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After nearly a century, San Antonio College is removing the Ranger as its college mascot.
The College Council, a group of more than 60 faculty, staff and administrators chaired by SAC president Robert Vela, voted unanimously to make the change on Tuesday.
community college will begin the process of choosing a new mascot in the fall.
Tuesday's vote was in a long time in the making.
The now former mascot honored the Texas Rangers, who under the guise of patrolling the Mexican-American border, executed what amounted to an ethnic cleansing project during the 19th and 20th centuries — terrorizing Mexican and Black residents and Indigenous peoples.
In recent years, that history has complicated a longstanding, white supremacist narrative of the Rangers as a noble, protect-and-serve police force that kept Texans safe on the frontier.
SAC tried multiple times to remake the Ranger mascot's image, most recently last year with the introduction of a ranger wearing a black mask and red cape named Antonio, but the connection to the Texas Rangers remained.
Last year, a petition
asking to let go of the mascot organized by the San Antonio College student organization Somos La Gente and allied organizations garnered hundreds of signatures.
SAC was slated to discuss the status of the mascot in the spring, but those plans were interrupted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, after organizing efforts of students and the power of the protests that swept the country in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, the college is finally making a clean break.
"This is a historic day! The debate is over and San Antonio College has gone on record as being inclusive, diverse, empowered, decisive, true to its values – and committed to doing the right thing," SAC President Vela said in a statement.
"We’ve taken a great leap forward and now we can begin the process of fashioning a new mascot identity that reflects the very best qualities of our SAC community,” he continued.
This is, it would appear, another step in the state's reckoning with the legacy of the Rangers. An op-ed in The Washington Post
published by Desoto native Karen Attiah on Monday urged Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers to change their name as well.
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