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To: People of Pueblo, CO

Pueblo, CO Should Stop Celebrating Oppressors!

Pueblo, CO Should Stop Celebrating Oppressors!

Sign the petition and help us build an organizing team to help bring down symbols of oppression and colonization.

We're thinking globally and acting locally. If you're ready to get to work building a new society, minus symbols of supremacist culture, sign the petition and join us.

1. Sign on to our petition in support.
2. Share this vision with your friends.
3. Pledge that, if we can sign up 49 other people for community-supported organizing, you'll be the 50th.
4. Nominate someone to be a fellow that we'll then reach out to, or apply yourself. Or both.
5. Live somewhere else and want to start a new effort for your community? Do it - We Own It will help!

Why is this important?

Dear friends,

The winds of change are blowing in this country and from sea to shining sea, historically oppressed people are rising up and demanding dignity, self-determination, healing, and freedom from the images of our oppressors and from the White fragility that has historically defended them and hindered our ability to be heard and taken seriously, and for our rights to be truly free to live and thrive in the land of the supposedly free and the home of the supposedly brave. People of quality do not fear equality.

It is important for us to remove statues and monuments meant to honor and exalt history's most oppressive and tyrannical characters from the public commons and take an honest look at our history as a society. Those in opposition to removing these monuments say we're trying to "rewrite" or "tear down" history but nothing could be further from the truth. Statues were never meant to teach history and they certainly have no ability to give historic context by themselves. This is what books, museums, and schools are meant to accomplish and they are very adept at it. Statues, on the other hand, are and always were meant to honor and celebrate the characters they depict but the side effects of statues of characters who oppressed people is that it causes continued psychological oppression of the descendants of the oppressed and it perpetuates the myth of racial superiority and the colonialist mindset. The tangible result of all this is continued mistreatment by police, employers, businesses, and society at large of people of color as second-class citizens.

Moreover, if we're going to teach history, let's be intellectually honest. Columbus, for example, has nothing whatsoever honorable for which he should be celebrated. He didn't "discover" anything. The discovery doctrine is, in fact, nothing more than an overhyped mythology. Columbus landed in the Caribbean by pure accident and he thought he was in Asia. In fact, even after 4 trips back to the "new world", he still argued that they were in China when his own crewmen tried to tell him otherwise. He was no navigational genius or great explorer and for the horrendous atrocities he committed against the natives of Hispaniola, he was basically dragged back to Spain in shackles (yes Spain, not Italy) The history we've been taught is mythology! Plus, the land he supposedly "discovered" was already inhabited by the Taino people. How do you claim to have "discovered" a land that is already occupied? It's a whitewashed, colonialist version of the truth and that, my friends, is the true rewriting of history. It has already been rewritten from the truth by White Europeans and badly needs to be corrected. The true history is that in 1492, Native Taino people from Hispaniola "discovered" Christopher Columbus lost at sea!

This Whitewashing of history affects the mindset of all who learn it and believe it, such that the concept of White hegemony and supremacy is perpetuated in this country. I have been so disheartened by the news that the officers who murdered Breonna Taylor have been acquitted of all charges except putting other neighbors at risk. Mrs. Taylor was innocent of any crime, unarmed, and presented no threat to the police who broke into her home unannounced, yet they shot her five times and made no attempt to save her life as she lay on the floor gasping for breath for more than 5 minutes, according to witnesses. No charges are being filed against any officers involved for needlessly ending this health care professional’s life and to me, this is unacceptable!

It happens this way all the time - they take the lives of Black and Brown people and the media and police apologists scramble to vilify the victim and shield police from any accountability for their irresponsible actions. Our lives are continuously treated like they do not matter and this is especially true for women and gender non-conforming people of color.

The continuing effects of the colonialist mindset permeates other aspects of society as well, and is responsible for the environmental racism that also has a strong presence in the low-income, largely Latinx Pueblo community, as we pay significantly higher rates for electricity than the national or state averages to the investor-owned utility, Black Hills Energy and we have one of Colorado's last remaining coal-fired plants, Xcel's Comanche Plant 3, right in our back yard. In the case of Comanche, the electricity generated there doesn't even service the Pueblo community, but instead is transmitted more than 100 miles to serve the Denver metro area. Denver gets the power and Pueblo gets the pollution.

I am a multicultural, Indigenous person of color and when I was 8 years old, my mom married into a Black family and they soon became my family every bit as much as any blood relatives. My brother is half Black and half Latin/Native-American, so you better believe Black and Brown Lives Matter to me on a very personal level! I can no longer be silent and passive about systemic racism or the perpetuation of it through the exaltation of history’s oppressors and colonizers who helped build oppression into our society.

In Pueblo, Colorado, like in many other cities, recently, we have a movement to remove a Columbus statue from our public commons and have met strong resistance from city leaders and others interested in keeping the statue right where it is. We are the last town in Colorado to still have a statue honoring Columbus and it's embarrassing. We're better than that! This is one of the many issues facing my community about which I am very passionate and would like to work on with other members of my community.

A better world is possible and I feel a deep and very personal responsibility to do my part to work toward that world for the future of our next 7 generations. Will you join me in a community supported effort to organize for a more just, equitable, sustainable, and inclusive society and world?

Pueblo, CO, USA

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Updates

2020-10-06 14:55:11 -0500

25 signatures reached

2020-10-05 10:00:25 -0500

10 signatures reached