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And as the Union didn’t stand down to the Confederate traitors, these American citizens in Georgetown don’t plan on standing down either.

In 1916, during the height of the Jim Crow era, the United Daughters of the Confederacy placed an ode to white supremacy in the form of a monument to the soldiers of the Confederate states on the Williamson County Courthouse lawn in Georgetown, Texas. Over 100 years later Black and brown citizens along with their white allies are tirelessly trying to get the statue moved. 

As we’ve seen in Gainesville, Weatherford, and all over the state of Texas, the culture of white supremacy is pushing back against the efforts to make the public space in front of what should be the halls of justice, inclusive for all Georgetown residents. 

The efforts to move the statue began over 10 years ago, however in the last decade the groups and the people dedicated to seeing the courthouse lawn free of the reminders of slavery has changed. The current group working towards the monument’s removal is WilCo Patriots. They were formed in 2019 and after the murder of George Floyd they ramped up their protesting efforts to bring attention to the racist symbology which shadows the courthouse in Georgetown. 

The aggressors in Georgetown. 

The primary group in Georgetown which has been showing up to protests is the Neo-Confederate hate group, the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. These, mostly older white men, have gone to the commissioners court spewing Lost Cause rhetoric and harrass peaceful protesters exercising their first amendment rights. 

Jason Norwood, one of the dedicated protesters out there every single week, who also happens to be a Black man, has had racial slurs thrown at him from the “counter-protesters” on several occasions. He’s also an officer in the US Army. So, what’s happening, this Black American soldier has been verbally assaulted by people who love and obsess over traitors to this nation. The irony is astounding. 

These angry individuals who show up to the protests on several occasions have physically assaulted protesters, they have pulled guns on them, and they have vandalized their personal belongings.

They want so bad for us Americans to believe the Confederate States were not built on hate and the Confederate war was not one about slavery, that they try to show it… with hate and racism. 

Yeah, no one said they were smart. 

Their favorite thing to yell at the protesters? “Trump 2020!” While the protesters are standing against racism and inequality, the response to that has been, “Trump 2020.” Is there anyone who still doubts that Trump is a white supremacist or that his followers follow him because they are also white supremacists? 

Mostly, these old men sit in lawn chairs and drink beer on the courthouse grass, heckling protesters. However, since the county commissioners voted to make a committee, their aggression has ramped up. 

As we’ve seen in many of these other Texas towns, the decision lies with county commissioners and the county judge, all but one happened to be a Republican. And as we’ve seen in these other Texas towns, these commissioners have been siding with hate groups.

Commissioner Russ Boles is the one who initially brought the issue to the table. In the August 11, 2020 commissioner meeting he said, “It wasn’t a question about whether the statue was appropriate on courthouse grounds, because it is appropriate.”  

Appropriate?

This monument on Williamson County Courthouse lawn represents oppression and slavery. 

This is a true statement. To say otherwise only represents a person’s lack of knowledge and education on the Confederacy, the cause of secession, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The cause of secession was slavery, which is supported by historical documentation, including the very Declaration of Secession which Texas wrote in 1861. 

The monument in front of the courthouse is of a Confederate soldier. A Confederate soldier who fought for the cause of keeping slavery. Whether each Confederate soldier owned slaves or not is a moot point, because the entire economic system in the south was built on slavery.

So, even if a southerner did not own slaves, he benefited from slavery. Whether he sold farm equipment to plantations getting rich off of free labor or he was someone that transported cotton to other states. The cotton industry in the 1860s in the south was worth the equivalent of what would be today $3 billion.

Even if a person did not own slaves, they still benefited from the dozens of industries that help support the cotton industry.

If the United Confederate States were formed to keep the institution of slavery and the Confederate soldiers fought to maintain the Confederate States as their own country, then the monument which depicts and idolizes a Confederate soldier absolutely represents slavery. 

The very fact that the monument sits on the county courthouse lawn is a representation to every Black man and woman that enters the Williamson County Courthouse, that the county is proud to memorialize slavery. That is oppression.

There is not one Black person in Williamson County who can enter the courthouse, a place which is supposed to be unbiased and for justice for all, without the shadow of oppression and slavery looming over their head as they walk up the courthouse steps.   

The geographical location of the statue is a shout from the mountain tops that Black and brown individuals in Williamson County will not be treated fairly or justly in their own county courthouse. 

And in 2020, this is something everyone should be against.  

No, Commissioner Boles, it is not appropriate. 

