Sunday, August 12, 2018

It's Time To Remove Confederate Plaque From Capitol Bldg.


The plaque pictured above is in the Texas Capitol Building, and was placed there in 1959 (likely in response to the civil rights demonstrations that were starting to grow at that time). It is not only offensive to have a plaque honoring an enemy of the United States, but the plaque contains an obvious LIE -- that the Civil War was not fought over slavery. The plaque is an abomination to all decent Texas of all colors, and it needs to be removed.

Here is what the editorial board of The Dallas Morning News had to say:

It's never simple raising concerns about Confederate monuments and symbols in this state. There's a fiery debate anytime there's a mention of removing these relics.
Such was the case when state Rep. Eric Johnson started raising questions a full year ago about the Confederate plaque near his Capitol office. We understand the emotional feelings about not erasing history. But imagine suffering the indignity of being face-to-face day in and day out with a hurtful reminder that celebrates keeping your race of people in bondage.
This newspaper has repeatedly argued that these divisive tributes no longer belong in our public spaces. We're flummoxed as to why it's taken so long to get rid of this one. Not only is it offensive, but it also offers a distorted and widely debunked history lesson about the Civil War. It's past time for it to go.
The plaque, erected by the "Children of the Confederacy" in 1959, features the group's creed, including a "pledge ... to study and teach the truths of history (one of the most important of which is, that the War Between the States was not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery)."
Historians say that's hogwash. What's more, the time and context for when these tributes took place matter. Many were not done in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, but rather at the height of legally mandated segregation. Bent less on history than on subordinating people. 
So why is this plaque still hanging in the state Capitol in Austin? Stunningly, it seems to come down to a disagreement about who is authorized to remove it.
Johnson, a Dallas Democrat, first made his removal request to the Texas Preservation Board, charged with maintaining and preserving the Capitol, the Governor's Mansion and other properties.
Gov. Greg Abbott, the board's chairman, has said that because the Legislature authorized the plaque's installation, lawmakers should be involved in deciding whether to remove itMore than 40 lawmakers support its removal, according to the Austin American-Statesman. They include Republican House Speaker Joe Straus
Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, joined the cause in April, asking Attorney General Ken Paxton to offer an opinion on who has the authority to remove it.
We encourage Paxton to rule soon so this long-overdue removal process can get underway.
But Texas has already made great strides in the kind of state it wants to be today. The Southern Poverty Law Center says Texas has removed more Confederate symbols than any other state in the three years since the killing of nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., that renewed the effort to take them down.
Texas needs to add one more to the pile. The public seat of democracy is no place for such a thing.

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