the national veneration of people who committed treason in the name of slavery and a war that was fought to maintain white supremacy and the oppression of African-Americans.

    Join us in calling for the removal of all Confederate symbols in America.

    The continued display of white supremacist symbols only serves to further signal that white supremacy is not only tolerated in America, but celebrated. We cannot allow white supremacist Nazi terrorists like those in Charlottesville to intimidate us and slow down efforts to confront and dismantle symbols of white supremacy.

    Just yesterday, thanks to the relentless resistance of our members and our friends and allies in the progressive movement, Trump fired Steve Bannon. Bannon was one of the chief architects of the xenophobic policies coming out of Trump’s racist hate-filled regime. The momentum is on our side, but we we cannot let up.

    Trump may have fired Bannon, but this past week has made it more than clear that he will not stand up to hate. We know the cowardly right-wing extremists in the Republican Party will confront neither the white supremacists in their base nor the white supremacy in their party’s policies. So it is up to us.

    Already, what happened in Charlottesville, combined with Trump’s shameful decision to side with white supremacists, has prompted cities and states across the country to start removing their monuments.6 We need to pressure the leaders of our communities, our states and the federal government to take bold action and refuse to normalize hate.

    Can you add your name today to join us and our friends at Color Of Change in calling for the removal of all Confederate symbols in America?

    Thank you for everything you do.

    References:

    1. Paige Lavender, "Donald Trump ‘Sad To See’ Confederate Monuments Being Taken Down," HuffPost, Aug. 17, 2017.
    2. SPLC, "Whose Heritage?" accessed Aug. 17, 2017.
    3. ibid.
    4. Emma Brown, "Nearly 200 schools are named for Confederate leaders. Is it time to rename them?" The Washington Post, June 24, 2015.
    5. Alissa Scheller, "9 states allow Confederate flags on their license plates... but that may change," HuffPost, June 23, 2015.
    6. "Confederate Monuments Are Coming Down Across the United States. Here’s a List.," The New York Times, Aug. 17, 2017.