A few of the Confederate statues and memorials in Louisiana have been removed in the past few years, but more than 30 are still standing. A petition circulating on Change.org makes a suggestion: Replace the Confederates with statues of "an actual Louisiana hero and influential human being, Britney Spears." More than 20,000 people have signed the petition, which calls on the state's governor and legislators to "do the right thing," TMZ reports. The pitch lists a few of the ways the singer has helped her home state, including raising money for Hurricane Katrina and flooding victims. Spears has "proven her strength of character by not only overcoming highly publicized mental breakdown," the petition says, "but by continuously working towards improving herself. She's an inspiration to millions." Spears, 38, is from Kentwood, and she returned to ride out part of the pandemic, per CNN.
There's a movement now to remove tributes to the Confederacy, but former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has written of the obstacles—and lessons—in removing four of the monuments in 2017. Contractors who bid on the job were threatened, and one willing to take it on found his car firebombed, per the Guardian. The blacklisting of contractors was, Landrieu says, "the very definition of institutionalized racism." The city had to conceal the identities of the workers who were removing the monuments, as well as provide security for them and their equipment. When the work started, opponents disabled equipment and flew drones at the crews. Eventually, the statues were removed, Landrieu writes, so they could no longer be used to "hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of not just of history, but of humanity." (Taylor Swift wants statues removed from her home state.)