People ask me how they can support local oppressed communities. Showing up tomorrow is a great way to do so. Organizers “would love to see a mass turnout to support the BIPOC struggle in Iowa”.
Tomorrow, July 4, 1-3 pm, an event I previously wrote about will take place at the Iowa State Capitol. Stop Whitewashing Genocide & Slavery!!!
Additional organizations are supporting the event, including my Des Moines Mutual Aid group. Again this morning I helped with the food giveaway. A friend and I talked a little about this event as we put together boxes of food.
On July 4th, stand with Great Plains Action Society, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Ní Btháska Stand Collective, Des Moines Black Liberation Movement, Humanize My Hoodie, Revolutionary Action Party, Quad Cities Interfaith, Iowa Coalition for Collective Change, and Des Moines Mutual Aid!
Bring Back Critical Race Theory & Remove Monuments to White Supremacy!
Some additional topics have come up related to new legislation.
Demand that the new law, House File 802, which goes into effect July 1 be repealed. The legislation targets teaching critical race theory and other concepts in government diversity training and classroom curriculum.
Demand that Iowa legislators do their job and follow their own laws by abolishing monuments to white supremacy, which depict hate speech and promote discrimination. Kim Reynolds herself has stated that “Critical Race Theory is about labels and stereotypes, not education. It teaches kids that we should judge others based on race, gender, or sexual identity, rather than the content of someone’s character.” If this is the case, then statues depicting friendly “westward expansion”, busts of Columbus, and murals depicting manifest destiny are stereotyping European setter invaders and not depicting the true nature of their character. Columbus was a genocidal, rapist, slave trader, and Indians were forced to give up their land–it was not friendly.
Can’t stop, won’t stop.
Don’t be a bystander to white supremacy.
Join us on “Fourth of He Lies” to demand that the Iowa legislators remove whitewashed monuments to white supremacy in Iowa. Organizers will present a petition demanding that all racist, misogynistic, homo/transphobic, whitewashed historical depictions be removed from all state grounds and facilities. These monuments fall into the realm of hate propaganda and make folks feel unwelcome in public spaces. So, we need legislation that removes all monuments, murals, and depictions of white supremacist persons, acts, and ideologies from all Iowa state grounds and state-funded institutions.
In response to police brutality and racial injustice, monuments to white supremacy are being removed all over the country but People of the World Majority are being forced to put their safety on the line to carry out this long-overdue purge. Folks have been shot, arrested, and targeted. We are an Indigenous-led coalition who do not want any more People of the World Majority to put their bodies on the line so this is a permitted event with the intent of making the state–the colonizers–do their job.
To start, we insist that the following statues and mural be removed from the Iowa State Capitol Building and grounds.
On the West Lawn, there is a 15-foot bronze statue on a large pedestal that stands in front of the Iowa State Capitol Building. According to the Iowa State Government website, the statue depicts “The Pioneer of the former territory, a group consisting of father and son guided by a friendly Indian in search of a home. The pioneer depicted was to be hardy, capable of overcoming the hardships of territorial days to make Iowa his home.” The father and son settler invaders are standing tall and proud, looking west, as the “friendly Indian” sits behind them in a less powerful, dejected position.
Inside the capitol is a piece that overwhelmingly encompasses this sentiment called the Westward Mural, which covers a massive wall. The artist writes that “The main idea of the picture is symbolical presentation of the Pioneers led by the spirits of Civilization and Enlightenment to the conquest by cultivation of the Great West.” He also speaks about overcoming the wilderness with plowed fields–as if the current Indigenous inhabitants, such as the Ioway and the Meskwaki, had not already created capable and efficient land management systems.
On the South Lawn, there is a Christopher Columbus Monument that was celebrated in 1938 by five thousand people who showed up for the dedication of the statue on Columbus Day. The statue was put up just a couple years after the Columbus Club of Iowa successfully lobbied to have Walker Park renamed to Columbus Park and have a Columbus monument placed there.
*This is a peaceful event led by Indigenous Folx. Please do not take actions that will put Brown and Black folx in jeopardy