AUSTIN (Nexstar) — State lawmakers on Monday are considering a bill that would remove certain Confederate monuments and memorials, and rename other parts of the Capitol Complex, due to Confederate ties.
Before laying out the bill in the House Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism, the author of the bill, Rep. Rafael Anchia, (D – Dallas), held a press conference to rally support for the bill.
“Confederate artifacts are undeniably a representation of hate, racism, and oppression,” Rep. Anchia said, “They’re an insult to the many descendants of slavery to the many people who visit our Capitol today, in the state of Texas, and the intent of admission of the Confederacy are clear and indisputable.”
The bill would require the removal of the following monuments from Capitol grounds:
- the portrait of Albert Sidney Johnson located in the Senate chamber
- the cannons located on the south grounds of the Capitol and near the south entrance to the Capitol building
- the Confederate Soldiers’ Monument located on the south grounds of the Capitol
- Hood’s Texas Brigade Monument located on the east grounds of the Capitol
- the portrait of Jefferson Davis located in the senate chamber
- Terry’s Texas Rangers Monument located on the south grounds of the Capitol
It would also rename the John H. Reagan Building to the Jackson-Webber Building in honor of Nathaniel Jackson and John Webber.
Those testifying against the bill on Monday said the bill would be erasing history.
David Wylie, Republican Party of Texas, testified that it would in fact be rewriting history.
“I can’t agree with that. This calls for the removal of things that reminds people of where we’ve been,” Wylie said, “It shows what we’ve been through, and where we are today.”
But, Rep. Anchia countered that the existing monuments rewrite history, and misrepresent the intent of the Civil War.
“Instead of using tax dollars to celebrate and glorify people who are secessionists, people who were traitors to America, and people who wanted to preserve an institution, where one human could own another human and force that human to do labor on their behalf, raped that other human, own their children and their progeny as if they were property, we seek to change that,” Rep. Anchia said.
The hearing for the bill is continuing into the evening, with 30 witnesses signed up to testify.