Forum returns, highlights statue commentary

Vik Shirvaikar and Janhavi Nemawarkar

At The Daily Texan, we strive to include a broad array of voices — a mission which can and should require us to seek perspectives from beyond the basement. We’re excited to bring back our Forum page every Friday. In this space, we will feature editorials, stories and letters submitted by anyone, particularly within the UT community, who wants their opinion heard.

This week, our Forum contributors delve into the implications of the removal of Confederate statues from the South Mall, a decision made in response to events barely a week earlier, when white supremacists rallied to defend a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on the University of Virginia campus.

First, we have a piece from Dr. Peniel E. Joseph, professor in the College of Liberal Arts’ History Department and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. He argues that Confederate statues should be studied in museums, but understood as a shameful betrayal of the values that this nation was founded on.

Guest columnist Jordan Carney agrees that Confederate ideals should be protested, but worries that the university’s reactionary decision to remove the statues allows white supremacists to obfuscate what they represent.

Finally, guest columnist Jacob Hood provides an overview of the university’s questionable history of racism, and argues that the university still has a long way to go to fully acknowledge its history and become truly welcoming for students of color.

For more student opinions on this topic, check out our “We Asked” video segment on The Daily Texan website. To add your thoughts — on this, or anything else — don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected]

Nemawarkar is a Plan II and government junior from Austin. Shirvaikar is a math and economics junior from Frisco..