It’s time for Texas to stop honoring white supremacists.
The Texas Reconstruction Project pursues public education regarding white supremacy in Texas and the removal from public land of every device by which white supremacists, especially those related to the Confederacy, are honored.
I know you’re thinking, “Wait a minute! Texas honors white supremacists?” They sure do and they have for over a century. Most people don’t even realize it. Nearly every town in Texas has some type of ode to white supremacy.
The Texas Reconstruction Project isn’t just one group, instead it’s a collection of groups and people from many different towns who have come together for a common cause. Several of these groups have been featured on Living Blue in Texas, although not all of them are included in this seven city tour. (Days, times, locations, and links to Facebook events below)
Despite what the local yokles say, the Texas Reconstruction project is not Antifa, they aren’t looking to tear anything down illegally or burn anything up. Their purpose is to educate.
October is the month that the Great Hanging at Gainesville took place.
In October, 1862, during the height of the Civil War forty men were hung in Gainesville after being suspected Unionists, two other men were shot and killed while trying to escape. They were accused of treason against the Confederacy and conspiring to commit an insurrection.
Much like the Salem Witch Trials, there was no evidence that the men were actually involved in any type of abolitionist sentiment. They were murdered by the Confederacy out of fear, instead of fact. During that same time, nearly 150 people in North Texas were killed for being suspected Unionists.
This is an important event in the Confederate history with North Texas and one of the many reasons why education is needed. Although the Confederacy killed North Texans, in the same areas, over 150 years later they are still being memorialized and worshiped. Why?
The Texas Reconstruction Projects isn’t bringing protests to these towns.
They are bringing education.
Each event will have speakers from the town, community leaders and activists, and they will also have historians who will be specifically talking about the Confederacy. The Confederacy was founded on keeping the institution of slavery and after they lost the Civil War they unleashed 100 years of terror on the south, with the KKK, Jim Crow, and segregation.
Many of these small Texas towns, and towns all over the south were bamboozled by the hate group, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). The UDC, in conjunction with the Ku Klux Klan, was instrumental in the horror inflicted on Black people in the early to mid 1900s. These Confederate statues and symbologies were placed in the height of the Jim Crow era, intentionally to intimidate Black American.
The UDC also lodged one of the greatest disinformation campaigns in American history with the Lost Cause, erasing history, and influencing generations of white youth. In 2020 the UDC, the Lost Cause, and the Confederacy has no place in America.
Are only protests and education involved with removal of white supremacy symbology in Texas?
No. While many of these groups have demonstrations on a regular weekly basis, they are also working with city councils, county commissioners, and other local residents to De-Confederate their towns legally and with the participation of the community. Each group is doing different things at the moment and you should look them up on Facebook to find out more ways that you can help.
Which cities are included in the tour and when?
(Click each link for the corresponding Facebook event.)
Thursday, October 22, 6:00 PM; Sherman, TX. The group in Sherman has been protesting the statue up there for months, although there hasn’t been much coverage of it. They have put their foot down, local Sherman residents will not stand for these Confederate monuments as they are remnants of white supremacist for intimidation against Black people.
Friday, October 23, 4:30 PM; Kaufman, TX. Kaufman’s group is called De-Confederate Kaufman, they are a nonpartisan public group dedicated to the discussion of confederate history and the removal of the statue at the entrance of the Courthouse in Kaufman County.
Saturday, October 24, 9:30 AM; Dallas, TX. In Dallas, this group is working towards renaming Lamar St. to Botham Jean Blvd. If you missed it last week, Living Blue in Texas published an article about who Mirabeau Lamar was. Here’s a hint, he wasn’t a good guy.
Saturday, October 24, 5:00 PM; McKinney, TX. This Saturday, in McKinney, local community members have organized a “Conversation on Race.” While the advisory board, who has been meeting regarding the statue for months now, they are due to give their recommendations to city council tonight. We’ll keep y’all updated on what the outcome is, but whether they decide to move the statue or not, McKinney has had a lot of struggles this last year with race. This will be a moment for both education and healing.
Sunday, October 25, 2:00 PM; Durant, OK. Only 30 miles north of Sherman, this Texoma town has been fighting for the removal of their own Confederate idol worship. Hosted by Black Lives Matter, Bryan County, they are the first De-Confederate efforts the Texas Reconstruction Project has in Oklahoma.
Sunday, October 25, 5:30 PM; Gainesville, TX. “Every Sunday, Chief.” Gainesville is continuing their weekly demonstration, this week joined by the Texas Reconstruction Project. The reason they choose October for this tour is because October is the month when the Great Hanging of Gainesville happened. This Sunday, they will include information and education regarding that massacre.
Monday, October 26, 3:00PM; Paris, TX. The final stop in the October Texas Reconstruction Project Rally is in Paris, Texas. As Mirabeau Lamar’s history has become a focal point of the reason for renaming the street in Dallas, it’s important to note that Paris is in the dead-smack of Lamar County. Hosted by the Paris Collective, they will be focusing their efforts on education and research into the specific issues surrounding the erection and current presence of these Confederate statues on public or government properties.
Towns who have active groups working towards removal their Confederate statues, which will be included in future tours.
Weatherford, Georgetown, Vernon, and Amarillo.
If you are part of a group that is looking to work towards the removal of the Confederate statue in your town or you are looking to get something together, you can reach out to the Texas Reconstruction Project on Facebook to be included in future tours.
Make sure you like the Texas Reconstruction Project on Facebook and keep your eyes peeled for live streams of each event, which will be posted on the page.