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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott agreed Friday to remove a plaque in the state Capitol that rejects slavery as the underlying cause of the Civil War, bending after years of resistance by state Republican leaders in the face of Confederate monuments falling nationwide.
A unanimous vote by the State Preservation Board, which Abbott chairs, ordered the removal of the 60-year-old plaque that pledges to teach “the truths of history,” adding that “one of the most important of which is that the war between the states was not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery.”
Plaque - Dozen - Confederate - Markers - Texas
The plaque is among nearly a dozen Confederate markers in and around the Texas Capitol. It’s the first slated to come down since the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to the removal of a string of Confederate monuments nationwide.
But Abbott and state leaders resisted acting on similar calls in Texas, and the governor made no comment after Friday’s vote. Texas Republicans had been resolute after the Charlottesville rally that tearing down Confederate markers wouldn’t change history, but pressure intensified after a black lawmaker from Dallas began condemning the plaque that hangs near his Capitol office as historically indefensible.
Dallas - State - Rep - Eric - Johnson
Dallas state Rep. Eric Johnson appeared unsure after Friday’s vote whether efforts to remove other Confederate symbols at the Texas Capitol would become easier.
“Why shouldn’t we be able to talk about the monuments on the Capitol grounds or anything else,” Johnson said. “I don’t think it’s a conversation we should be afraid to have, not in 2019...
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