Jerry Patterson writes controversial op-ed on removing Confederate statues

- In the midst of the crisis in Charlottesville over the weekend, back here in Austin, Robert E. Lee Road was defaced with a can of spray paint.
               
By Monday morning, someone had left a note too: "Thank you, person with spraypaint."
               
Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder said it's time for a name-change on the road.

"Why does it take somebody to get killed nationally to bring up this kind of talk?  Like I said before, these signs are not appropriate in the public.  Let's be more specific again Robert E. Lee, these people were terrorists.  You want to ride down a street with a terrorists’ name on it?" Linder said.

Council Member Greg Casar who said he lived in Charlottesville for 4 years, offered his support for a name-change as well.

"I have spoken with the Mayor and several of my council colleagues, and I believe that we should, and that we will, rename any city street that glorifies the lie of a righteous Confederacy," Casar said.

Former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson says there are many chapters in our history we should be ashamed of.  This is another one.  He has harsh words for groups like the KKK.

"They're nothing but chromosome-missing dirtbags, I mean they really are.  They shouldn't be walking the face of the earth with the rest of us," Patterson said.

Over the weekend Patterson wrote an op-ed that was published in the Dallas Morning News, basically saying if Confederate symbols are going to be removed because of white supremacy, the same standards should be applied to all historical figure tributes including Abraham Lincoln.  Patterson said often no one wants to hear that.

"When I tell them that Lincoln supported in his inaugural address, a constitutional amendment called the 'Corwin amendment' that would forever protect slavery in the constitution forever.  When I tell them and read what he said in the Lincoln-Douglas debates where Lincoln clearly stated that whites were superior," Lincoln said.

Linder disagrees with Patterson.

"Are these symbols appropriate?  No they're not.  Were these guys who we think were liberals, good presidents, were they racist?  Yes.  I'm clear about that.  But that's not an excuse, this is not a debate.  What we're saying is these symbols have a terroristic history, they're a public threat, nuisance and they should come down," Linder said. 

On Monday afternoon, interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley expressed his condolences to those who lost their lives in Charlottesville.
               
He said here in Austin they're familiar with marches and demonstrations.  He says the motto of APD's special response team is "Defend the First."
               
"One of the things that we do here is we work with the leaders of the various groups that tend to either protest, come out and march or come out and speak.  We work with them not only when they have activities planned.  We meet with them throughout the year," Manley said.

Manley said they're paying attention to upcoming events in town like the "Dixie Freedom Rally."

Patterson, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has some advice for the group organizing that.

"These boys need to stay home.  That's not gonna help," Patterson said. 

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