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MStuart
12-29-2006, 02:22 PM
University to reconsider Confederate statues on campus

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The new president of the University of Texas says he will appoint a panel to decide what to do with four bronze statues on the Austin campus that honor confederate leaders and have drawn complaints for several years.

William Powers Jr., who took over as president this month, said the advisory committee would look into concerns about the statues, which include likenesses of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States, and Gen. Robert E. Lee.

"A lot of students, and especially minority students, have raised concerns. And those are understandable and legitimate concerns. On the other hand, the statues have been here for a long time, and that's something we have to take into account as well," Powers said in Wednesday's Austin American-Statesman.

The university's previous president, Larry Faulkner, wrote an open letter to the campus more than two years ago saying the statues convey "institutional nostalgia" for the Confederacy and its values.

"Most who receive that message are repelled," Faulkner wrote.

Statuary on the Austin campus has grown more diverse over the years, partly as a result of student-led efforts.

A student fee raised funds to install a statue of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in 1999. Also in the works are statues of Hispanic labor leader Cesar Chavez and Barbara Jordan, the first black woman from the South elected to Congress.
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Respectfully submitted,
Mark

netnet81
12-29-2006, 08:57 PM
It's not just the campus either; there are rumblings about the Confederate statues on the capitol grounds and the Confederate seal on some state buildings. One seal has already been removed.

RJSamp
12-30-2006, 01:34 PM
It's bad enough that the State Capitol of Texas faces MEXICO.....let alone facing Jester Center.

I lived in the Pit 1975 - 1976 for those of you in the know. Ate pancakes across the table from Earl Campbell a couple of times.

tompritchett
12-30-2006, 02:51 PM
A student fee raised funds to install a statue of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in 1999. Also in the works are statues of Hispanic labor leader Cesar Chavez and Barbara Jordan, the first black woman from the South elected to Congress.

I hope that they keep the Lee and Davis statues as well as installing the above mentioned statues.

Radar
12-31-2006, 08:46 AM
as well as the perceived rights of others. IF they can erect statues of MLK and Chavez, we had better hang onto our heritage. I will be grossly offended if they take down the Confederate statyes and put up minotity folks with out equal representation under the law.

tompritchett
12-31-2006, 01:04 PM
Hey, let's preserve our rights as well as the perceived rights of others. IF they can erect statues of MLK and Chavez, we had better hang onto our heritage. I will be grossly offended if they take down the Confederate statyes and put up minotity folks with out equal representation under the law.

My point exactly. The First Amendment cuts both ways - something that some Neo-Confederates and most of the PC crowd tend to forget. Besides, some of the worst excesses of Southern Racism occurred in the decades after the war up until the middle of the 20th Century. IMHO, anyone who truly studied Lee would have had nothing to do with those excesses.

RebelBugler
12-31-2006, 01:45 PM
Seems a shame that College students have such little comprehension of our Nation's history. In recent times, the WBTS has been mischaracterized as a war to free the slaves, versus the actual intent of preserving the union. Lincoln himself acknowledged as much on multiple occasions. When did the educators stop teaching about Centralized versus Decentralized Governments, States Rights, unjust tariffs and the suspension of Constitutional rights? For that matter, are any of these students aware that US Grant did not free his family slaves until after the War when he was required to by passage of the 13th amendment?

Before we know it, these same well meaning but misinformed Texas students will be advocating the replacement of Sam Houston statuary with that of the evil and despotic Santa Anna.

reb64
01-01-2007, 03:57 PM
Seems a shame that College students have such little comprehension of our Nation's history. In recent times, the WBTS has been mischaracterized as a war to free the slaves, versus the actual intent of preserving the union. Before we know it, these same well meaning but misinformed Texas students will be advocating the replacement of Sam Houston statuary with that of the evil and despotic Santa Anna.

I think you can safely say that it was both according to who was telling it, both over lsavery and not, both over preservation of the union and not or a combo of both. I also think Lincoln was a abolitionist but as a lawyer knew what to say to different groups. And i wouldn't replace sam with anna, but one did fight for among other things, the rights to slavery and the other not. You might have a debate there one day on that.

Spare_Man
01-03-2007, 11:17 AM
My suggestion. Move the statue of Lee to a battlefield that has no statue of Lee, such as Chancellorsville or Fredericksburg. And hang the statue of Petticoat Jeff from a sour apple tree. :-)

southern_belle1861
01-07-2007, 04:35 PM
There is a petition you can now sign: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/HelpSaveTheStatues/index.html

Malingerer
01-08-2007, 10:56 AM
I grew up in south Mississippi during the desegregation era and had the misfortune to witness firsthand how the "southern symbols" were used as part of an all-out assault on Blacks (who had the timerity to want the same quality education as Whites). At my own elementry school, hundreds of white "adults" stood outside and jeered at and threatend Black children as they tried to enter school. Many of them were waving Confederate flags. For well over a hundred years we White Southerners have used our sacred symbols to bully and bludgeon Blacks into submission. If they seem a little wary of our attempts to erect statues to honor the leaders of a cause that sought to keep their ancestors enslaved I can hardly blame them. Our intentions may be honorable but we should try to understand that "the other side" is not completely unreasonable.

Peter Julius,
Bryson City, NC

tompritchett
01-08-2007, 12:21 PM
I grew up in south Mississippi during the desegregation era and had the misfortune to witness firsthand how the "southern symbols" were used as part of an all-out assault on Blacks (who had the timerity to want the same quality education as Whites). At my own elementry school, hundreds of white "adults" stood outside and jeered at and threatend Black children as they tried to enter school. Many of them were waving Confederate flags. For well over a hundred years we White Southerners have used our sacred symbols to bully and bludgeon Blacks into submission. If they seem a little wary of our attempts to erect statues to honor the leaders of a cause that sought to keep their ancestors enslaved I can hardly blame them. Our intentions may be honorable but we should try to understand that "the other side" is not completely unreasonable.

Peter Julius,
Bryson City, NC

Because I too grew up in the South during the 50's and 60's, I actually agree with you on this one, especially in regards to the flag.

However, again actually studying Lee, you will find that he did not fit that mold. One of the stories about him involves a black man who, immediately after the war, entered the leading all-white Episcopal church in Richmond to attend services. He even went up to the front of church and sat on the front row where everyone could see him. Needless to say many of the attendees were scandalized by the audacity of this man. Then to make matters worse, when the eucharist was offered, he was the first to go up. Initially, no white would go up to take communiun with him. However, as the ushers went back along the rows, an middle aged, white-haired man came up when it was his turn. Needless to say, this man was Lee and, because of his example, then the rest of the congregation began coming forward.

This is not the man who would have tolerated the excesses that occurred in the South when we were growing up. Yes, he was also admired by many of those would so admantly fought against the Civil Rights reforms, but then so was Jesus. In fact, many of those supporting the violence often would quote scripture justifying their stance against racial equality. But do we ban crosses because of their association with the racial hatred of that period and its use by the KKK?

As for Davis, I know less of his post-war stances and politics especially during the Reconstruction Era. I do know that he gave his freed slaves an island from his plantation for their own use and have been told that, during the war, he formally adopted a black slave child that his wife had seen being brutally beaten. But regardless of his Presidency of the Confederacy, he did have a distinquished record serving the U.S. prior to the secession, including raising and commanding a regiment of volunteers in the Mexican-American War, and was instrumental as Secretary of War in bringing about many of the needed reforms that helped the U.S. forces expand and then defeat the Confederacy years later.

Basically I am arguing that there needs to be a balance between the concerns and feelings of both sides of the issue with both sides sitting down and actually listening to the other's point of view, letting both 19th and 20th Century history be heard.

