HEY! Come Get Your Racist Uncle

July 4th is a fitting occasion to call for the removal of monuments to White Supremacy in Iowa.

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HEY! Come Get Your Racist Uncle
Remove Monuments to White Supremacy in Iowa

Join us on July 4th from 1-3 pm to rally at the Iowa State Capitol and demand that monuments to white supremacy be removed in Iowa. Organizers will present Iowa legislators with a letter demanding that all racist, misogynistic, homo/transphobic, whitewashed historical depictions be removed from all state grounds and facilities. Local leaders will be speaking, but we will also provide time for testimony from the crowd.

COVID-19 is still an issue and we ask all who attend to wear masks and stand 6 feet apart. If you would like to testify and have access to a bullhorn or mic, please bring it.

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. Folx have been shot, arrested, and targeted. Now, #45 has signed an executive order to arrest anyone who vandalizes, removes a statue or threatens federal property and jail them for up to 10 years.

This is an Indigenous-led rally and we 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 the job for us. All we should need to do is ask, especially when these monuments fall into the realm of hate propaganda and make folx feel unwelcome in public spaces. However, this colonially enforced government is built upon white supremacy and human rights violations and, thus, will not budge unless we make them take action on the issue. If they won’t protect those that are doing the right thing to create a better society then we demand legislation that removes all monuments, murals, and depictions of white supremacist persons, acts, and ideologies from all Iowa state grounds and state-funded institutions.

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.

photo by Jeff Kisling

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.

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