Last month Tarrant County Commissioners voted to remove a Confederate statue from the yard in front of the county courthouse.

By Luis C. Castillo


The monument was dedicated to confederate war soldiers and their descendants and erected in 1953. Before the Commissioners voted, there was a long list of residents who spoke about removing the monument or keeping it. I took the opportunity to speak in favor of removing the Confederate statute.

The social and political landscape across the nation has taken concerted efforts to remove all commemorative Confederate symbols from public property. This issue was inflamed by the recent killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, which has led to massive protests against racism and police brutality. Passionate pleas to remove or to keep the Confederate monument were plentiful at the Commissioners Court meeting. My argument in support of removing Confederate monuments is as follows.

When I was 18 years old, I graduated from the grueling U.S. Marines Boot Camp in San Diego, California. I remember clearly part of the oath I swore to read something along the lines, “I swear to preserve, protect, and defend the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I am sure every American at some point in their life takes a similar oath or pledges allegiance to the United States. The Confederate States were by principal, policy, and practice an enemy of the United States. The Confederacy took arms against the United States

to maintain slavery in the southern states. The mere thought of supporting, embracing, and glorifying Confederate monuments on government property is treacherous.

I reminded the Tarrant County Commissioners that as elected officials if they support maintaining Confederacy statutes on county property, their patriotism is called into question. If they as elected officials support Confederacy monuments or symbols, it indicates which side of the American Civil War they would have taken. And if so, they are traitors.

We know there are several views as to why Confederate monuments should remain in place. But I also know when I see the KKK, white supremacists, and Nazi groups march or protest, I always see them waving the Confederate flag. It is one thing to learn from recorded history and quite another to commemorate symbols of racism. The Confederacy should be kept in academic circles and museums.

The Tarrant County Commissioners voted to remove the Confederate statue from the courthouse. I am glad they saw the wisdom in doing so and let us hope it serves as a starting point towards dismantling structural racism in our society and institutions.

Racism is a horrible and inhumane social disease. It is ingrained into our society and institutions since the founding of this nation. Racism has been passed on from generation to generation, and here we are today in 2020, and still, a lot of Americans have not learned to judge a person by the content of their character and not by their skin color. But the persistent question remains – will they ever learn? So far, history has answered that question.


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