Officials in the city of Austin, Texas are making a series of recommendations to remove any hint of the city’s past ties to historical figures that supported slavery.
One of those recommendations even includes renaming the entire city, which serves as the state capital.
The city is named for Stephen F. Austin, the “father of Texas” who established the first town in the state over 200 years ago. While Texas was under the control of Mexico, Austin opposed efforts to outlaw slavery. It is a position relatively unknown to most Texans, but in a time where any connection to slavery is being wiped, it is now a major scandal for some.
Changing the name of the Texas capital would be a momentous undertaking, but the city is famous for being notoriously liberal, so a change is not out of the possibility.
A report by Austin’s Equity Office made a list of recommendations that included renaming streets and neighborhoods that honor Confederate leaders.
The report also cited the city’s namesake, Stephen F. Austin, ‘the father of Texas.’
Austin is now considered a controversial figure because of his opposition to banning slavery when Texas was a part of Mexico 200 years ago.
He was the leader of the American settler movement in the territory that was then known as Tejas, which was a state in the Mexican confederation.
Austin and the settlers grew hostile to the Mexican government when it sought to ban slavery.
The escalating tension eventually led to the Texas Revolution, resulting in its breakaway from Mexico and its birth as an independent republic.
Word of the proposed change is even making the national news.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 29, 2018
News of the city’s recommendations was reported by the Austin American-Statesman.
The city report also recommends renaming other areas, including Pease Park, the neighborhood of Bouldin Creek, and streets and communities named after William Barton.
Known as the ‘Daniel Boone of Texas,’ Barton was among the American settlers in Texas who owned slaves during the same period.
Stephen F. Austin, ‘the father of Texas’ is now considered a controversial figure because of his opposition to banning slavery when Texas was a part of Mexico 200 years ago +4
Stephen F. Austin, ‘the father of Texas’ is now considered a controversial figure because of his opposition to banning slavery when Texas was a part of Mexico 200 years ago
There are those who are not supportive of the campaign to rename streets and neighborhoods.
They say that doing so would inconvenience them since it would require changing addresses and altering their business correspondences.
Some took to Twitter to voice their disapproval of the proposal.
Absolutely you can all rot. This is AUSTIN TEXAS. these men and women were products of their times. Like Ceasar. Like Alexander. They had about 100000 slaves. That time has passed. That does not diminish the risks they took to create this great state.
— 0sgw0 (@0sgw0) July 29, 2018
In April, the Austin City Council voted to rename streets named after Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis.
Lee was a general who commanded the forces of the Confederacy during the Civil War.
Davis was the president of the Confederacy.
The decision by the Austin City Council was opposed by a majority of the residents who lived on those streets.
While renaming streets and neighborhoods requires just a simple vote by the council, changing the name of the city is a bit more complicated.
Some support the change just to make a statement.
Knowing that it will make a bunch of racists mad I support changing the name of Austin, Texas.
— Mr. Onederful® (@ericonederful) July 29, 2018
Replacing the name ‘Austin’ can only be done by an election since it would require altering the city charter.
Last year, the University of Texas at Austin removed the statues of four Confederate-era figures from a main area on campus, saying they had become symbols of white supremacy.
Many, however, were adamant that the change would not happen.
Not going to happen. Austin will stay Austin, Texas.
— Barbie (@txsbarbie1) July 29, 2018
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