UT-Austin President: Historic Significance of Confederate Statues Is Compromised by What They Symbolize

Dear Longhorns, 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.After the Charleston, S.C., church shooting in June 2015, and with the urging of students, I formed a task force of faculty, students, alumni and university leaders to evaluate six statues on UT's Main Mall that included depictions of four military and political leaders of the Confederacy. The task force presented five options, ranging from the installation of contextual materials to the removal of some or all of the statues. At that time, I decided to move the statues of Jefferson Davis and, for symmetry, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The Davis statue has since been restored and presented at UT's Dolph Briscoe Center for American History in a scholarly exhibition about the Littlefield Fountain and the six Main Mall statues.  Continue reading...

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