The University of Texas is hoping to avoid the ugly situation that occurred in Charlottesville earlier this month, when a group of torch-yielding Nazis marched across the University of Virginia campus.
With the growing debate about confederate statues in the country, Texas has decided to be proactive and relocate the ones currently on their grounds.
Statues featuring Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston, John Reagan and James Stephen Hogg will all be moved.
Currently, the statues reside in the campus’ Main Mall, but are set to be moved to the Briscoe Center for scholarly study — with the exclusion of former Texas Governor Hogg, whose statue will be moved to another campus location.
University president Gregory L. Fenves said the following in the official press release:
During the past several days, I have talked with student leaders, students, faculty members, staff members and alumni to listen to their views after the revelatory events in Charlottesville. I also revisited the very thorough 2015 task force report. After considering the original task force report and with the events of the past week and my discussions with the campus community in mind, I have decided to relocate the remaining four statues.
The statues depicting Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston, John Reagan and James Stephen Hogg are now being removed from the Main Mall. The Lee, Johnston and Reagan statues will be added to the collection of the Briscoe Center for scholarly study. The statue of James Hogg, governor of Texas (1891-1895), will be considered for re-installation at another campus site.
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 — and the connections that individuals have with them — 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.
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