A Change.org petition, entitled "Replace Confederate statues in New
Orleans with statues of Louisiana hero Britney Spears," garnered more than
38,000 signatures in support of taking down the city's Confederate statues, some
of which have since been removed, and replacing them with statues of the
international pop star and Louisiana resident.
The petition was first created in 2017 while the Robert E.
Lee statue was being taken down in New Orleans. In the wake of the police
killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the Black Lives Matter protests
for an end to police brutality and white supremacy, the petition was opened
back up again last week. This comes at a time when protestors have encouraged
and demanded local and state leaders to reconsider and replace relics of the
past that continue to commemorate facets of white supremacy like the
Confederate statues do.
"The petition was originally created to be taken
lightheartedly, but I'm also 100 percent in support of a Britney statue,
because if anyone deserves a statue, it should be of an actual good person who
has made the world a better place for many," petition creator Kassie Thibodeaux,
Yahoo Entertainment via email. "Louisiana is her home state, so I
think it's only fair that she gets some recognition."
The petition is addressed to Louisiana Governor John Bel
Edwards and other state officials, demanding that they "Do the right thing:
Replace the Confederate statues with an actual Louisiana hero and influential
human being, Britney Spears."
It also lays out Spears's credentials for being honored with
a statue, which are numerous and outweigh any credentials of the defeated and
despicable Confederate soldiers commemorated with statues throughout the city.
"Not only has Britney proven her talent, but she's proven
her strength of character by not only overcoming a highly publicized mental
breakdown, but by continuously working toward improving herself," the petition
reads. For many who understand the long history of white supremacy in America,
Britney's strong character poses a great alternative to the weak character of
the racist and oppressive "heroes" depicted by the statues.
Spears, who today made
headlines for her haircut, has contributed much to the greater good of
society, including her activism for the gay community, which was honored with
the 2018 GLAAD Vanguard Award.
Among Spears's many contributions, the petition focuses on
her charitable efforts to give back to her home state of Louisiana. It says
that the Britney Spears Foundation raised $585,000 for charity in 2006 and
donated a large portion of it to Hurricane Katrina relief programs. In
addition, Britney Spears joined Ellen DeGeneres to raise $250,000 for Red Cross
relief for Louisiana flood victims in 2016. Lastly, Britney has donated some of
her Vegas ticket show sales to Louisiana schools for flood recovery and for supplies
This past weekend, according to Nola.com, protestors
in New Orleans removed the bust of slave owner John McDonough and tossed it
into the Mississippi River. Take 'Em Down
NOLA has also called for the removal of other statues in the city,
including the Andrew Jackson statue in Jackson Square.
Thibodeaux has been amazed by the number of signatures and
support from Britney's fan base, according to Yahoo Entertainment.
"If Britney were to see the petition, I'd hope she'd realize
just how deserving she is—that she has inspired and continues to inspire so
many lives and means more to us than most of the historic figures we've learned
about in history class," Thibodeaux added. "Because unlike members of the
Confederacy, Britney's impact has been one of inclusion and positivity."