Skipping the rally this time.
President Greg Fenves of the University of Texas in Austin has ordered the immediate removal of confederate monuments from the main area of campus, citing that such statutes have become “symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”
Fenves made the announcement late Sunday night as crews were in place to remove the statues of confederate leaders — including Robert E. Lee — by mid-morning on Monday. A spokesperson said the school also blocked off the area during the process.
Though the controversial statues will no longer be perched near the campus clock tower, they aren’t total history.
Fenves noted the statues of Lee, Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, and Confederate Postmaster General John H. Reagan will now be moved to a campus history museum at the Brisco Center.
The school will also move a statue of former Texas Gov. James Stephen Hogg, which was commissioned at the same time as the others, to another place on campus.
In his statement, the University president made it clear this decision was in response to the violence that broke out in Charlottesville earlier this month over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.
“Last week, the horrific displays of hatred at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville shocked and saddened the nation. These events make it clear, now more than ever, that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism. The University of Texas at Austin is a public educational and research institution, first and foremost. The historical and cultural significance of the Confederate statues on our campus ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ and the connections that individuals have with them ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ are severely compromised by what they symbolize. Erected during the period of Jim Crow laws and segregation, the statues represent the subjugation of African Americans. That remains true today for white supremacists who use them to symbolize hatred and bigotry.”
Way to clean up our ugly past, Longhorns — and doing it in a way that still preserves the history.
[Image via KXAN/YouTube.]