Dallas Removes Monuments for the BLM Movement

This article was originally published on June 27, 2020.

The Black Lives Matter Movement has become viral; with protesters taking to the streets with riots and peaceful protests, destroying statues of historical figures, and setting various things aflame. Several monuments of George Washington have been vandalized and other statues have been pulled down entirely. Dallas has not been excluded from these changes, and are in fact helping change things along the way under the influence of protesters.

The Civil War took place from 1861 to 1865. Shortly thereafter, slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment. Despite an entire war between the country and a new amendment, African Americans are still fighting for equality, even today. States in the South, like Texas, that fought for the Confederacy, have been fighting backlash against some fo the statues and memorials created for Confederate soldiers.

Since 2016, Dallas has made actions to change various names of schools with racist links to Confederate soldiers and other racist figures. John B Hood Middle School was first renamed in 2016, but the rest were soon to follow. In 2018, Robert E Lee Elementary School was changed to Geneva Heights. That same year, William L Cabell Elementary changed to Chapel Hill Preparatory, and Stonewall Jackson Elementary was changed to Mockingbird Elementary School. The correlation between these four Dallas schools? They were all named after Confederate generals and soldiers during the Civil War, in which Texas fought to keep slavery. This act, though, was only the beginning.

Since George Floyd’s death, a black man who was killed by a white police officer on May 25, things have begun to change dramatically. Dallas first started listening to protestors on June 4th, when they made their first move. In the Dallas LoveField Airport, the renowned statue entitled “One Riot, One Ranger” was removed. This Texas Ranger was supposedly known to prevent African American students from enrolling in public schools. Later, on June 9th, the Denton Confederate Soldier Monument was removed from Denton, TX, after it was voted by the county to be removed. On June 11th, 3 statues were announced for removal; The Statue of Richard W. Dowling, The Spirit of the Confederacy, and a statue of Christopher Columbus (after being vandalized in spray paint). The next day, Dallas’ Confederate War Memorial, was announced to be removed after several attempts of vandalism. Forth Worth removed a monument the following day.

For a little bit more than a month, protesters have been fighting to establish justice and equality in the country (and world) that we live in. While these people fight, the government may finally begin to listen to the people of our country. Although these steps of taking down a few statues and monuments may seem small, it has been a huge step for the African American community, and hopefully, more change should be soon to come. Make sure to spread joy and happiness within this town, and maybe our world will begin to change for the better.