(Austin, TX) // Today, Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) and Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) released the following statement regarding the future of the Confederate statues on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin:
“We are glad that Jefferson Davis no longer will be glorified on the Main Mall of The University of Texas at Austin, and we thank President Fenves for taking on this important task so soon during his tenure as president. This is an encouraging initial step, but we hope it leads to ongoing honest, critical conversations about the legacies of the historical figures honored on campus.
“This has never been about trying to alter or erase history. Instead, it’s about who we choose to honor at our public institutions, and we believe we shouldn’t honor men whose main claim to historical relevance stems from their defense of human slavery.
“We hope the conversation at UT will encourage state leaders to have a similar debate about the numerous Confederate statues that dot the Capitol grounds. We renew our previous request — one that’s been echoed by many legislators, both Democrat and Republican — to create a task force to begin a serious conversation about how best to honor Texas’ past, ensure historical accuracy and celebrate figures who are relevant to our state and worthy of our praise.
“We hope that such a task force can be convened and recommendations developed before the next legislative session convenes in January, 2017. Addressing this issue is important for Texans of all backgrounds, including the many children who visit the Capitol and are confronted with an inaccurate version of history that exalts the Confederacy.”