After hours of emotional debate, even among members of City Council, Council voted today to remove the Confederate monument which has stood in Travis Park for nearly 120 years, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The final vote was 10-1. The only 'no' vote was from northeast side Councilman Clayton Perry, who expressed concerns that the process had not been properly followed.A motion to delay made before the final vote was rejected.
"None of you on this dias has experienced the life I have lived in this city, to be required to pas the statue in Travis Park in my childhood, to have experienced Jim Crow during my days of adulthood, and then in 2017 to have experienced the impact of hate and bigotry," Oliver Hill told Council in one of the most emotional of many passionate comments heard at City Hall.
And the feelings were equally passionate on the other side.
"There are people, extremists really, who want to destroy pieces of this nation's history," said Elizabeth Sutherland. "There are people who want to spit on the graves of their ancestors."
Several members of Council indicated they have thought strongly about this issue, delivering passionate remarks in support of their position.
Most opponents of the monument said they don't want it to be destroyed, just removed from a public park, where it, and the slavery and oppression it represents, receive the 'approval of the city.'
"This statue could have stayed up for one thousand years," said Councilman Rey Saldana, who backed removing the monument, "if it were on private property."
Cruz Shaw, the only African American on Council, delivered emotional remarks about the impact of a monument to racism on public property."Imagine in 2017, getting e-mails, saying N*****r, if you vote for this, we'll get you," Shaw said. "There is no reason for compromise, the process is not important."
Northeast side Councilman Clayton Perry introduced a motion to delay a final vote, saying the process was't followed, and supporters are grabbing the right to do something with an historic structure that the average citizen would not be allowed to so.No decision has been made on where to locate the monument.