The statue of Robert E. Lee at Oak Lawn's Lee Park is among the city's Confederate monuments. Photo by Alex Macon.

Local News

Council Members Lend Support to Task Force on Confederate Statues

The city's four African American council members also called for a deeper study of the institutional racism afflicting the city.

Dallas’ four black City Council members gave their support to a task force, proposed this week by the mayor, that will study the issue of Confederate monuments erected in public places. Speaking at a press conference early Friday afternoon, Dwaine Caraway, Casey Thomas, Tennell Atkins, and Kevin Felder were unequivocal in saying that the statues must eventually come down, but only as part of a discussion that addresses broader problems of racism afflicting the city.

Caraway stressed one point: Trust the process.

“Who’s going to pay for it, who’s going to do it, where’s it going to be stored,” the mayor pro tem said. “Those are concerns that we must take a look at, and to make sure that we reach deeper into the effect that racism is having on our city.”

Each of the council members echoed that call for a more thorough examination of the institutional barriers erected against the city’s black communities, and of the legacy of racism in Dallas, going beyond the symbolic weight of the statues.

The City Council will appoint the members of the task force, and Thomas said an appropriate resolution would be on an upcoming council agenda. Atkins and Thomas had earlier removed their signatures from a similar petition supported by several white council members, which called for a vote on a more immediate tear-down of the statues. Mayor Mike Rawlings this week instead said the task force will spend up to 90 days at work, with room for public meetings and consultation with the Dallas Holocaust Museum, the Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation effort, and the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

The conversation over the removal of Confederate statues has picked up steam around the country after a weekend of violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. But that’s not necessarily the impetus behind the council members’ new push for the statues’ removal, Felder said.

“There’s never a wrong time to do the right thing,” Felder said.

The Dallas Morning News carried the press conference live online. You can watch it below. Later, the mayor released a memo with some more information on the task force, which is also below. Rawlings’ new memo speeds up the timeline from what he had earlier discussed, calling for ultimate City Council action by Nov. 8.

Comments

  • Max Powers

    In other news, Texas’ Hispanic heritage took one for the team as Six Flags over Texas has whitewashed all of Texas history. Congrats!

    • JohnyAlamo

      Not to mention how insensitive it is right now to take down the Spanish flag. Even Abbot hung one up at the Governors mansion yesterday.

    • sherwood

      Six Flags Over Texas has become a cheap thrill-ride carnival and is not the original concept that Angus Wynne Jr, had when he built it. The park threw away its appreciation of Texas history when it was purchased by a conglomerate and started pushing trashy Midway-style huckster games and vomit inducing rides. The place reeks of a rip-off palace. I don’t remember Batman in Texas history. The flags might as well be blank with green dollar signs on them. The place is culturally bankrupt.

  • JamieT

    One thing we do know: the task force will have to temporize beyond the Nov 7 election, otherwise the ballot is at risk; the ballot is similarly at risk if the task force is seen as nothing more than a transparent charade covering a decision already made to tear down. And a city in a looming economic death spiral certainly can’t be seen to be frittering away its resources potentially available to help its African-American citizens merely in order to conform to topical progressive fads in other cities.

    • Happy Bennett

      Empathy is worthless- er priceless.

      • JamieT

        After eight years with an African-American President and nary a peep from anyone, black or white, Nancy Pelosi now calling for Confederate statues to be removed from the Capitol unequivocally reveals this faux issue for what it is: nothing more than another orchestrated and coordinated fit of Democrat post-electoral distemper like the now largely abandoned Russia collusion story. Anyone Democrats or progressives in general can cow by threat of painting them as “racist” – or “white supremacist” (the new, preferred bogeyman, “racist” having lost its effervescence from overuse) – they will; that’s how one wields naked, principle-free power: one forces the population to submit, for any reason available, preferably confessing their sins while doing so.

        When it’s all over, though, it will all be as forgotten as Tim’s Mike Rawlins post, there’ll be another frsh, new “toxic” snipe to hunt, and black people will once again be left wondering how their community leaders always seem to manage to make out so well while any true progress continues to pass them by. But that’s just what it means to be a perennially useful utility population, as handy for ginning up blog hits for white folks and political contributions as for picking cotton.

    • Mavdog

      “a city in a looming economic death spiral”
      You have hit a new height of uninformed hyperbole. congrats!

  • C Newman

    Why did the “Placing Dallas Confederate Statues in Historical Context” post get memory-holed?

    • Mavdog

      appears it has been removed. Thought there was some good stuff there (one indecent poster notwithstanding)

      • C Newman

        Agreed. The history of when the statues/monuments were installed and the referenced opinions of supposedly why done at that time and the resulting atmosphere is great context.

      • C Newman

        If a comment was indecent they would/could delete it. If there was something a bit off in the actual post they would/could correct or clarify with a note. The entire deletion of a post without any explanation seems odd. Without explanation it leads to a high percentage chance this is another example of pathetic journalistic bias omitting information that doesn’t fit the “right” narrative.

    • JamieT

      Because none of this has any value other than as D-owned, D-promoting
      product – if you haven’t understood previously, blog commenters are not
      consumers or customers, they are product – and D is free to edit and
      post-edit its product as it sees fit.

      • Happy Bennett

        Because two commenters inconveniently pointed out that the Southern Poverty Law Center, heavily referenced as supporting source material for Goodwin’s article is an intolerant destructive leftist funded group which encourages potential mass murderers (Hodgkinson-2017, FRC-2012). According to their own “Mission Statement” SPLC seeks to “destroy” (their actual words) peaceful individuals and organizations who they randomly decide “ideologically oppose” them. They even listed Dr. Ben Carson MD, Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in inner city Baltimore, MD, as a “hater”. Ironically, Dr. Carson overcame a broken home and urban poverty to attain high position at one of the world’s most prestigious teaching hospitals. Dr. Carson, in the course of his career, probably has done more to improve the conditions of poor children and their families than the destructive vile SPLC could ever dream of.

    • DubiousBrother

      When you are trying to rewrite history, you sometimes stumble across inconvenient truths and the best thing to do is erase it instead of showing other view points.