Malingerer
01-08-2007, 12:53 PM
Tom,
I completely agree with you. Most of the leaders who served the cause of the South were good and honerable men who deserve memorilization. However, we need to remember that statues and monuments are symbols that come loaded with meaning and emotional attachment. Being sensitive to the legitamate feelings of the descendants of slaves and those who fought for civil rights in our own time may, in the long run, come to help the entire nation come to terms with our complex past.

Peter Julius,
Bryson City, NC

tompritchett
01-08-2007, 03:52 PM
Being sensitive to the legitamate feelings of the descendants of slaves and those who fought for civil rights in our own time may, in the long run, come to help the entire nation come to terms with our complex past.

Again, we are in agreement. That is why I will never fly a Confederate flag outside of a reenactment. My problem is that neither side seems to be willing to sit down at a table, hear each's side of the issue and then work out an agreement that works to everyone's satisfaction. For example, maybe one solution might be to move the statues in question to a less publicly traveled area or to an area devoted more towards history. Not being there nor having ever visited the campus, I really can't suggest with more concrete solutions, but I am sure that they are out there if only the two sides listened to each other and then tried without politicing.

CivilWarBuff1863
01-09-2007, 12:44 PM
I'd be the first crazy Yank to fly a Confederate flag at my home. I figure it's American heitage and if anyone has got to say anything about it then they don't know anything about history. Heck I even got a Confederate flag patch on my leather vest on the back and people won't say nothing.

I see it this way, the Confederate flag doesn't mean it's racist nor does it imply to slavery. It's common sense to think that many men died before their time and they gave their lives defending their home. They died with the belief of doing the right thing and it was in their every right to defend and protect their homeland.

If the NAACP wants to bring down our American heitage then what us re-enactors should do is go to congress in full military dress (without muskets, cap and cartridge boxes) and present ourselves as historians defending the right to fly the flag to whoever chooses to fly it. I mean the government helps preserve battlefields, why not flags too?

There were black confederates if the NAACP hasn't forgotten them. Seems like they did! If they want to ruin their own heitage by taking down the flag their ancestors fought under then they're stupid for doing so.

Jim Mayo
01-09-2007, 02:04 PM
Congratulations to the gentleman from the north for speaking out. It is refreshing to hear an opinion that is open minded, typically american and not politically correct.



Now lets bulldoze some Indian burial mounds because they were here first and we don't want to be reminded of it.

tompritchett
01-09-2007, 03:28 PM
I see it this way, the Confederate flag doesn't mean it's racist nor does it imply to slavery. It's common sense to think that many men died before their time and they gave their lives defending their home. They died with the belief of doing the right thing and it was in their every right to defend and protect their homeland.

The issue with the battleflag is not its use during the Civil War and its association with the distant past of slavery and the Confederacy, but rather its use as the rallying point for often brutal opposition in the South against the Civil Rights reforms of the late 50's through the early 70's. Frankly, it was this generation of Southerners that disgraced the historical significance of the battle flag and built up a level of black animosity towards it that will take several more generations to heal. As a Southerner growing up during those times I witnessed it and, frankly, I don't blame them for their feelings. I grew up when or where it was common for a white to say to an insult, "I 've killed n**s for less than that" and think nothing about how offensive such a remark really was and I was not in the most violent areas. IMHO, if you were not alive to see that hatred and degradation of fellow human beings, you are not qualified to voice an opinion on this issue because you truly have no clue what their issues really are, regardless of what the SUV may say.

CivilWarBuff1863
01-09-2007, 03:44 PM
Thank you for the support Mr. Mayo. It's not everyday that a Northerner supports his Southern brothern for a great cause. In this case a flag that needs as much care as the red, white and blue.

One thing I learned is to stay away from politics. Politically incorrect is more like it! :cool: But I do study our history very deeply.

