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, 26, told 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 for teachers.
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."