Austin under fire


Austin city report on Confederate monuments suggests renaming city

A new report from Austin, Texas’s Equity Office about existing Confederate monuments suggested changing the city's name.

The report identified several neighborhoods and 10 streets named in honor of the Confederacy or William Barton, a slave owner dubbed the “Daniel Boone of Texas," that could be changed, The Austin American-Statesman reported Friday.

Austin’s namesake, Stephen F. Austin — also referred to as the "father of Texas" — opposed efforts by Mexico to abolish slavery in the Tejas province, saying freed slaves would become “vagabonds, a nuisance and a menace,” the newspaper noted.

Renaming the state’s capital would most likely require a citywide election because the name has been denoted in the city charter.

The Equity Office report also identified a number of Confederate historical markers on city property that could be removed with the approval of the Texas Historical Commission and the Travis County Historical Commission, the Statesman noted.

The report comes amid a national debate on Confederate monuments that was sparked following the 2015 mass shooting of black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C.

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