Politics is what's ruining everything in the country. Especially the War in Iraq, or shall I say Gulf War II? I think the only reason why we ever went to Iraq was because Bush Sr. (Bush's daddy) told him to get Saddam. Could say that Bush is "V for Vendetta" cause that what it looked like, a vendetta.

Unfortunantly I'm part Seminole Indian (Calla-poohas tribe in California).

I think I have a nickname for myself: Seminole (Also the nickname of CSA General Kirby Smith)

CivilWarBuff1863
01-09-2007, 04:03 PM
I see your point Mr. Pritchett. But now a days black people call themselves n****rs all the time now so it's kind of pointless. I already know about the race riots and such that happened in the South in the 60's, I studied and learned. But the fact is, we as American's, have to move on and find solutions to problems we face today. Such as the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism. Of course we can't forget what happened in the past, it's best to learn from the mistakes and dare not to repeat them.

That's the great thing about the past, we can learn from them and guide ourselves away from situations that might occur again in the future. But sometimes we are driven into the same situation. Take Dec. 7, 1941 and Sept. 11, 2001, almost 60 years apart and here we are again at war with people who have no value of human life. Those terrorist almost fight as good as the Japanese but they can never amount to them. They hide behind innocent people everyday so they can blame U.S. troops for killing the innocent.

Don't take this the wrong way cause I don't want to start a "flame war". But everyone has a right to voice opinion. This is the country in which I was born and I'll certainly die in. I see that our history is being attacked from within and it is my duty to preserve it no matter how much it seems hopeless. Just like everyone who re-enacts helps preserve the memory of the fallen. The issue with the NAACP is to take anything "offensive", like the Confederate flag. It's wrong to take things away when blood was spilt under it. I was a member of the SUV but I'm no longer.

Just because certain groups use an image doesn't mean it's bad.

tompritchett
01-09-2007, 08:18 PM
regardless of what the SUV may say

I meant to say SCV. Oops.

Judsonwatkins
01-09-2007, 08:43 PM
Hello,

My name is Judson Watkins and I am the 2nd Lt. Commander of the 8th Brigade in TX; Sons of Confederate Veterans. I am helping lead the campaign against the removal. As you have been informed the following statues are under question be a (soon to be appointed committee):


All four sculptures are by Pompeo Coppini and depict Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Albert Sydney Johnston, and John Reagan. Lee and Davis are obvious to most but, as you know, Johnston was Texas's most revered Confederate veteran. Another early Texas artist, Elisabet Ney, sculpted his crypt in marble for the Texas State Cemetery. Also, as you know, Reagan was postmaster general for the Confederacy and has a State building in Austin named after him. I think everyone ought to know who else is depicted. A interested Art Scholar

As co-coordinators have mentioned before there is a petition you can sign and you can write a letter expressing your feelings to the President of the University.

If anyone has any question I will be glad to answer them on this board or by email, watkins2356@cs.com.


Thanks you,

Judson Watkins:D

tompritchett
01-09-2007, 08:45 PM
But now a days black people call themselves n****rs all the time now so it's kind of pointless. I already know about the race riots and such that happened in the South in the 60's, I studied and learned.

Yes, they do call themselves that. Sometime, ask a black in his 50's or 60's and grew in the South how he feels about their casual use of the word. Trust me, the usage it has to today among young blacks has nowhere the negative connotation that it had then when used by Southern whites. It is not something that you can truly "study" and understand unless you have an exceptional degree of empathy. Even I can not fully understand all that it meant to be a black in the South during those trying times though I grew up in that era, lived in some of those areas, and I do have a high degree of empathy. Having seen firsthand some of the worst racial hatred of the time, I can say that I do understand just how badly blacks were looked down back then and it was not pretty. My family was not even close to the level of the KKK and others that used violence to intimidate the "uppity n****s", and that was bad enough for my to always remember just how ugly even that was and to be ashamed for it.

