Democrat Mayor Ivy Taylor, San Antonio’s first black and female mayor, is not buying into the Confederate flag frenzy. Other liberal politicians in the birthplace of Texas freedom and liberty push to jump onto the national bandwagon to eradicate Confederate historical sites and symbols from the Lone Star State’s past.
This week, San Antonio councilman Alan Warrick memoed Taylor to inventory all of the city’s Confederate flags and monuments and decide if they should be changed or removed. The mayor responded in a statement on Thursday.
“Slavery and the Civil War are part of the American legacy. For more than 200 years we’ve been trying to fully realize the revolutionary premise of democracy: all men are created equal,” she stated.
“Selectively erasing pieces of our past may make it more comfortable for us today,” she continued, “but it also makes it easier for many to ignore the historic struggles of Blacks and other minorities in this country, a struggle for equality that continues today.”
Taylor reasoned, “It is offensive to use the rebel battle flag as a symbol of a city or state but it is also offensive to pretend that Texas was never a slave state or that racism has played no role in our history for the past 150 years.”
The mayor assigned the city manager to oversee an inventory of any monuments in San Antonio that are connected with Confederate flags, history or symbolism. She advised she would review that report before considering options.
The political pressure to remove the historical relics is mounting. Texas public schools already jumped on the bandwagon to shun symbols and historical figures that memorialize the Confederate South. Bexar County judge Nelson Wolff, who backed the leftwing mayoral candidate Leticia Van de Putte, announced plans to remove two Confederate symbols on county property, KENS 5 reported.
Topping Warrick’s hit list is a Confederate Civil War monument in the city’s Travis Park. According to the Office of Historic Preservation, the Travis Park Walking Tour includes seven historical relevant sites headed up by focal point, the Confederate Civil War monument. It was built in 1899 and funded by the Barnard E. Bee Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy. The park once park served as a camp for Confederate soldiers.
The 1899 ceremony for the laying of the monument’s foundation stone was attended by veterans of the Union and Confederate armies.
Ironically, the monument faced some resistance during construction in 1898. The Office of Historical Preservation cites a Daily Light article that indicated opposition on the grounds that the “monuments erected today will be the scoff of a later generation.”
According to the Express-News, Warrick felt that this part of “our history” needs to be acknowledged but displayed in a museum and not a public place “because it is a divisive symbol.” He is also African-American.
Warrick called for San Antonio to join the rest of the nation in removing the battle flag and the park monuments.
“I do not believe the vast majority of residents who support Confederate flags or monuments have hate in their hearts. The fact that some of these symbols are utilized by hate groups to harass and intimidate should be enough to give us pause,” Warrick said in the memo to Taylor.
The national Confederate flag debate exploded following the tragic hate-crime shooting that left nine black church parishioners dead during a Bible study in Charleston, SC. Images of attacker Dylann Roof posing with the Confederate flag later surfaced.
Recently, Taylor was in Germany when UNESCO named the Alamo among its World Heritage sites. While there, she said that a Confederate flag flying over a cemetery in a historically black district should stay put, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
She also told the local news outlet, “Erasing historical monuments doesn’t make our past any easier to understand or deal with today.”
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.