University of Texas-Austin takes down Confederate statues overnight

Following the example of the city of Baltimore last week, the University of Texas at Austin has taken down three Confederate statues in the dead of night.
By Jackie Flores | Aug 23, 2017
Following the example of the city of Baltimore last week, the University of Texas at Austin has taken down three Confederate statues in the dead of night.

The statues, which were removed 10 days before classes are scheduled to start, are of Confederate cabinet member John Reagan, along with Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston.

A statue of Texas' 20th governor, James Stephen Hogg, also was removed not because of its association with the Confederacy, but because it will be part of a wider exhibit, according to The New York Times.

The president of the University of Texas, Gregory L. Fenves, explained to the academic community why he decided to relocate the statutes.

"Last week, the horrific displays of hatred at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville shocked and saddened the nation," wrote Fenves, in a statement. "These events make it clear, now more than ever, that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism."

Fenves also noted that the university is a public institution and said the historical and cultural significance of the Confederate statues on campus "are severely compromised" by what they symbolize. The monuments, he said, were erected during the era of racial segregation and "represent the subjugation of African Americans."

"The University of Texas at Austin has a duty to preserve and study history," added Fenves. "But our duty also compels us to acknowledge that those parts of our history that run counter to the university's core values, the values of our state and the enduring values of our nation do not belong on pedestals in the heart of the Forty Acres."

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