Dear Honorable Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III;
The national campaign to remove the bust of a racist like Margaret Sanger from the National Portrait Gallery is not an attempt to rewrite or change history. Rather, it is a way to ensure we celebrate individuals whose lives reflect and embody the very best of who we are as a nation and honor the values we cherish.
As America confronts racial injustice, it is critical our national institutions honor those who have inspired us to be our “better selves” instead of honoring those who malign and diminish entire communities.
That is why it is so troubling the National Portrait Gallery features a bust of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. As our nation struggles to address racial injustice, it is unconscionable that an avowed racist and eugenicist is featured so prominently in the museum.
Ms. Sanger’s writings and teachings stand in sharp contrast to America’s founding principles which embrace equality, justice and human rights for all. Her views and policies on eugenics and race contributed to compulsory sterilization laws in 30 U.S. states that resulted in more than 60,000 sterilizations of vulnerable people, including people she considered “feeble-minded,” “idiots” and “morons.”
Therefore; we, the undersigned, call upon you Mr. Secretary, to remove the bust of avowed racist, Margaret Sanger, from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. During these challenging times, it is critical the National Portrait Gallery provides us with examples of heroes who offer hope and courage to our nation which will inspire each of us to work for a society where all are treated with dignity and equality.
CEO, Stanton International
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