Things That Matter

People Are Triggered That A Texas Ranger Statue Was Removed From A Texas Airport

The Texas Rangers have a long history of terrorizing communities of color along the southern border. Their violence has been documented in history books, documentaries, and novels that show the true viciousness of these law enforcement representatives. We are now seeing their statues fall with the other monuments representing violent and oppressive people from America’s dark and unreconciled history.

A statue of infamous Texas Ranger EJ Banks was taken down at the Love Field Airport in Dallas, Texas.

EJ Banks is one of the many Texas Rangers that fought terrorized communities of color in Texas. The slogan “ONE RIOT, ONE RANGER” on the statue is a reminder of a time he allowed for racial tensions to grow as a school was supposed to be integrated.

According to UTSA Libraries Special Collections, Banks was summoned to the high school under the orders of the governor. The point of the Texas Ranger being at the school was explicitly to defy a federal order and protect segregation. You can see an effiy of a Black man hanging from the school behind the group of white students with Banks.

The statue stood in the Love Field Airport for decades.

Much like Confederate monuments to the Black community, the Texas Rangers are a constant reminder of the violence against the Mexican and Mexican-American communities. The true extent of the cruelty inflicted by the Texas Rangers has been repressed until recently when people started to tell the full story.

There is no lack of people on social media who are absolutely furious that this monument to racism was removed.

We all know that Twitter is a place that all people share their unfiltered thoughts. As such, people on Twitter are pledging to avoid this airport at all cost and others claim that this is an attempt to erase history.

Some people seem to be unaware fo the true dealings of the Texas Rangers. One example of the violence and brutality of the Texas Rangers is the Texas town of Porvenir. The town was along the Texas-Mexico border and was heavily populated by Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.

In the dead of night on Jan. 28, 1918, the Texas Rangers joined U.S. military personnel and white local ranchers to devastate Porvenir. What followed was a night filled with all men and older boys being rounded up in the middle of the night and heartlessly executed. The attack was part of a larger strategy of violence in the U.S. to stunt the economic and wealth opportunities for minority communities. This kind of violence has persisted over the decades and evolved to continue to exist within modern American society.

A few people are pointing out that removing a statue of a violent racist is not erasing history.

Sure, statues are one way to preserve history. However, it is written in books so the history of EJ Banks and the Texas Rangers is still out there. Also, how many people really stopped at that statue in the airport to learn who the person was and what he stood for? Likely, it was just a general representation of the Texas Rangers to people making their way through that airport.

The history of the Texas Rangers exists and cannot be erased.

Statues are usually used to celebrate or exalt someone. Taking down a statue of Robert E. Lee, Christopher Columbus, or EJ Banks is not erasing the history. However, there was once a chance to replace the statue and it might be time to revisit that.

According to D Magazine, last year the city was a proposal that would have replaced the statue of EJ Banks with that of civil rights attorney Adelfa Callejo.

Callejo made a name for herself fighting for civil rights for immigrants in Texas as well as education. Her fight for education is so revered that there is an elementary school named in her honor. The statue to honor her now resides in a park in downtown Dallas. It is the first statue of a woman in Dallas. Maybe it is time to give her a place greeting people to Dallas.

READ: A New Documentary Exposes The Massacre In Porvenir, Texas That Left 15 Mexican-Americans Dead

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