Saying that you understand the feelings of blacks my age about the battle flag because you "studied" the issue is much like studying the Vietnam war and then stating that you understand all the emotions and experiences that the soldiers there went through then. Without that first-hand experience, you are likely to be just blowing smoke. However, if you do want to learn more and possibly get a slightly better understanding, I would suggest that you find a book titled "Black Like Me" which was written by a white author who darkened his skin and then traveled through the South. Then remember, he was traveling before things got really ugly because of the Southern white backlash from the Civil Rights movement. Also remember that much of the "Southern Heritage" movement and resurgence of the States Rights feelings in the South arose from the Southern resentment towards the Federal government forcing the Civil Rights reforms down through throats at the rate that the Federal government felt that they must be implemented. In hindsight, the Federal government was right and we were very wrong, but that was definitely not how we felt then. Again I was there.

Judsonwatkins
01-09-2007, 08:53 PM
The issue with the battleflag is not its use during the Civil War and its association with the distant past of slavery and the Confederacy, but rather its use as the rallying point for often brutal opposition in the South against the Civil Rights reforms of the late 50's through the early 70's. Frankly, it was this generation of Southerners that disgraced the historical significance of the battle flag and built up a level of black animosity towards it that will take several more generations to heal. As a Southerner growing up during those times I witnessed it and, frankly, I don't blame them for their feelings. I grew up when or where it was common for a white to say to an insult, "I 've killed n**s for less than that" and think nothing about how offensive such a remark really was and I was not in the most violent areas. IMHO, if you were not alive to see that hatred and degradation of fellow human beings, you are not qualified to voice an opinion on this issue because you truly have no clue what their issues really are, regardless of what the SUV may say.

Sir,

If people would take time to see how the flag is being used and in what meaning it is being used with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, then they would not be offended. That is our main reason of existence, to educate the misled public. But forgetting that past will not resolve the issue. A band-aid does not make a scar go away.


Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans

"To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish."


Lt. General Stephen Dill Lee, Commander General,
United Confederate Veterans,
New Orleans, Louisiana, April 25, 1906.

Thank you all for such detailed discussion on our heritage and the defense thereof! :)

CivilWarBuff1863
01-10-2007, 12:20 AM
Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression, race riots and destroying ourselves from within. Poverty and low income families trying to struggle to make a life for themselves.

Symbols are given power by people. A symbol, in and of itself is powerless, but with enough people behind it you can change what the symbol represents. The power of an idea, we've seen people die defending them... but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it... ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love. Ideas are bulletproof! An idea that the Confederate flag is a symbol and that symbol is history, that it doesn't spread racism, people spread racism and use a symbol as a means to embed their own ideas into the population and make people change their beliefs and ideas. It shouldn't matter what skin color you are, deep down inside every one of us there is an idea, a symbol of believing what is true, what is right and wrong. You can replace a statue and a flag, but you can not replace people who have died in a struggle against humanities own problems. Ever since this country was founded we have all been at odds with one another. It took a Civil War to find out that over 620,000 lives were worth changing a country, an idea and a symbol. That is something everyone needs to think about, and today lives are changing a whole country in the East.

toptimlrd
01-11-2007, 05:51 PM
I meant to say SCV. Oops.


I was wondering what my Explorer had to do with this. :P

Judsonwatkins
01-11-2007, 08:17 PM
I took it as Sons of Union Veterans...then it really confused me. :D

reb64
01-14-2007, 07:00 AM
[QUOTE=CivilWarBuff1863]Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression, race riots and destroying ourselves from within. Poverty and low income families trying to struggle to make a life for themselves.

You wrote this like it was a result of the war or a lingering effect or a result of honoring one's heritage. the north won and pretty much dictate all the curriculum, museums and laws etc on confederate symbols and heritage matters yet you still think its caused by them? I think it (social ills) you just mentioned would exist even without the confederacy you envision.

CivilWarBuff1863
01-14-2007, 04:28 PM
No it means that our government is still doing things we thought they would get rid of. They just enforce it on other countries!