A bill to protect historical monuments has received preliminary approval from the Texas Senate on Tuesday.
However, Ector County Democratic Chair, JoAnna Keese, says there is appropriate venues for historical monuments.
“It just doens’t have a place for it anymore – not that it ever did. You have to preserve history is a bunch of crap. That’s what museums are for, that’s what textbooks are for, and that’s what the internet is for.”
She says even with approval from the House, defining what constitutes as “historical monument” or “historical memorial” would be complicated.
“I can’t believe in 2019, we’re still debating what the Cvil War was about. Like I can’t believe we have to have that conversation.” Also adding, she is worried the bill would limit local control.
“Becasue now the state is telling you, you can’t touch that monument. But, you have to figure out how to maintain it. Well you know, who pays for that?”
But proponent, Gary Edmiston, believes history should be preserved, and citizens should learn from it. “It has no affect on our future. We should be worried about our future, not something that happened 150 years ago.”
He says he was alive to experience the horrors of segregation first-hand and never hopes history repeats itself. He recalls having two separate schools where basketball players from each could not play with one another.
“There were restaurants that nobody hardly went to because it was fenced.”
And while he believes there is still a lot to learn from the past, he says he would support giving local governments more control.
“If people want to take down a monument in their city, I think it ought to be up to the citizens of that community.”