Texas panel finds no ‘racist intent’ behind ‘Eyes of Texas’


Texas athletes and band members usually are not required to take part within the enjoying of the “Eyes of Texas” in school occasions.

That directive emerged Tuesday when the varsity launched a report from a panel that studied the historical past and utilization of the varsity’s well-known alma mater. The report mentioned that there was no racist intent behind the utilization of the 118-year-old music, although it did cite the music’s debut in a “racist setting.” The music was carried out at minstrel exhibits within the early 1900s.

The panel was commissioned by the varsity after quite a few Black Texas athletes identified the music’s racist associations.

“The analysis leads us to surmise that intent of ‘The Eyes of Texas’ was not overtly racist,” the report mentioned. “Nevertheless, it’s equally clear that the cultural milieu that produced it was. And the truth that the music was, for many years, sung and revered on a segregated campus has, understandably, blurred the traces between intent and historic and up to date influence. This complicates its understanding and explains how completely different folks skilled the music in vastly other ways.”

Texas administration has stood by music

The clarification of the directive for all athletes to sing the music after video games comes after Texas’ athletic administration has stood by the singing of the music.

New Texas coach Steve Sarkisian was requested concerning the long-simmering music controversy in his introductory information convention in January and mentioned that the crew would proceed to sing the music proudly. However faculty president Jay Hartzell mentioned that athletes had by no means been required to sing the music and that they might not be required to sing it going ahead.

Two Texas gamers mentioned final week that that they had been pressured to be on the sector for the music after donors made monetary threats to the college.

“No one has been, or shall be, required to sing the music,” Hartzell mentioned by way of the AP. “That’s going to be going ahead the way in which we proceed to function. We hope that as folks undergo the report, learn by way of the details, they’ll discover methods to take part indirectly. Whether or not it’s the case of the athletes standing on the sector, or the followers within the stands as we sing, there’s going to be no punishment, no mandate, no requirement if folks select to not take part.”

The Texas band did not play the music on the faculty’s ultimate two dwelling soccer video games of the season in 2020. Texas athletes first spoke out towards the music over the summer season. The request to drop it as the varsity music was amongst different requests that included naming extra buildings after Black folks and the addition of a Black historical past exhibit to the varsity’s corridor of fame.

AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 03:  A general view of the stadium before the game between the Texas Longhorns and the West Virginia Mountaineers at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Texas gamers usually are not required to sing the “Eyes of Texas.” (Photograph by Tim Warner/Getty Photos)

Some Texas donors had spoken out towards athletes

Black college students’ opposition to the music touched a nerve amongst some rich Texas donors. The Texas Tribune obtained emails to the varsity from upset alumni who threatened to withhold their monetary contributions to the varsity if the varsity did not stand by the music.

The varsity shortly made it clear that it felt just a few “extremist” viewpoints amongst donors weren’t a consultant pattern of the varsity’s alumni base.

Did the music have a connection to Robert E. Lee?

It had lengthy been thought that the phrase “Eyes of Texas” had been derived by a former faculty president (William Prather) from Accomplice Gen. Robert E. Lee’s saying of “the eyes of the south are upon you.” Based on the report, that wasn’t the case.

The report says that is not true.

Many accounts over time have acknowledged as indisputable fact that the saying “The eyes of Texas are upon you” was impressed by Accomplice Gen. Robert E. Lee, who was thought to have typically mentioned “the eyes of the South are upon you” as president of Washington School after the Civil Warfare, the place Prather had studied. Lee was clearly a beloved determine to Prather, however no main supply has been discovered connecting the phrase as one thing that Lee used. The oft-repeated claims that Lee was the inspiration all appear to hint again to a 1938 memoir by retired engineering dean T.U. Taylor. The committee’s analysis revealed a number of errors in Taylor’s remembrance. What’s extra, analysis failed to find within the data of Washington & Lee College (as Washington School is now referred to as) proof that Lee ever closed an tackle to the scholars with the phrase attributed to him by the Taylor account.

Lastly on this level, the committee famous quite a few examples of the formulation “the eyes of ___________ are upon you” world wide and lengthy predating 1903. Within the earliest instance, the E book of Job declares, “For His eyes are on the methods of a person, and He sees his each step.” Different makes use of of the road embody President George Washington saying “the eyes of the nation are upon you.” Based mostly on the proof, the committee concluded that there was a really low chance that the road originated with Robert E. Lee and was as an alternative a message of encouragement and accountability to the scholars and college on the then fledgling college.

The panel’s report made it clear that the music would stay as Texas’ alma mater, however the first advice after retaining the music was for the varsity to “tackle the unfavourable historic elements of the music upfront and embody historic context.” The panel additionally mentioned it wished to make it clear that the scholars who spoke out towards the music in 2020 needs to be correctly acknowledged.

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