Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Gov. Abbott Looks Into Removing Confederate Plaque At Texas Capitol

Posted By on Tue, Oct 31, 2017 at 10:33 AM

  • John Jordan / Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott has finally acknowledged that the underlying cause of the Civil War may have been slavery.

On Friday, Abbott met with Democratic state Rep. Eric Johnson to discuss removing a plaque from the hallways of the Texas Capitol praising the ancestors of Confederate soldiers. Installed during the rise of the the Civil Rights movement in 1959 (when the number of schools named after Confederate leaders skyrocketed), the "Children of the Confederacy Creed" plaque pledges: "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." It's a statement most American history scholars disagree with. 

Rep. Johnson has been pushing for the removal of this plaque since August 16, four days after the fatal white nationalist protest in Charlottesville. In September, Johnson got the backing of House Speaker Joe Straus.

While Abbott first deflected claims that he was receptive to Johnson's removal request, the governor's office clarified his position in a Monday email.

"The Governor said something that most Texans can agree with: substantially inaccurate historical statements are not appropriate for permanent display in the Capitol building," wrote spokeswoman Ciara Matthews. "That's why he asked the State Preservation Board to look into this particular plaque and the history surrounding it."

It implies that Abbott believes the plaque to be "substantially inaccurate" in the way it disregards slavery's role in the Confederate movement.

This shouldn't be a remarkable statement — but in the current upheaval over removing Confederate soldier monuments and memorials, it's somehow become a debatable topic. Just hours after Abbott's office issued its statement,  White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called Robert E. Lee “an honorable man" in a Fox News interview and said that the Civil War was sparked by “the lack of an ability to compromise."

Don't tell Abbott, but it sounds like Texas leadership has somehow come out on the progressive side of this argument.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources. A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Read the Digital Print Issue

March 25, 2020


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation