Texas Lawmakers Should Reaffirm the State’s Ideals, Not Fight to Keep Divisive Confederate Monuments

Governments that have removed Confederate monuments from public land understand that there’s no disguising what they represent. They pay tribute to the side of the Civil War that fought to keep human beings in bondage. And they honor a war against the sacred ideals of this country that each of us are created equal.That’s why we’re disappointed in the Texas Senate for passing a bill from Conroe Republican Sen. Brandon Creighton that would make it more difficult for cities to remove or alter these vestiges. If the bill becomes law, removing them would require a supermajority of votes.Under the misguided notion that preserving vestiges of this painful history is more important than moving cities forward to a more positive future, lawmakers who would support this measure would open the door to prolonged divisiveness.Our representatives should be in the business of helping to heal wounds that continue to harm us, not picking at their scabs.It’s worrisome that Senate Bill 1663 has gotten as far as it has. Senators passed this measure after emotional debate and an amendment from Amarillo Republican Sen. Kel Seliger requiring the supermajority. As originally written, the bill would have stripped local officials’ power to change or remove historical monuments in place longer than 25 years.That would have affected the city of Dallas’ important decisions to remove the Robert E. Lee statue from a park in Oak Lawn and the Civil War Memorial in front of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention for thousands of tourists to see.Years of debate went into those decisions before Dallas leaders decided that — to cast a better legacy for our city — these statues had to go. This newspaper agreed, just as we supported Dallas ISD’s decision to rename schools that had honored Confederate leaders.  Continue reading...

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