Texas Ranger statue removed from Dallas airport
A statue of a Texas Ranger was removed from Dallas Love Field airport earlier this week because of an upcoming book that presents dark details of the Ranger modeled by the bronze figure.
The forthcoming book, titled “Cult of Glory,” depicts some of the disturbing history of the famed law enforcement group. Author and Pulitzer Prize finalist Doug Swanson has said that the Texas Ranger statue is modeled after Capt. Jay Banks, who served in the Rangers in the 1950s.
According to Swanson, Banks led a Ranger group that was sent in 1957 to keep black students from enrolling in a Mansfield, Texas, high school and a Texarkana, Texas, community college, despite Brown v. Board of Education making segregated schools illegal in 1954.
#BREAKING: @CityofDallas removes bronze statue of Texas Ranger E.J. Banks from @DallasLoveField over claims he acted to stop integration of black students in 1956 at Mansfield High and Texarkana Junior College, defying court order. Story forthcoming @CourthouseNews pic.twitter.com/7iIe8EBK8Z
— David Lee (@CNSDallas) June 4, 2020
“Banks sided with the mobs who were there to keep the black kids out. So, he was the face of that and of a statue that welcomes people to Dallas,” Swanson told The Dallas Morning News, his former newspaper.
Swanson said that the title of the statue, “One Riot, One Ranger,” a famous phrase associated with the Rangers, originated from an incident in 1930 in which a black man who was standing trial for allegedly assaulting a white woman was burned alive inside a courthouse by an angry white mob.
Excerpts of the book were published this week in D Magazine. Swanson teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh and previously worked at The Dallas Morning News for 34 years.
The decision to remove the statue on Thursday was made by the state Office of Arts and Culture and the airport, with officials saying that “a broader community dialogue” about the statue needed to happen.