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To: San Francisco Mayor London Breed City Hall, Room 200 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place San Francisco, CA 94102. Telephone: (415) 554-6141

Removal of the White Supremacist Prayer Book Cross in Golden Gate Park

Removal of the White Supremacist Prayer Book Cross in Golden Gate Park

San Francisco’s Prayer Book Cross was erected in Golden Gate Park in 1894 as a gift from the Church of England. It stands above a waterfall on one of the higher points in the park. The sandstone cross is located between John F. Kennedy Drive and Park Presidio Drive but actually stands as an intimidating tribute to white supremacy, which has no place in San Francisco.

We as concerned citizens who are judicious and perceptive, who can identify structures that promote a parochial, anglicized credo demand a change. We don’t wish to say that the time has come; the time is never right to commemorate a raping pirate raider.

We believe that the Prayer Book Cross should be removed for two major reasons:

* The monument to the Anglican pirate Francis Drake in Golden Gate Park is a White Supremacist, religious artifact honoring the memory of a rapist, thief and murderer. It was erected to whitewash history, to paint California as being established by Anglo-Saxon protestant and white, rather than mestizo and indigenous. In so doing, it provided an alternative history for those who wanted to grasp onto the supremacy and ownership of the land by white colonizers. Sir Francis Drake first made his mark as a slave trader in West Africa. He would attack native villages and Portuguese slave ships. He would then sell them off to Spanish Caribbean plantations.
According to an anonymous narrative left by a participant in Drake’s voyage, he kidnapped two black men and a woman named “the negro wench Maria”. He took them on his ships with him where the men gang raped her and she became pregnant by one of the men on the ship, possibly the captain. Sir Francis Drake then abandoned the three kidnapped and tortured black enslaved people on an uninhabited island in the Molucca Sea on the other side of the Pacific. Such a repugnant person should not be enshrined.

*The other reason being that the City’s ownership and maintenance of Prayer Book Cross violate the No Preference Clause and the Ban on Aid to Religion Clause of the California Constitution and the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution; thus, creating an appearance of governmental endorsement of religion. Since Golden Gate Park is administered by the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department, under San Francisco’s jurisdiction. There is no way this religious symbol memorializing a slave trading rapist should be maintained on government land.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/23/opinion/drakes-cross-white-supremacy.html

https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-francis-drake#:~:text=He%20began%20his%20career%20as%20a%20slave%20trader.&text=The%20pair%20usually%20procured%20their,was%20illegal%20under%20Spanish%20law.

Why is this important?

San Francisco's Prayer Book Cross is a symbol that continues to glorify white supremacy. It whitewashes the narrative of colonizers, slave traders, rapists, and looters. It must be removed immediately.
The maintenance of this religious symbol in a public park is a governmental endorsement of religion, which is illegal.

How it will be delivered

I would prefer to deliver the signatures in person.


Reasons for signing

  • Keep religion out of public spaces
  • Separation of church and state
  • Religious symbols have no place on public lands. Until churches pay taxes, their childish symbolism should be nowhere but inside their facilities.

Updates

2020-06-30 21:07:26 -0400

Hey everyone. We have reached 130 signatures in two days. This is great news. An effective way we can maintain momentum is to share this petition. Please share the link tinyurl.com/prayerbookcross

I appreciate you.

2020-06-29 23:59:04 -0400

100 signatures reached

2020-06-29 12:41:42 -0400

50 signatures reached

2020-06-28 22:33:21 -0400

25 signatures reached

2020-06-28 16:53:59 -0400

10 signatures reached

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