The county judge and the four commissioners voted that each one of them would appoint three members to this committee for a total of 15 committee members. They are each supposed to appoint members that are unbiased and have not made an opinion yet on the statue. 

However, both Judge Gravell and Commissioner Cynthia Long have indicated that they will appoint people who are Confederate sympathizers, or in favor of keeping the statue. Why? Cynthia Long said she believed the people protesting the white supremacist symbology in public spaces are “trying to dismantle the community.”

No matter how often in Texas we see these well-respected white people in elected offices, it never will stop being a jarring moment when they inadvertently admit that equality and inclusion hurts America’s white supremacy foundation. 

Understanding why in 2020 we are fighting over racist symbology in public spaces. 

Over the last 150 years, history has been erased with Lost Cause mythology. Not only has it been erased, but it’s also being allowed to survive and thrive in our nation. The Lost Cause is cancer which has gripped itself deep into the roots of America’s soul and until Lost Cause mythology is completely irradiated from our society, we will continue to struggle to reveal the history already erased by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. 

Over the last 150 years, history has been erased with Lost Cause mythology. Not only has it been erased, but it’s also being allowed to survive and thrive in our nation. The Lost Cause is cancer which has gripped itself deep into the roots of America’s soul and until Lost Cause mythology is completely irradiated from our society, we will continue to struggle to reveal the history already erased by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. 

Although the Lost Cause began immediately after the Civil War, it wasn’t until the United Daughters of the Confederacy came along that it was cemented in the very veins of America. When you understand who the United Daughters of the Confederacy were and who they still are today, you will know that the Lost Cause wasn’t only the biggest and most successful hoax in history, you’ll also know that the very base which the Lost Cause was built on is deeply soaked in white supremacy. 

It is imperative in this moment in history for everyone to know who the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) are and the things they have done to divide and hurt our country. Many of these Confederate worship issues in Texas we are seeing at this moment are the repercussions of the last century of evil that the UDC perpetrated in the name of the Confederacy. 

The Lost Cause is what kept white supremacy so prevalent in the south for decades.

And while the participation trophies aren’t the worst atrocities the UDC committed, they are by far what they are most well-known for. These memorials represented Confederate generals and soldiers. Between the 1910s and the 1930s, the UDC erected hundreds of Confederate monuments. During the Jim Crow era, these monuments were intended to terrorize Black people. By the 1920s, they also put up a monument to the KKK to commemorate the terror they inflicted during the Reconstruction era.  

The UDC is still active today, although its membership is much smaller than in the past. You can find them on social media, still preaching hatred. During the 2020 Black Lives Matter Uprising, many of the monuments and statues they erected 100 years ago were torn down, set on fire, and vandalized. All one has to do is look at their social media posts during this time to know they are still a racist organization. Their social media posts about these statues being “desecrated,” are filled with threats and discussions of tearing down Martin Luther King statues and burning black cemeteries. 

 

Having a racist monument on the lawn of a courthouse in a diverse community, where people of color who attend court with the symbol of slavery staring them down before they walk into the doors of justice, is the same thing as telling the Black community that at Williamson County Courthouse they will not be treated in an unbiased way.

It’s morally and ethically wrong. 

If the people of Georgetown want to keep their white supremacy idol, then the right thing to do would be to move it to a museum where they can go and drool on it all day long. Georgetown will never be an inclusive and racially equal community until the monument and worship of racist Confederate ideology are removed from the courthouse lawn.

What can you do to help?

Call and write Judge Gravell and the four county commissioners.

  • Demand that both Judge Gravell and Commissioner Long appoint non-biased members to the committee, who have not made up their mind about the statue yet.
  • Whether their is a committee or not, continue to contact this body and let them know how inappropriate the presence of a white supremacist monument is on the courthouse property.

Judge Bill Gravell JR
Phone: (512) 943-1550
ctyjudge@wilco.org

Commissioner Terry Cook
Phone: (512) 244-8610
commissioner1@wilco.org

Commissioner Cynthia Long
Phone: (512) 260-4280
clong@wilco.org

Commissioner Valerie Covie
Phone: (512) 943-3370
comm3@wilco.org

Commissioner Russ Boles
Phone: (512) 943-3761
russ.boles@wilco.org

  • Follow the efforts to De-Confederate Georgetown on Facebook.
  • Join the WilCo Patriots group on Facebook to help contribute to this moment.
  • Come and stand with the Americans in Georgetown every Saturday at 4:00 pm in front of the Williamson County Courthouse to demand that this public space be inclusive for all community members.
  • Always stand against racism and racist ideology.

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