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Univ. of Texas panel: Relocate Confederate statues or add explanatory plaques

A task force working to help determine the fate of controversial statues at the University of Texas made its recommendations Monday: Relocate Confederate statues on campus or add explanatory plaques.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports:

The panel’s report, released on Monday, lays out five possibilities for the future of the statues. The first, adding explanatory plaques, would “give historical context, while allowing the institution to put philosophical distance between itself and what the figures stood for,” the report says. “However, it would draw more attention to the statues while not ending — and likely prolonging — the controversy.”

The other four recommendations all involve relocating some number of the monuments to a museum or exhibit on the campus. “There was broad consensus,” according to the report, “that doing nothing was not a viable option.”

The College Fix reported in March that the University of Texas’ student government passed a resolution calling for the removal of a statue of Confederacy President Jefferson Davis from campus, saying the monument is a “racist symbol of slavery” that’s offensive to many students and not in line with the school’s “core values.”

The statue – situated in a prominent place on campus – has reportedly been the target of controversy and consternation in recent years. A similar effort to remove the statue in 2010 stalled. But concern over that statue and its counterparts flared after a racially motivated shooting death of nine people in a historically black church in South Carolina over the summer, the Daily Texan campus newspaper reports.

Jefferson Davis is not the only campus statue eyed for relocation. The Texan notes:

Options 3 through 5 consist of relocating most or all of six statues on campus — Davis, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston, John Reagan, James Hogg and Woodrow Wilson. Option 3 would move Davis, Lee, Johnston, Reagan and the Littlefield Fountain inscription, while Option 4 would relocate Davis, Lee, Johnston, Wilson and the inscription. Option 5 would relocate all six statues and the inscription.

A campus spokesman told the Texan the university’s president will make a final decision soon.

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.