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Task Force Report Leans Toward Relocation for UT Confederate Statues

confederate_statue_01.jpg
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News
"Black Lives Matter" was painted onto the statue of Albert Sidney Johnston in June.

The group tasked with providing solutions to the controversy surrounding statues of Confederate figures on the University of Texas at Austin campus has submitted its suggestions to the school’s president, Gregory Fenves.

Four of the report’s five options suggest relocating the statues that depict Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis and Albert Sidney Johnston off the Main Mall. One option suggests removing the statues altogether. Another suggests installing informational plaques near the statues that would “place philosophical distance between UT Austin and honorees.”

Below is a look at each of the report’s options for addressing the statues.

·  Option 1– Leave the statues in place and add explanatory plaques that would enhance the educational value of the six statues and provide historical context.

·  Option 2– Relocate the statue of Jefferson Davis and the inscription to the west of the Littlefield Fountain to the Briscoe Center for American History, the Blanton Museum, the Texas Memorial Museum, the Harry Ransom Center, the Littlefield home, or an exhibit elsewhere on campus.

·  Option 3– Relocate the statues of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and John Reagan and the inscription to the west of the Littlefield Fountain to the Briscoe Center for American History, the Blanton Museum, the Texas Memorial Museum, the Harry Ransom Center, the Littlefield home, or an exhibit elsewhere on campus.

·  Option 4– Relocate the statues of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and Woodrow Wilson and the inscription to the west of the Littlefield Fountain to the Briscoe Center for American History, the Blanton Museum, the Texas Memorial Museum, the Harry Ransom Center, the Littlefield home, or an exhibit elsewhere on campus.

·  Option 5– Relocate all six statues and the inscription west of the Littlefield Fountain to the Briscoe Center for American History, the Blanton Museum, the Texas Memorial Museum, the Harry Ransom Center, the Littlefield home, or an exhibit elsewhere on campus.

Map: Confederate statues on the UT Austin campus

Placement of the statues on the UT campus came under scrutiny in June, after a racially motivated shooting spree in a Charleston church that killed nine prompted a national discussion on the use of Confederate memorials and public displays.

Charles K. Ross, director of the African American Studies program at the University of Mississippi, says institutions across the south and southwest are grappling with the issue of Confederate iconography.

“What American South is going to be in place in the 21st Century? And we have to be honest that African-Americans were not at the table when the decisions were being made to recognize and commemorate and celebrate things that took place on the side of the Confederacy," Ross says.

UT Austin president Greg Fenves will make a final decision on the future of the statues.

This post will be updated as this story develops.

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