Protest Sparks Further Conversation
The protest on July 8, 2017 to remove the racist confederate Travis Park statue last Saturday brought out about 50 protesters along with Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert Jr., former Councilman Mario Salas, and Black Lives Matter San Antonio Activist Mike Lowe. The confederate statue initially stood its ground in 1899 and has remained to this day but it's standing on shaky ground now. It must go. Mayor Nirenberg says our city is "A City ForAll".. We believe his slogan and that he will move forward with this as our last Mayor was not so interested.
Walter Perry, a contributing writer of The Observer spoke out to the crowd “You don’t see any statues of Hitler. People would be sensitive to that.” Black Lives Matter Activist, Mike Lowe said the statue is “part of a heritage built on hate and the subjugation of black people.”
In 2015, County Judge Nelson Wolff had 2 confederate plaques removed from downtown areas because of the same confederacy shown on them. Bexar
County Judge Nelson Wolff explained they're not going to glorify a symbol of
hate. Two plaques were on the exterior of two buildings. One referred to the
Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway. The other included the Confederate flag.
They were taken down as these confederate symbols were on County property. We have a different situation with Travis Park as it is a city park and this vote must go to City Council. So surely if that was Judge Wolff's tone regarding the same issue (confederacy) he will and should stand with his fellowCommissioner - Tommy Calvert Jr.,who is asking all to support this removal/relocation of the confederate statue.
Our new city council is a robust one with our own District 2 Councilman Shaw
taking the lead and officially drafting a request to Council to remove or relocate
the statue along with Councilman Trevino. Councilman Saldana also supports this removal he explained last Saturday at the protest and applauded Commissioner Calvert for his efforts.
We have great faith in our new city leadership with Mayor Nirenberg and our City Council to make the right decision.
Not everyone agrees. One reader called in to the Observer leaving a voicemail saying, "Are you people crazy? How does this statue hurt you? What do you think-people pass by or go to the statue and sit there and cry?" Well, no ma'am we do not know if that has happened but if it has it would be understood why and why would you want that to happen? We understand that she doesn't understand and that is the problem.
The same problem with a man who wrote in saying, "Put it in my yard Mr. Mayor I will even donate a 100 foot flagpole to hang the confederate flag next to it". He doesn't understand either.
What we do know is that elected leaders should understand and hopefully they do and stand with their other elected leaders. Our own history with Judge Nelson Wolff removing the confederate plaques and County Commissioner Calvert standing up now for this statue removal shows our city council what has been done in the past.
SA Charter Moms Blog wrote a piece about this monument in their blog story 3 years ago called "Travis Park Is a FreshWay To Play in Downtown SanAntonio" (www.sachartermoms.com) and after explaining all the fun things to do at the park it comes to the statue but gives parents a soft warning that this monument can be explained to your kids in a couple different ways it states-
The focal point of the park is a Confederate war memorial, built in1899. Which raises the question: What do you say when your kids ask what the memorial is for?
Depending on your kids’ ages, here are some talking points you can use and adapt:
●This monument is to commemorate the soldiers who died fighting for theConfederacy. A long time ago, theConfederate states (including Texas)seceded from the United States, and that started the Civil War. Many people died. The Confederacy lost the war, so Texas became part of theUnited States again.
●A long time ago, some white people in Texas owned black people as slaves. Slavery is wrong. Slavery ended after the Civil War. Even today, life is not fair for black people because of the history of slavery.
●Texas is a good place, but sometimes good societies make bad choices.We are still changing and trying todo better.
●We should treat all people the same,regardless of their skin color. It’s what’s inside that counts.
Now unless you choose the first explanation your kiddo isn't getting the whole story hence the other 3 options for explanations. The last 3 bullets to choose from all support the reason this article is even being written or why there was a protest. Slavery. When you see a monument that is racial in a museum of some sort your mind categorizes it as history. When you take a picture in front of it because it's so tall and your just a tourist and post the pic for all back home to see- they know what San Antonio stands for and this is not what we stand for not in the least.
City council will not convene on this until they start session again in August. Until then the narrative will remain to ensure the issue is one of the FIRST on the agenda.