By VERN WUENSCHE
Mr. Gregory Fenves, President
The University of Texas at Austin
100 Inner Campus Drive, Stop G3400
Austin, Texas 78712
Dear Mr. Fenves,
I have been a University of Texas Life Member for fifty years and I am outraged. Your letter advising me that you have removed the statues of Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston, John Reagan and Stephen Hogg has caused me to see RED. I am incensed. I am angry. And yes I am VERY outraged.
Your basis for doing so is absurd. You say that: ”Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.” . . . Let’s see, a few hundred people (or even a few thousand) espousing that hateful view caused you to draw THAT conclusion about ALL Americans? A logical and rational Ph.D. would not.
Adding to that lack of logic, you try to cover yourself by using the standard bureaucratic approach of citing a 2015 study which obviously included mostly fellow liberals. And even THESE 3100 people included in the study were evenly divided about the statues. And TODAY 62% of Americans say to leave the statues alone.
You teach History in your classes and yet you are preventing students from learning it on campus because of a small number of misguided and hateful individuals. Our own Texas Governor Greg Abbott made a statement which every high school graduate knows: Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Is your real reason for statue removal that you fear for your own personal safety like those at your Berkley alma mater who installed a $9,000.00 door so the President would have a way to flee from students taking over the administration building? Or is it that you are just a weak Berkley liberal lacking spine who does not believe his duty is to turn out STRONG students who can influence the world in a positive way. A large part of a good worthwhile education is developing a student’s mental toughness so that after the student graduates, he or she can use their knowledge and ability to improve our nation. In the real outside world, only the strong survive.
By removing the statues you are saying that UT students today are TOO weak to LOOK at a statue the existence of which is contrary to their beliefs. Tell that to a Marine combatant LOOKING into the face of an enemy holding a rifle behind the door he has just kicked in. He risks his life so those students at UT can continue to go to school and look forward to living in a safe nation.
You are in Texas now. Texans are tough. Turning out students who are NOT do them no service. In the past here Texas Rangers fearlessly placed their lives on the line to protect the frontier. Tough Texas women here had only a rifle to protect themselves and their children from Comanche Indians while their husband was out hunting for food. Texans respect their men and women and do not treat them like children. In World War II 18 year-old Texans gave their lives for their country and yet you are saying today’s students cannot LOOK at a statue. I have a higher opinion of them than you apparently do. Just leave them alone, provide the necessary security for any stupid behavior and they will work out whatever problems they have.
I have one directive: PLACE THE STATUES BACK IN THEIR ORIGINAL LOCATION. Proud Texans and even prouder UT grads do not take kindly to ANYONE messing with their history. Particularly an outsider.
BBA 1967, MBA 1968