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Confederate Monument Committee to recommend keeping statue on Denton Square

Confederate Monument Committee to recommend keeping statue on Denton Square

February 01
12:05 2018

The Confederate Monument Committee decided Thursday to recommend the Denton County Commissioners Court keep a Confederate statue as is on the Denton Square and add context to its purpose. The recommendation will go to the commissioners court on Tuesday.

The final vote was 12-3 in favor of keeping the statue. The commissioners will have final say on the future of the monument.

About 30 people watched the committee members discuss the statue for around two hours. Each of the 15 members had seven minutes to share their viewpoint.

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John Baines presents his ideas to modify the confederate statue located at the downtown square to the Denton County Confederate Memorial Advisory Committee. He illustrates the statue with kiosks on each side with a large sign that blocks the pathway that goes under the statue.

After initial sharing, 10 members voted to keep the statue and five voted to move it. A discussion followed to persuade members to change their vote.

When Chairman John Baines envisioned an outline of the included context, many members changed their vote.

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John Baines discusses his suggestion to modify the confederate memorial located in the downtown square. His suggestion is to include the names of all veterans from Denton county.

Baines drew a picture of the context he suggested. This included information on the Confederacy and audio and visuals to explain the history of slavery.

Willie Hudspeth said everyone brought their past experiences to the committee. He agreed with the option Baines presented.

Donna Hernandez thinks it is irresponsible to move the statue. She said we need to condemn slavery, not soldiers.

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A long-time Denton resident, Donna Hernandez, gives insight of her heritage to connect it to the Confederate statue discussion.

Howard Watt said most millennials, who spoke during public input sessions, wanted the statue moved.

“I don’t think that monument is a unifying principle,” Watt said. “As long as it is there it will divide us.”

He also said Baines led the committee with respect and dignity. Most members made similar statements.

Alfred Sanchez said the Civil War was about slavery.

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Denton County Confederate Memorial Advisory Committee members listen to Alfred Sanchez give his short speech about his opinion on the confederate statue just outside of the Denton County Courthouse on the Square.

“No amount of lipstick will hide what the Confederate soldiers fought for,” Sanchez said.

Baines was in favor of moving the statue but compromised with an ideal vision of context. This was done to create a greater consensus.

“I hope that our recommendation will have a meaningful outcome,” Baines said.

Featured Image: The Denton County Confederate Memorial Committee give a moment of silence before beginning the discussion on the Confederate Memorial. Photos by Omar Gonzalez

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Devin Rardin

Devin Rardin

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2 Comments

  1. Neil Nevins
    Neil Nevins February 01, 14:33

    Happy Black History month! Denton is complicit in celebrating a racist past! hooray!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Dougkille
    Dougkille February 01, 20:02

    Imagine that you were a black man in the early twentieth century and you were going to the courthouse to be judged or recive justice. What would greet you? A monument to the confederacy, a soldier of an army dedicated to keeping you in slavery. How would that make you feel? Knowing that you were to judged by the descendents of those men. People still dedicated to their “lost cause”. Greeted by a statue that has a white and colored drinking fountain on each side. A stature placed there by the daughters of the confederacy a group dedicated to rewriting the history of that war and the south. A south that claimed The United States constitution was wrong when it claimed “all men were created equal” a south that claimed that the natural state of the black man was to be subservient to the white man. How would you feel going to receive equal justice under the law?
    How would you feel now if you were a black man and your local government voted to continue their heratige of hate. That that stature is still there greeting you as you walk on public land, the Denton town square. How would you feel seeing a monument to a man that wanted to keep you in chains.

    Reply to this comment

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