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AG rules Confederate plaque can be removed

Let’s get a move on then.

Rep. Eric Johnson

The Texas Legislature or a state board chaired by Gov. Greg Abbott can remove a plaque in the Capitol honoring Confederates, Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a published opinion Wednesday, providing clarity to a longstanding question over who has the power to do so — and how it can be done.

The “Children of the Confederacy Creed” plaque, which asserts that that the Civil War was “not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery,” had been the cause of controversy for lawmakers for months. Several have called it offensive and historically inaccurate.

Last October, state Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, called for the plaque’s removal and submitted a formal request to do so to the Texas State Preservation Board, which is chaired by Abbott and includes four other Republican elected officials and one citizen representative. Johnson, whose office is near the plaque, renewed those calls on Wednesday, noting that his request was never approved.

“They could take it down before the end of business today,” he said in an interview. “There shouldn’t be any confusion that the method I’ve chosen to go about this is the right one.”

Abbott said following a meeting with Johnson last year that he would have the preservation board “look into” how to remove the plaque. Paxton’s opinion made clear that three groups could make that decision: the Legislature, the Texas Historical Commission or the preservation board.

And any legislator can submit a form to request the removal of a “monument or memorial” — as Johnson did — and submit it to the preservation board, Paxton said. The curator of the Capitol, who works for the board, can approve the change — or the board has the discretion to do it itself.

See here and here for the background. Rep. Johnson is correct that he has done all the right things, and he has every reason to expect that the Preservation Board, under Greg Abbott’s direction, will follow through. And when they don’t – because honestly, no one should expect Greg Abbott to show leadership or do the right thing when it doesn’t advantage him – he will surely file a lawsuit. That can all be easily avoided, if Greg Abbott does his job. We’re all waiting.

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8 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    “….the Texas State Preservation Board, which is chaired by Abbott and includes four other Republican elected officials and one citizen representative.”

    Seems very simple. Put the matter up for a vote. There are 6 people on the board. If 5 out of 6 vote to keep it, then that’s it.

    They absolutely should NOT agree to take this down. It will never be enough, there will always be some new offensive thing, it will never be over, so there is absolutely NO reason to agree to this.

    Thanks for your request, Eric. Request denied. Next.

  2. brad says:

    Well Bill, whether it is and “Old” offensive thing or a “New” offensive thing it doesn’t make a difference when it is simply offensive.

    And the quote on the plaque about the Civil War not being about slavery is, of course, a flat out lie.

    Bill, time to get out your dog whistles.

  3. Paul Kubosh says:

    dog whistle….

    growing up i never heard that term used.

  4. Jules says:

    Paul, it most likely did not exist in that context when you were growing up. It makes sense to me, although many of Bill’s racist comments are loud and clear and everyone can hear them.

  5. mollusk says:

    Having grown up in Texas and Louisiana in the 60s, I can confirm that the term “dog whistle” only referred to something you blew to summon the furry four legged critter.

    We didn’t bother with code words, since stereotypes ran rampant and even “polite” people openly used ethnic and racial slurs back then.

  6. Bill Daniels says:

    The “you’re racist” epithet is the grown up version of the “yeah, well you’re a giant poopy head” slur kids use on the playground. It’s the argument of someone who can’t debate and can’t defend their position any other way.

    Me: “The road is in poor shape because there has been no maintenance, and it’s full of potholes.”

    Most of OTK: “You’re a big racist poopy head for pointing that out. Only poopy heads would say that.”

    Me: “Eric is a perpetual whiner and got elected and stays in power by telling his constituents they are victims and that they should be riled up by whatever cause d’jour he dreams up.”

    OTK: “Bill is a big poopy head!”

    Bill: “Eric joins the Taliban and HISD in the idea that anything they don’t like should be destroyed.”

    OTK: “POOPY HEAD!!!!!!!!”

  7. Jules says:

    The reason you get called a racist all the time is because you are a racist all the time.

    You putting stuff in quotes that no one ever said isn’t because you are a racist, it is because you are stupid.

    You are a stupid racist.

  8. Manny Barrera says:

    Bill you are full of yourself.

    If I stated that the moon is made of cheese and you called me stupid. Then I can safely assume that you are incapable of debate because you won’t debate me (Based on your statement above). The fact that it is a stupid statement and if I believed it would make me stupid, beside the fact. Your comments are no different than my analogy.