Araweelo  News Network
The University of Texas at Austin, the United States, has removed four Confederate statues, saying such public memorials have become “symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”

“Last week, the horrific displays of hatred at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville shocked and saddened the nation,” Greg Fenves, the school’s president, said in a statement on Sunday.

“These events make it clear, now more than ever, that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism,” he added.

Fenves said statues of Confederate General Robert L. Lee, Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston and Confederate Postmaster General John H. Reagan were also removed.

Lee commanded the pro-slavery Confederacy’s army in the American Civil War from 1862 until his surrender in 1865.

In 2015, the university removed a statue of Jefferson Davis, the former Confederate president, from its perch near the campus clock tower and shifted it to a history museum.

The university will also remove a statue of former Texas governor James Stephen Hogg, which was commissioned at the same time as the others, according to a school spokesman. Hogg was a follower of the conservative New South Creed which became popular following the Civil War.

The public debate over monuments for Confederate figures began last week after supremacists clashed with counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, leaving one person dead and several others injured.

The casualties happened when a 20-year-old suspected Nazi sympathizer smashed his car into the counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring some 20 others.

A statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was removed from the University of Texas campus in Austin early on Monday. (Photo by AP)

A large number of US politicians and civil rights leaders have called for the removal of Confederate statues that they say are promoting hatred, bigotry and racism.

“Erected during the period of Jim Crow laws and segregation, the statues represent the subjugation of African Americans,” Fenves said. “That remains true today for white supremacists who use them to symbolize hatred and bigotry.”

Trump defends Confederate monuments.



Following last week’s violence of white supremacists against the peaceful protesters, US President Donald Trump blamed “both sides” and failed to adequately condemn racism and hate groups.

On Thursday, Trump criticized the removal or consideration for removal of Confederate statues and monuments.

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can’t change history, but you can learn from it,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

A growing number of cities in California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee, Virginia, and Texas, as well as Washington, DC, have also removed or are planning to remove monuments of the pro-slavery Civil War Confederacy.