‘That is my plan, to proceed to go ahead, being an individual who stands up for what’s proper.’
Lifelong Arizona resident Rebecca Olsen McHood has had sufficient of her state’s Accomplice monuments and the bigotry they symbolize. So she did one thing about it.
Within the wake of current violent demonstrations over the monuments in different states, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis however refuses to take away Accomplice monuments from public lands even though Arizona grew to become a state 47 years after the Civil Conflict.
“It’s necessary that individuals know our historical past,” he told the press Aug. 14. “I don’t assume we should always attempt to disguise our historical past.”
McHood was outraged by President Donald Trump’s Aug. 15 remarks in regards to the violence in Charlottesville and Ducey’s apathy. However she did not let her anger paralyze her.
“When our president is popping out in assist of Nazis and in assist of white supremacists and when our native authorities is advancing these racist insurance policies, this can be a good time to say, ‘Maintain up right here. What do you actually stand for,'” she says.
Collectively together with her buddy Cynthia Lehigh, McHood turned certainly one of Arizona’s monuments right into a larger-than-life participation trophy.
McHood crafted two paper banners that would not look misplaced at a toddler’s birthday celebration, then Lehigh joined her for a visit from their houses in Gilbert, Arizona, to the state capital grounds in Phoenix on the night of Aug. 15. Given all the recent controversy and violent demonstrations to guard Accomplice monuments, she apprehensive she’d need to take care of crowds.
As a substitute, the construction was guarded by a single police officer, who watched as Lehigh and McHood began to tie their banners, which learn “You misplaced, recover from it,” and “2nd place participant” to the construction, a humorous tackle the favored participation trophy meme.
The police officer requested the pair to not connect something, so that they set them down and took footage, earlier than heading over to a close-by rally in assist of DACA (Deferred Motion for Childhood Arrivals).
“I questioned if the officer would seize all of the stuff and throw it within the trash,” she says. “He left it there, and it was nonetheless there after we left.”
Whereas McHood is just not the primary activist to focus on a Accomplice monument, some could also be shocked to study she is white and a lifelong Republican.
Nevertheless, McHood didn’t assist Trump and is appalled by the bigotry and vitriol she’s seeing on account of his election. She thought of altering her occasion after the election however determined to stay it out after assembly some fellow Republicans whereas amassing signatures this summer season in assist of the state’s public faculty system.
“Having been out and speaking to these folks and gathering these signatures, I do know that there are good folks within the Republican Occasion … who care about equality, who care about schooling, who care about fiscal accountability, who care that their neighbors have meals to eat, and who care about social security nets,” she says.
As a white girl and Republican, McHood is aware of she has entry different folks might not, so she makes an effort to make use of her privilege for good.
McHood says she tries to make use of her entry and place of relative security to carry up voices that always go unheard.
“I do know that I as a white, former Mormon, smiley, assured particular person, I simply routinely have higher entry to authorities leaders and I’ve extra security than they’ve,” she says. “Typically, leaders will set conferences with me, and I’ll convey my buddies who’re in black- and brown-skinned our bodies with me … and I’ll move the mic.”
As a result of we’re all answerable for dismantling white supremacy.
This isn’t a left or proper subject. White supremacy and white nationalism are poisons that infect and take maintain in our communities, governments, and methods. Breaking that down, inspecting our bitter historical past, and making it proper will take all of us, no matter our identities or the place we fall on the political spectrum.
It is a monumental activity, however we are the ones we have been ready for.