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The University of Texas at Austin Just Removed 3 Confederate Statues from Its Campus

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Following protests surrounding Confederate statues in Charlottesville, Virginia this month, which turned violent and deadly when a white supremacist drove a car into protestors, the University of Texas at Austin removed three statues of Confederate generals from its campus overnight, The New York Times reports.

In a statement, the university's president Greg Fenves cited the hatred shown during the protests in Charlottesville as the reason the statues were ultimately removed 10 days before classes at UT begin.

"Last week, the horrific displays of hatred at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville shocked and saddened the nation," Fenves said. "These events make it clear, now more than ever, that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism."

The statues, which depicted Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnson and Confederate cabinet member John Reagan, were removed late Sunday night and into early Monday morning. The university purposefully gave little warning about their removal and took them down overnight "for public safety and to cause the least disruption to the university community," the Times reports.

"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."

The statues will instead be moved to the school's Briscoe Center for scholarly study, according to Fenves's statement.

UT isn't the first university to remove statues of Confederate historical figures in response to the events in Charlottesville. Duke University removed its own statue of Robert E. Lee on Saturday following protests on campus - and hopefully, these schools won't be the last to take action.


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