Confederate statues on UT campus defaced

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Three statues-with ties to the Confederacy-on the University of Texas Austin campus were tagged sometime early Tuesday morning.

The Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Albert Sidney Johnston statues were tagged with “Black Lives Matter” in red paint. The Jefferson Davis statue also had “Bump All The Chumps” tagged on one side.

Graffiti removal crews were already working on removing the paint by 10 a.m. Tuesday. University police believe the tagging happened between 1 a.m. – 7 a.m. on Tuesday.

Robert E. Lee commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War. Jefferson Davis was the President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Albert S. Johnston served as a general in the Confederate States Army.

UT Austin President Greg Fenves met with Student Government leaders Monday to talk about taking down the Davis statue. In a statement Tuesday, Fenves said he plans to announce a committee of students, faculty members and alumni “that will discuss the future of the Jefferson Davis statue and provide a range of options for me to review,” but the final decision about the location of the Davis statue is up to Fenves.

Dr. Gregory Vincent, vice president for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, will chair the committee.

“I deeply understand the concerns of our students who have raised this issue,” Fenves said in a statement. “I have been working closely with them to consider the range of options that recognize the impact this statue has on our students and the need for us to understand and learn from our history.”

Fenves says he will consult with the UT System Board of Regents but the board’s approval is not required for removal or relocation.

Over the years, the statues near the UT Tower have been defaced numerous times. Besides Davis and Johnston, there are two other Confederate-related statues on the south lawn: Robert E. Lee and John H. Reagan.

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