Good morning, Texas!
University of Texas President Greg Fenves removed of statues of Robert E. Lee and other Confederate leaders from campus.
According to the president, these monuments have become “symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”
The university moved a statue of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis from its perch near the campus clock tower to a history museum in 2015. Fenves now says statues of Lee, Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston and Confederate Postmaster General John H. Reagan, which were in the same area as Davis, also will be moved to the Brisco Center for American History on campus.
The school will also move a statue of former Texas Gov. James Stephen Hogg, which was commissioned at the same time as the others, a spokesman said. Hogg will get another place on campus.
The debate over public memorials for Confederate figures roared into national conversation last week after one person was killed and 19 injured when a car drove into a crowd of people in a clash between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“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,” Fenves said in a statement.
Moving the Davis statue in 2015 was a much more deliberate effort. The Davis statue had long been a target of vandalism. Fenves convened a special task force to discuss its future after a shooting rampage by a white supremacist at a Charleston, South Carolina, church and ultimately decided it should come down.
Confederate groups tried to block the removal of the Davis statue and the Sons of Confederate Veterans sued to stop it, but a state district judge sided with the school.