Later, Haters: University of Texas, Austin Quietly Removes Confederate Statues
And Baltimore wants to replace one of theirs with Missy Elliott.
In a surprise move overnight, @UTAustin removed multiple Confederate statues on campus. https://t.co/yhU2clYm6X pic.twitter.com/dKl1qwdcPY
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) August 21, 2017
The University of Texas at Austin quietly removed four their Confederate statues overnight. University president Greg Fenves announced that they would be removed starting on Sunday night, and should be gone by Monday. The statues were of Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston, John Reagan, and James Stephen Hogg.
Fenves acknowledged that the removal was in response to what happened in Charlottesville and at the University of Virginia. He writes:
“[T]he 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 has a duty to preserve and study history. But our duty also compels us to acknowledge that those parts of our history that run counter to the university’s core values, the values of our state and the enduring values of our nation do not belong on pedestals in the heart of the Forty Acres.”
“We do not choose our history, but we choose what we honor and celebrate on our campus.”
This quiet overnight removal follows Baltimore city’s own removal of four of their Confederate monuments, all also done in a single night directly following Charlottesville. The removal had been voted on a while ago, but the actual execution would have taken some time—it’s good to see that it actually didn’t, and that the citizens of Baltimore didn’t have to spend one more day with them.
Moreover, in Baltimore, a petition has begun circulating, asking the city to erect a statue immortalizing musician Missy Elliott, someone who’s been a better American than any Confederate general.
Elsewhere in Texas, the Six Flags Over Texas theme park has announced that it will stop flying the Confederate flag. Before this change, the park proudly displayed the flags of several different nations (Spain, France, Mexico, the Texan flag, the American flag, and the Confederate flag), as a nod to the various countries and powers that ruled over Texas throughout history. But they, as well as many other states, cities, and places around the country, have decided to move on from that. The specific change was that all Six Flags parks would only ever display American flags from here on out, which actually seems like a not-so-subtle jab at supporters of the Confederate flag, essentially calling them non-American. The only other parks that displayed the Confederate flag, though, were Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Six Flags Over Georgia.
I greatly look forward to the day that someone gets to write the report that says, “There are no more standing Confederate monuments in America.” Soon, friends. Soon.
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