Will San Antonio remove 1899-erected Confederate statue overnight?

Confederate Statue in San Antonio, Texas (Alamo photo by Jack Dennis)

City employee says ‘the fix is in’

New Mayor Ron Nirenberg bypassing Governance Committee 

(Update: Just as this article and the source stated, the statue and cannons were removed after the city council vote on Thursday)

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Will San Antonio, a Texas city rich in history and culture, succumb to political correctness by removing a statue in a downtown park?

According to one city employee, the plan is to remove the Confederate statue at Travis Park during the night Thursday after the City Council votes on a measure to relocate the statue. The memorial was erected on June 28, 1899 and was dedicated officially on April 28, 1900.

“That statue stands on top of a 40-foot-high monument,” said the city worker who asked not to be identified. “To move it during the night requires special equipment. They already have someone picked out to do it. The cannons in the park will be removed too.”

“This is going to be a big test for the new Mayor (Ron Nirenberg) to determine if he will listen to the citizens or submit to political correctness. Some of us already know. He is going to have them taken down.  The contractor will use a crane, special rigging and lighting to take it down. It had to be planned for and they want it removed soon after they vote.”

San Antonio City Council 2017 (San Antonio Government)

“The cowards won’t let the citizens vote on it,” San Antonian Richard Brewer commented on an article in a local newspaper. “They can’t even tell us who/how many citizens have complained about it. Five of those Confederate dead soldiers the monument honors died trying to rescue some African-American children and their mother from Indians here in Texas in 1864.”

“Pretty ‘chickengutless’ on the part of the mayor and certain city council members,” wrote Lorenzo Chiaro. “Let the people at least vote on it.”

The employee said his co-workers believe “the fix is in” as Nirenberg is actively working to move the formal request forward. City councilmen Roberto Treviño (District 1) and William “Cruz” Shaw (District 2), joined together to submit Council Consideration Request on July 25 to take the statue down.

Usual protocol for such proposal is to send the request to a Governance Committee, but Nirenberg is bypassing the customary step and taking the measure to a full city council vote Thursday.

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!” —President Donald J. Trump

“We have received extensive input from citizens who support and oppose relocating moving the statue,” the Mayor indicated in a press release. “Hundreds of San Antonio residents have voiced their views directly to the council in ‘citizens to be heard’ portions of our meetings and through phone calls and emails.”

American statues are coming down.

“I am not sure what’s on Nirenberg’s mind,” the city employee commented. “He must think it’s in vogue to tear these down—just like the Romans, and Russians did before they toppled. These Confederate statues were erected in the late 1800s as historical symbols of reconciliation. Toppling these monuments for self-serving politically correct reasons shows a weakness in leadership and virtues.”

“The City Council will not let citizens vote on it,” the employee noted. “But they can’t control how people—the voters—think about them. Trying to control how people think by eliminating these statues goes against what San Antonio stands for. We are city of many cultures who respect each other. Trying to change our culture and history is bad politics and civic stewardship.”

“It’s a done deal,” the city employee shrugged. “They are going to push this through just like they did when they spent over a hundred thousand dollars of taxpayer monies to change the name of Durango Street to Cesar Chavez a few years ago. It’s all political.”

“Every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. “And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped.”–George Orwell novel “1984.” 

Recent polls may hint why Nirenberg, Treviño and Shaw are forcing the removal without a vote. Last week’s NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll reported 62 percent of Americans say Confederate statues should “remain as a historical symbol.” More African-Americans did not support removing them than those who thought they should be. A Huffington Post/YouGov poll revealed only 29 percent of Americans support changing street names, building names, or removing statues of Confederate leaders.

“It is fair to say that we are fully aware of the issues involved,” Nirenberg stated. “I appreciate the work (of) council members Treviño and Shaw, who offered their full support of this accelerated approach.”

“I’m distraught,” said Dr. Michele Bogart of Stony Brook University, an expert on public monuments. “We are destroying ourselves…“We tend to ascribe meaning to older works according to our views about moral rights and wrongs today. It’s legitimate to argue that a work is problematic. But there are disagreements about how indignant you are supposed to get because of that.”

“The symbolism worked into the monument show stars representing courage, laurel wreaths representing valor, the furled flag and raised arm represents trust in God,” quotes Waymarking. “Similarly, the polished shaft on the rough base symbolizes achievement, endurance, and devotion. The inscription on the shaft says, “Lest We Forget” and the inscription at the base says, “Our Confederate Dead.”

To contact San Antonio City Council:

Mayor Ron Nirenberg
Constituent Services: 210.207.7107
Mayor’s Comment Line: 210.207.2280
Email the Mayor’s Office: Mayor.RonNirenberg@sanantonio.gov
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 839966, San Antonio, TX 78283

 

 

 

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