Lawrence Sullivan Ross Statue

The Sul Ross statue during a rare snowfall on Dec. 7, 2017.

Lawrence Sullivan Ross supported the Confederacy as a general, has ties to white supremacy, and committed many gratuitous acts of violence against people of color over the course of his life.

In the same way the Confederate flag symbolizes a history of hate towards marginalized ethnic and racial groups, the Sullivan Ross statue symbolizes a man who fought for racial inequality and systemic oppression. This statue is not only a reminder of that history, but also a glorification, whether it’s by the pennies left at its feet or the stop made for it on every campus tour. Students from a wide range of ethnic and racial backgrounds are forced to walk past this statue representing a man who would have sooner killed them than celebrated them. Sullivan Ross not only slaughtered a group of fleeing and unarmed indigenous women and children, but also ordered and took part in a massacre of black Union soldiers, who were recently freed former slaves with little to no military training and posed no threat to Ross. In his own words, each man was focused on “nothing but making his escape… but a few of them got away. The road all the way to Yazoo City was literally strewed with their bodies.”

Those who would rather stick up for the statue of a long-gone man rather than the emotional and mental well being of current, former, and future Aggies claim that the Ross statue is an important part of our history at the university and in the nation. If this is true, however, we should be honest about how our history is handled. Either this statue should be moved to a museum, where history can be remembered accurately, or should be given a visual marker to explain this history, along with a more honest and transparent account of Ross’ complex past during tours and campus discussions.

President Young and and Chancellor Sharp have said that historical items at A&M and at universities across the A&M System will be reviewed to ensure they are consistent with the university and the System's values. A highly visible and glorified statue of an overly violent Confederate general does not fit our school’s values of excellence and respect, or at least it shouldn’t if the administration truly wants everyone to feel welcome in our Aggie family.

If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about community and student-led activism and our demands for meaningful institutional change, feel free to find TAMU Anti-Racism on social media, or check out our latest petition on Change.org, “Demand Diversity and Inclusion Action at Texas A&M University.” Many of us support these demands because we’ve experienced or have seen people experience exclusion and hate from fellow Aggies based on our identities, and we would love to instead be a part of a community that gives all Aggies a chance to succeed and feel supported.

(11) comments

StopRuiningTexasAM

Liberalism is a mental disorder

YoungFlipAggie

With all due respect, go transfer to to TU. A&M survived because of Sully, the Cores values, traditions, and even close family bonds happened because of Sully. I come from a lower class immigrant background and I have felt more at home at Texas A&M then I did in any other college campus.
Sully was not perfect, and here's the kicker, neither are you. He did his best with the cards he was dealt with and he loved his students and the school.
If you don't like it here at A&M, TU will gladly take you.

JRT

The author lacks integrity, and should be ashamed.

columbuslarry

Editor:

Racism is wrong and so is slavery. I do not know anyone that these issues are ok.

While it is true that Sul Ross fought for the CSA, we should also not the good he did for Texas and Texas A&M. Sul Ross saved not only Texas A&M but Prairie View A&M as well. Would a man that was a white supremacist fight to keep a historically black university open? That said, we need to be careful of traveling down the path of judging actions in the past by today's moral standards. Many of the things we do today, however well intentioned they are and however correct they are by today's standards, may be considered morally offensive 150-200 years from now. "Sully" is a statue that exists solely because of the good he did for A&M. It is just a statue, nothing more, nothing less. It cannot cause you harm or pain unless you allow it.
Please stop looking for reasons to be offended and treat it for what it is, a statue.

Respectfully,

Larry Smith
Columbus, Texas

Galivan

I'm afraid most, if not all of your historical statements are inaccurate. Obviously, you feel strongly about this, but that's all it is, feelings. Feelings don't make for facts or reality. if you want to look at the real history of Texas A&M, it's was a military school, built on strong education and a toughness of mind, body, and emotions, preparing young men for the rigors of the military. That's the basis the University is built on. A lot has changed since then, but it still a significant foundation of TAMU. If a statue of historical significance is affecting some small portion of the students emotional and mental well being, then I question whether they are Texas A&M Fightin' Texas Aggie material in the first place. There's lots of other Universities where they can go. Don't t.u. my Texas A&M.

FightingTXAggie94

Thank you!

Midnightyell

Sully, like nearly all Texans 160 years ago, held a lot of views that many current students would find repugnant. His statue was placed near the Academic Building not because he held those views, nor because he fought for the CSA, but because of his service to the University, and to Texas.

If not for Lawrence Sullivan Ross, there'd be no Texas A&M today for you to feel excluded from. Surely you can acknowledge that debt you owe to him without condoning the man's entire life.

If not, I am assured that Highway 6 still runs both ways.

-MY512
'92

AmHistoryTeacher

Political Science senior Margarita Zollo should be failed for using a questionable direct quote without the source referenced and corroborated. Any political science major worth his/her salt knows that. That is basic research writing requirements. Without citation, that expressed is mere opinion or worse, propagandized gossip. All Zollo proved was too little knowledge combined with hyper emotionalism are very dangerous things. Dumb clucks like Zollo use hindsight arrogance to judge historical others by today's standards and liberties. Slavery was THE most common worldwide labor system in various forms for 4,000 years (servitude, indenture, serfdom, peonage, and slavery). To those so harshly judgemental of those who existed when slavery was worldwide, I bet future generations will judge us more harshly for child sex slavery and trade prolific in our time. To judge the past by today is hindsight arrogance.

AmHistoryTeacher

One more fact for Ms. Zollo to ponder: the 13 British North
American colonies and later the young USA never had more than 6% of the Western Hemisphere slavery; the other 94% of Western Hemisphere slavery was the by-product of Spain and Portugal's domination, colonization, indigenous peoples exploitation and decimation, and imported slavery and to a lesser extent the Dutch slave trade. According to Henry Louis Gates, Jr. of the 10.7 million slaves brought to the Western Hemisphere (surviving) only 388,000 were brought to the 13 colonies/USA. Slave trade was outlawed in the USA in 1808, long before many others like Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Netherlands, France...

tamu-93

If you can't stomach the sight of his statue, then don't feast on the fruits of his labor.

Citizen

Good work Ms. Zollo. The statue will soon be in Cushing with the other relics

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