Tailgating and college sports culture in general is centered around the proper tunes to get you hyped up for the big game, and every university has its own version of theme music — many of us know it traditionally as a “fight song.”
However, it appears the University of Texas at Austin has been getting in the school spirit for over a century with a chant linked to Confederate leader Robert E. Lee and even minstrelsy.
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The Texas Tribune is reporting that a local chapter of the NAACP has come together with the UT-Austin civil rights organization and anonymous students alike to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights for the university’s continued use of “The Eyes Of Texas” as a theme song for many campus events.
Heres the root to the federal complaint and why black students feel passionately about changing history at UT-Austin, via The Texas Tribune:
“The complaint, filed Friday morning, alleges that Black students have been denied full benefits of Longhorn student life because the song is an official part of the university, ‘despite its racially offensive origin, context and meaning.’ The song premiered at a minstrel show in the early 1900s where students likely wore blackface. Despite pushback, university officials have said they are going to keep the song as their alma mater, concluding in a report issued earlier this year that the song ‘had no racist intent.’
The complaint, provided to The Texas Tribune by the filers, says the university has failed to respond to racial harassment against Black students and others who oppose the song, violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and argues the university’s decision to create a separate marching band for students who do not want to play ‘The Eyes of Texas’ violates equal protections afforded under the Fourteenth Amendment.”
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Even though preserving history can be important in some cases, the nostalgia becomes void when it’s tied to racism or any reminder of when Black people were treated inhumanely. Watch a brief history on “The Eyes Of Texas” below and let us know your thoughts on what should be done:
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