WILLIAMSON COUNTY,Texas - A monument to Confederate soldiers, on the south end of the courthouse Square in Georgetown, has stood for 101 years. Tuesday a group went before Williamson County Commissions and said it was time for the monument to go.
"Let’s move on to the future and not keep Georgetown mired in the past," said Clarissa Jackson who lives in Sun City.
Jackson urged the commissioners to follow the lead of officials at UT. Early Monday the University removed the statues of two Confederate generals and two Texas statesmen from the south campus Mall. For Jackson and those who joined her before the commission there's no distinction between Memorials for individual confederates and those that honor all the soldiers who fought in grey.
"I believe that all of those statues honor an ideology, and that ideology is the Confederacy, which was fought to protect and to preserve slavery," said Jackson.
Local businessman Mike Gavit spoke for keeping the memorial.
"I feel like we need to step back and take a pause," he said.
Gavit told the commission for him the monuments like the one in front of the courthouse are about remembering history and preserving heritage.
"If we keep removing our History and our Heritage where is it going to stop, are we going to remove the Alamo statues now," asked Gavit.
The commissioners took no action on the request.
There are other memorials and plaques here on the Courthouse grounds, and it was suggested, as a possible compromise, that a new memorial could be placed out here, one that would honor the memory of African Americans, and other minorities, who lived and struggled here in Williamson County.
A similar call was made not that long ago. It came after the 2015 attack on members of a historically black church in South Carolina. Local officials rejected the idea but Rabbi Jonathan Dade there still time to find common ground.
"I think there is a way to bring about that unity in dealing with the monuments, there are people who want to remember their great grandfather, or great grandmother who served and they can do that, they can have that statue, I believe it’s important to do so accurately, And so also put another period piece of showing what minorities were doing in that time," said Rabbi Dade.
Near the confederate monument is a statue put up last year that could be viewed an attempt at compromise.
It’s of former Williamson Co DA Dan Moody who gained fame in this courtroom prosecuting the Klan back in the '20's. But Moody was seeking justice for was white man who had been attacked by Klan members. Because of that and also for Moody's support of repressing minority voting rights the statue for those wanting change provides no balance to the confederate monument around the corner.
There was also a call to remove the statue of Dan Moody was also made. It was a request that's all the more interesting because in two weeks a play about Moody's fight with the Klan will start a month long run. It will be performed on the second floor in court room where the actual trial was held.