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University Of Texas Officially Removes Jefferson Davis Statue From Main Mall Of Campus

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The University of Texas removed a statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis from the main mall of campus on Sunday morning.

The removal of the statue, which has been the center of a campus controversy for quite some time, was temporarily halted when the Sons of Confederate Veterans filed a restraining order to keep it in place. Last week, a Texas judge ruled against the restraining order, and UT went through with the removal this morning.

From The Dallas Morning News:

The statue had been at the center of months of controversy. Earlier this summer, UT-Austin President Greg Fenves convened a task force to make recommendations about the statues of confederate veterans at UT-Austin.

In August, after reading the task force’s recommendations, Fenves decided to move the Jefferson Davis statue to the Briscoe Center for American History. But the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a confederate heritage group, sued to prevent the statute from being moved.

Last week, the Sons of Confederate’s request for a temporary restraining order was heard in a Travis County District Court. The judge did not grant the restraining order, and UT-Austin was allowed to proceed with removing the statues.

About 100 students showed up to watch the statue’s removal Sunday morning. They cheered and sang as Jefferson Davis was taken down.

“When we were making fun of it back in March, we didn’t think it would result in anything but resparking a debate,” said Xavier Rotnofsky, UT-Austin Student Body’s President and a driving force behind removing the statue.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans promised to keep fighting the issue.

“What has happened was a cultural atrocity — this is a discretion of art,” said Kirk Lyons, the lawyer for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

As a Texas Ex, I have no problem seeing the statue leaving our main mall. Not because I have anything against Confederate history, but because Jefferson Davis has zero connection to our university. It would be like erecting a statue of Michael Jordan or Kermit the Frog — interesting to some, but not particularly relevant to the history of our campus. In fact, Texas hero Sam Houston was one of the largest outspoken critics of Texas joining the Confederacy and most Texans don’t take pride in being a part of the “South will rise again” crowd.

The statue will remain on campus in the Briscoe Center for American History.

[via Dallas Morning News]

Image via YouTube

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