Rev. Joanna and members of Live Oak participated in the Interfaith “Move the Monument” rally in front of the Williamson County courthouse this past Sunday. The purpose of the rally was to call for the statue of a Confederate soldier to be moved from its present position in front of the courthouse.
Rev. Joanna’s words at the rally:
I’m Reverend Joanna Fontaine Crawford, minister of Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church in Cedar Park. I am also a 7th generation Texan, with all the complexity that holds. I know that I had ancestors who were confederate soldiers.
It is not a mark of honor to be loyal to those ancestors who supported immoral and unjust causes. Slavery was evil, this should be something we all agree on.
It is not a mark of honor to be loyal to those who came afterward, like the Daughters of the Confederacy, who sought to valorize the confederacy while also sending a message aligning themselves with the racism.
My grandfather told his son, my father, “Don’t be like these people who say, ‘I’ll never be as good a man as my daddy. If you are not better than me, then I will have failed you.” My father said that to me, and I said it to my children. What IS honorable is to learn from the past and be better.
Having a statue of a confederate soldier in front of our courthouse is a blot on Williamson County. This is a place where all people should feel it stands for justice, and for them. But with this statue, we send the constant message that our past, including a time in which tremendous evil was done, is more important than our present and future community. We send the message that past values matter more than present morality, and our aspirational values of justice, equity, and love.
It’s embarrassing. Let us be people of honor and remove it from these grounds.