Texas Ranger statue removed from Dallas Love Field

Courtesy Dallas Love Field

Statues are toppling and being taken down around the country because the historical figures they portray had a role in the oppression of others.

Included in this movement is the removal of the iconic Texas Ranger statue from the main lobby at Dallas Love Field Airport.

The 12-foot-tall bronze statue has been on display at the airport on and off since 1963 but was taken down in early June.

City officials decided to remove the statue. Their decision was prompted by published excerpts from a new book documenting the history of the Texas Rangers law enforcement agency and its connections to brutality and racism, the Dallas News reported.

In his book “Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers“, and in an article published in D Magazine, Doug J. Swanson explains how during almost 200 years of patrolling Texas, many Texas Rangers “performed countless acts of bravery and heroism.”

But, Swanson says, some Texas Rangers were also responsible for “terrifying atrocities, including massacres on the Texas-Mexico border.”

The Texas Ranger statue that was at Dallas Love Field turned out to be especially problematic.

Sgt. E.J. “Jay” Banks, the Texas Ranger who served as the model for the statue at Dallas Love Field, was the commanding Ranger on the scene in 1956 when attempts were made to integrate the high school in Mansfield, near Dallas.

“But unlike state police in other Southern racial hotspots, the Rangers in Mansfield did not escort black students past howling mobs of white supremacists. They had been sent instead to keep the black children out of a white school,” Swanson writes, “A wire service photo showed [Banks] casually leaning against a tree outside Mansfield High. To his left, above the school’s entrance, was a dummy in blackface, hanging from a noose.”

What will happen to the statue – the spot it once filled at Dallas Love Field Airport?

According to an airport spokesman, “It has been placed into storage and the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture will lead the conversations and decisions as to what will happen to it next. There is no plan at this time to place anything else in that space.”

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