The Society for Historical Archaeology and the Coalition for American Heritage oppose the Trump Administration’s dangerous decision to implement the Executive Order on Protecting Monuments, Memorials and Statues by conducting surveillance on Americans who are protesting to remove some of these historic period monuments, and by characterizing potential damage to monuments as a “significant threat to homeland security.” Our organizations are committed to preserving and showcasing America’s complex and sometimes painful history. We believe that government surveillance of mostly peaceful protesters undermines an essential element of historic preservation—constructive dialogue about our country’s complex history. In our work, this dialogue occurs, and is shared with the public, at our country’s historic sites. In seeking to remove certain monuments, protesters challenge us to question which historic figures we choose to honor, and whose stories merit inclusion, in the public square. We believe that the protests occurring across America are part of an important re-examination of our collective history. We welcome this national conversation about America’s past, including difficult topics such as segregation, enslavement, genocide, and disenfranchisement. It is our sincere hope that an open dialogue about America’s multifaceted past will guide us in creating a more just, equitable, and inclusive future for all. The Society for Historical Archaeology and the Coalition for American Heritage strongly oppose the President’s unwarranted characterization of civil rights protests focusing on heritage sites as a national security threat and his use of Department of Homeland Security personnel to collect personal information on protesters. We ask President Trump to immediately revoke this new and dangerous policy.
Take Action to Oppose the Executive Order on Protecting Monuments, Memorials and Statues
We encourage members to take action by contacting their members of Congress. Use our helpful tips in e-mailing your Congressional representatives: · To identify who represents you in Congress, check https://heritagecoalition.org/find-your-members/.
· Visit your member’s website and look for a “Contact Me” tab that enables you to send an email directly to his/her office.
· If you prefer to call, the Capitol switchboard is 202-224-3121 and you can ask them to connect you to your Member’s office.
· Share your home address so that the Member of Congress can confirm that you are a constituent.
· In your message, provide a short explanation of why the President’s Executive Order is dangerous and counter-productive. (It’s okay to use the same message in contacting your representative and both of our senators.)
For more information, contact Terry Klein (email@example.com), chair of the Government Affairs Committee of SHA, and Marion Werkheiser (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Coalition for American Heritage.