Some time back, I noted the first rumbling of a gathering storm that promised to end with removal of a once cherished statue from the Texas A&M campus (here and here). It is a statue of Lawrence Sullivan Ross, Indian fighter, Confederate General, Governor of Texas, and quondam President of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University). Ross is generally credited with saving the young and struggling college when the State Legislature wanted to disband it, and he was able to do this because Texans of his day respected him as a man who had honorably defended the South against its enemies.
Texans of today not so much.
Two days ago, the base of the statue was vandalized with spray-paint tags that read “BLM,” “ACAB” (All Cops Are Bastards) and “Racist.” The torso and face of the statue were splattered with red paint, and its head was decorated with a gay rainbow wig. It is at this moment wrapped in a tarpaulin, awaiting a peaceful protest scheduled for this afternoon.
The protesters will demand that the statue be removed, but it is said they may be met by a counter-protest demanding that it remain where it is. A compromise would be to leave the statue in place, and likewise leave in place the new and expressive additions. This would be a bold and vibrant emblem of the Spirit of the New University.
But speaking as one old Cracker to another:
“And now the storm has laid thee low,
All jade and bronze and gold,
And never will thy leaves again
The dappled sunlight hold.”
Berthan Openheim, “To a Fallen Oak” (1921)