DALLAS – Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway said the 121-year-old Confederate War Memorial will come down by the end of the year.
This is not something that you can just solve overnight. It is something we can assure the citizens of this city [that] will take place,” said Caraway in an appearance on WFAA-TV’s Inside Texas Politics this morning.
“They’ll be down before Christmas,” he added.
But where do they go?
“That’s the next problem. Where do they go?,” Caraway explained to WFAA. “What do you do. That is not something that we the city council should make the decision on. We have to hear from the people and have input.”
That’s the purpose behind the commission which Mayor Mike Rawlings is establishing. The mayor wants community input to unite the city in figuring out how to tackle this issue.
But councilman Philip Kingston wants the statues down immediately. They’re located in Pioneer Park next to the convention center and adjacent to City Hall.
The council’s four African-American councilmembers, who want the statues removed, seem to favor the mayor’s approach.
“We don’t need to rush to get it done. We have to make sure that we are making the right decisions. Take the statue down, ok is the problem solved? No.” said Caraway. “This problem goes deeper than just a statue. We are in favor of taking the statue down but there is a process of making this equal across the city of Dallas and healing Dallas all at once.
In addition to the city, Dallas ISD has two campuses named after confederate generals. Next month, the board of trustees will discuss changing the names of Robert E. Lee Elementary and Stonewall Jackson Elementary – both confederate generals.
In a separate appearance on WFAA-TV’s Inside Texas Politics, Dan Micciche, board president, was asked whether there are enough votes to change the names of the schools.
“I think there’s a consensus on the board that these names should be changed. What we need to do is figure out what the process will be,” Micciche told WFAA.
“Last year, for example, the name of John B. Hood Elemenatry School was changed to Piedmont Global Academy. That passed unanimously on the consent agenda,” he added.
John Bell Hood was a confederate general from Kentucky during the Civil War.
Micciche said he will suggest the board consider using an expedited renaming process rather than waiting until next June to change the names.
“I’m hearing some opposition,” Micciche said when asked about reaction. “Based on social media I’m hearing a lot of support for making these changes. The horrible demonstration we saw in Charlottesville of hatred and violence and white supremacy has made people think about whether our schools should be named in honor of confederate leaders.”
How will the new names of the schools be selected?
“We would definitely want the local community and those schools to initiate and actually suggest the new names,” said Micciche.
Watch both interviews below: