House Republican vows to boycott University of Texas until Confederate monuments are reinstalled

"I can tell you as a University of Texas graduate, I've never been more embarrassed for my school," Rep. Farenthold said.

Farenthold in October 2015. CREDIT: AP Photo/Pat Sullivan
Farenthold in October 2015. CREDIT: AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

During an interview with a Corpus Christi radio station on Friday, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) vowed to personally boycott the University of Texas at Austin until the school reinstalls the Confederate statues it took down last month.

Responding to a caller who objecting to the school’s decision to remove the monuments, Farenthold agreed, adding, “I can tell you as a University of Texas graduate, I’ve never been more embarrassed for my school.”

“They’re not getting another dime from me until those statues go up, and that includes football tickets or anything,” he added.

Echoing arguments President Trump has made in defense of Confederate monuments, Farenthold expressed concern about a slippery slope.

“There’s a congresswoman from Houston whose name is Shiela Jackson Lee. I’m now only referring to her as Shiela because obviously we don’t want to mention Jackson or Lee,” Farenthold said, facetiously, in reference to Confederate figures Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.

You can heard the exchange starting around the 41:15 mark:

In an earlier part of the interview, Farenthold took aim at so-called “Antifa” protesters who have taken to the streets in opposition to white nationalists, and sometimes instigated violent altercations.

Referring to the fact that some Antifa protesters wear masks, Farenthold said that “if you’re not willing to show your face for your cause, that’s probably a good indication that there’s something wrong with your cause.”

The University of Texas decided to take down four Confederate monuments during the early morning hours of August 21 — about a week after white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest that city’s plan to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The Charlottesville rally resulted in a number of white supremacist groups marching through the city streets before an alleged Nazi sympathizer drove through a crowd of counter-protesters, murdering 32-year-old paralegal Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.

In a statement released after the University of Texas monuments had come down, university president Gregory Fenves cited the violence in Charlottesville and characterized Confederate monuments as “symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”

“Erected during the period of Jim Crow laws and segregation, the statues represent the subjugation of African Americans,” Fenves added. “That remains true today for white supremacists who use them to symbolize hatred and bigotry.”

This past Thursday, a statue of Robert E. Lee was removed from a park in Dallas. Texas’ 178 public memorials to the Confederacy are second in the country, behind only Virginia.