Mayor Turner responds to group that wants to remove Sam Houston statue

By Jake Reiner - Reporter

HOUSTON - The Sam Houston statue has been at Hermann Park since 1925, but a group that calls itself Texas Antifa has started a campaign to take down this and any other landmark that bears the name Sam Houston.

The statue has been a site to see for nearly a century and for some people, it's a site they want to see for years to come.

"Honestly, I think they should keep it up. Yeah," Nicole Nelson said.

But Texas Antifa group members want the Sam Houston statue gone.

On Thursday, the group posted on its Facebook page saying, "Texans agree the disgusting idols of America's dark days of slavery must be removed to bring internal peace to our country."

The group also suggested Mayor Sylvester Turner should back the removal of the statue, because of his ethnicity and political affiliation.

When Turner was asked if he should be in favor of the statue’s removal, he said the thought hadn’t even crossed his mind.

“It's not even on my agenda. I haven't even given it any thought," Turner said.

Nelson said even though Sam Houston owned 12 slaves, he wasn’t a “hardcore advocate” for slavery.

When Sam Houston was a senator in the 1800s, he repeatedly voted against the spread of slavery to new territories of the United States. He was also ousted as governor of Texas for refusing to align himself with the Confederacy.

"It might alleviate some, some anger but it'll also create some anger on the opposite side that you're taking down a statue of a man who helped create the state and what it is today," Paul Stykitus, resident of Houston, said.

Texas Antifa told KPRC 2 it wouldn't speak about the statue until the rally here on June 10 and said, "We don't speak with the fascist media."

Antifa also alluded to a partnership with Black Lives Matter.

Ashton Woods, with BLM Houston told KPRC 2 while they are in favor of removing symbols of the Confederacy, they are not affiliated with this group.

"We were not invited, and had no part in planning their event on June 10. It should be noted that any events by BLM Houston are posted to our Facebook page," Woods said.

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