Baylor University students want statue of school’s namesake — Judge J.E.B. Baylor — removed from campus because he owned slaves

News & Politics

A group of students from Baylor University want the statue of Judge J.E.B. Baylor — the man the school is named after — removed from campus because he owned slaves and supported the Confederacy, the Baylor Lariat reported.

What are the details?

Student Sam Onilenla told the campus newspaper that he and other students — who gathered at the statue earlier this month dressed in black and holding Black Lives Matter signs — are trying to pressure the board of regents to remove Baylor’s statue.

Onilenla added to the Lariat that “integration didn’t happen until 1963, so you have 118 years where there’s no black people on this campus,” and he doesn’t want to see the statue on campus “because I know I’m not supposed to be here, according to him. Having him off campus is going to be the start of racial healing.”

“Once we remove that from campus, then we can start removing … the rest of the stuff off the campus that makes us feel uncomfortable,” Onilenla noted to the publication.

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He also told the Lariat that the school — as a Christian college — shouldn’t have Baylor’s statue on campus, particularly because he was “a slave owner” and “a Confederacy supporter.”

“There’s nothing religious about killing slaves or having those ideas,” Onilenla told the paper.

Fueling the fire

An incident on campus fueled the students’ emotions, as a security guard confronted a group of black freshmen in the library over a noise complaint and told the group, ‘This is not a basketball arena. This is a study area.” The security guard called for backup and left the area when other students approached him, the Lariat added in a separate story.

Now what?

The Baylor Board of Regents, the school’s official governing body, met Wednesday through Friday and will review a report and hear presentations by the Commission on Historic Campus Representations, which was appointed last year to determine if any “statues, buildings, or other tangible tributes on the Waco campus reflect a racist past,” Campus Reform said.

The outlet said the commission likely will decide the fate of Baylor’s statue.


Students call for Judge Baylor statue to be removed

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