DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Democratic State Representative Rafael Anchía filed a bill Tuesday, Jan. 19, Confederate Memorial Day in Texas, that would remove Confederate monuments, memorials, and statues from the Capitol grounds as well as renaming the John H. Reagan State Office Building.
House Bill 1186 would rename the building the Jackson-Webber State Office Building, named after Nathaniel Jackson and John Ferdinand Webber, abolitionists who helped slaves escape from Texas to Mexico via the “Underground Railroad to Mexico.”
“Confederate monuments have and continue to be a symbol of racism, oppression, and slavery. They are divisive and perpetuate white supremacy, the concept that one race is above all others. These monuments and memorials in and around our Capitol dishonor and insult the many representatives, staff, and visitors who are descendants of slaves,” Rep. Anchía said in a statement. “The Texas Capitol is a symbol of solidarity, as lawmakers from various backgrounds and perspectives come together to create change for our communities. The presence of Confederate memorials on the Capitol grounds undermine the unifying work that lawmakers strive to undertake.”
HB 1186 would direct the State Preservation Board to remove the following items from public display:
The portrait of Albert Sidney Johnson located in the Senate chamber
The canons located on the south end of the Capitol, the Confederate Soldiers’ Monument located on the south grounds
The portrait of Richard William “Dick:” Dowling located in the House chamber
Hood’s Texas Brigade Monument located on the east grounds, the portrait of Jefferson Davis located in the senate chamber
Terry’s Texas Rangers Monument located on the south grounds
“Although we cannot change, nor should we deny, the history of our nation, we can move forward and continue to promote a society that is accepting and inclusive of all individuals from across the state,” said Rep. Anchía.
Also on Tuesday, State Rep. Jarvis Johnson (D-Houston) announced he filed House Bill 36, which would abolish Confederate Heroes Day, also known as Confederate Memorial Day.
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