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Remove the Jefferson Davis Statue at The University of Texas at Austin
At the University of Texas at Austin stands a statue honoring Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War -- the man who waged a war against the United States to perpetuate the institution of slavery and white supremacy.As students who walk on this campus every day, we no longer want to see a statue that glorifies the values of Jefferson Davis, who while leading the Confederacy, owned a plantation with over 100 slaves. This was a man who led an insurgency against our country, so he is an affront to all Americans. A public institution can choose what aspects of history to honor.In response to massive support for removal from students and alumni and the tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina, UT Austin President Greg Fenves has convened task force to decide the fate of the Jefferson Davis statue. We want this petition to show the task force that there is strong support for the statue’s removal both on campus and beyond. A national conversation is happening about the place for symbols of the Confederacy. In the same way that the Confederate flag projects values of racial hatred, the Jefferson Davis statue memorializes a man who stood for committing treason to perpetuate racial inequality and bigotry. As students, we don’t want to erase history, but we also don’t believe it’s right for the University of Texas to display a statue that glorifies rather than teaches on our main mall. A museum would provide the Davis statue with historical context so it could be learned from instead of revered. The University of Texas has prided itself as being a catalyst of progress, but it is impossible to reach the full potential of an inclusive and progressive learning institution while putting an idol of our darkest days on a pedestal.