Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include coverage of the meeting.
Black lawmakers, civil rights leaders, students and alumni gathered at the Texas Capitol on Monday to urge The University of Texas once again to change its school song, "The Eyes of Texas," which has been under fire for racist origins since the Black Lives Matter movement over the summer.
The song, which debuted at a minstrel show and has lyrics traced back to Confederate leader Robert E. Lee, was analyzed by a 24-person committee to evaluate its meaning. After months, the committee ruled that the song had no "overtly racist" intent, resulting in UT keeping the alma mater.
At the Capitol on Monday, UT sophomore Zion James stood in the building overlooking Congress Avenue with the words "Black Lives Matter" painted on it and demanded the following from the school:
- Immediate retirement of "The Eyes of Texas"
- More financial aid and scholarships allocated to Black students
- More affordable housing
- Appointment of more Black professors and teacher's assistants
- Trainings on race, anti-racism and UT's racist history
- Transparency between UT administration and students
- All buildings named after people with racist histories be renamed for people who have worked to make the UT community more equitable
Speakers included President of the NAACP Gary Bledsoe, University of Texas history professor Alberto Martínez, State Representative Ron Reynolds and NAACP Houston President Bishop James Dixon. Martínez, who filed a lawsuit against the school for racial-related pay discrepancy, said he once enjoyed the song while he was a student before he knew the meaning behind it.
"To me, before I walked into this, the song was a song I sang. It's a song that I've enjoyed at the stadium," Martínez said. "I can understand how the people of Texas loved it. What I didn't know when I sang the song, was that the song was based (on racism)."
University of Texas history professor Alberto Martínez
Martínez mentioned how The University of Mississippi stopped playing its song, "Dixie," after the song's historical context was unearthed in 2016. Ole Miss said the change was made to create a more welcoming environment for all its students.
Martínez said if Ole Miss can change a song with similar roots, UT should not be daunted by the change.
"Why is UT so slow to change? UT does not have a democracy so certainly there was no poll of the faculty, there was no poll of the students, there was no poll of the athletes, there was no poll of the marching band," Martínez said. "Instead, mainly anonymous administrators represented by our president Jay Hartzell, decided that this song would stick."
Martínez worked on an independent analysis of the song's history for 15 days, during which time he said he found a number of things that were not in the original committee's report. The song was inspired by a quote from confederate general Robert E. Lee, was written the day minstrel shows started and played at shows that were intended for white people to mock Black people.
The 58-page report by the committee instead states that the history of the song reflects the history of the country at that time, and while the song was performed at a minstrel show in blackface, it was intended to "parody the famous phrases of the university president," rather than Lee.
Martínez questioned why he was not asked to be part of the committee. Students who testified at the news conference said they also did not feel they were represented in the committee. James said he was shocked but not surprised when he found out the song would stay while the committee was composed of "key players at UT."
"I did not see a lot of representation for us, I did not see our Black Student Alliance president on that council," James said. "It was just disheartening to see simply because the people who are fighting for this and have been the key people in this were not on that committee at all."
Longhorns band saxophone player Judson Hayden said many of his band peers are opposed to playing the song because the Black body is opposed. While an official statement from President Jay Hartzell said the students will have the option to sing the song, there were no directives given for the band or football players. Hayden said it is still up for discussion whether or not the song will be played in the fall.
The meeting was concluded with a message from Dixon, who said removing the song would be a huge step for the state of Texas.
"It's amazing that we're debating what's obvious... If the racist lyrics in this song were written in the reverse, they never would have made it to the light of day. They certainly would not be the mantra of an institution as grand as the University of Texas. What we're asking is not only common sense, but decency and consideration."
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Atop one of Austin's signature rolling hilltops, 1501 Ridgecrest Drive is similar to one of the plush palaces that one might find in Calabasas. For $10.9 million, the home has four bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms and caps at 10,498 square feet.
Park in the massive, fully air-conditioned garage before walking in, where you'll have eight full spaces to park your collection of cars. If you're not a collector, the garage makes an excellent studio space.
The wide-open living spaces will draw your eyes to the two-story ceilings, glass catwalk, integrated fireplace and wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the pool.
Though the house was built in 2011, it doesn't show its age. Sleek, clean lines lead seamlessly from the formal living area to an elite open-plan kitchen. Separated by a 25-foot waterfall island that can seat at least eight people, the kitchen is fitted with only the finest Miele and Subzero appliances. The custom cabinets are just as pricey as the rest of the place, finished with custom high-gloss Aston Martin (you read that right) paint.
Upstairs in the sprawling master's suite, there are enough amenities to never have to set foot outside again. Armani tile floors, space for living and a walk-in showcase closet lead into the resort-style bathroom, where you'll find dual vanities, a walk-in shower and a lounging bathtub.
The bedroom is a quick elevator trip away from the "party" room, complete with a bar, wine room and movie theater, only the best for entertaining. If your guests are staying over, rest assured they'll be comfortable with the kitchenette, washer and dryer and spa-like bath in their suite.
Though summer has passed, you can still enjoy the grand lap pool's unobstructed Hill Country views, many private lounging areas, grill a homemade snack at the outdoor kitchen or shoot some hoops at the newly-added court.
The listing is held by Compass' Gary Dolch.
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In what could be one of their least energetic showing to date, Austin FC was outperformed by home team San Jose in a 4-0 road loss late Wednesday night.
As the first team officially out of playoff contention in a loss on Saturday, the team seemed defeated from almost the moment they hit the pitch as Quakes standouts Chris Wondolowski and Javier "Chofis" Lopez scored on the team.
A 10th-place San Jose maintained a clean sheet in the match as they inched closer to a last-minute spot in playoffs.
Just as they did in their 1-0 loss Saturday, it was Austin FC who struck first in the match. Captain Alex Ring forced a save from Quakes keeper JT Marcinkowski in just the second minute of play, while star forward Sebastian Driussi followed soon after.
A little over 10 minutes later, San Jose responded with a shot of their own as Austin keeper Brad Stuver was forced into action with a diving save. But with a failing backline and a lack of energy throughout, a frustrated Stuver wouldn't be enough to stave off the home team Quakes in their four-goal triumph.
After a slow first half, San Jose star Chofis was the first to strike after sneaking past Stuver to make it 1-0 for the home team to kick off the second half.
Just five minutes later, Quakes midfielder Benjamin Kikanovic broke free with a fast-paced drive in a play that saw two Asutin FC players hit the ground to double the lead. Stuver and other players were immediately outraged in the controversial call after an apparent handball in the box.
MLS' top all-time scorer Chris Wondolowski capitalized on the slow Austin defense next, taking a pause in the box to score the third goal unmanned in the 59th minute.
Finally, Carlos Fierro clinched the win for the home team after placing a header from six yards out off of a cross and corner kick to end the match 4-0 for San Jose.
Austin Head Coach Josh Wolff attempted to staunch the wound with a series of subs starting at the beginning of the second half, subbing in native Austinite McKinze Gaines for Moussa Djitte and Rodney Redes for Cecilio Dominguez. But no subs were enough to push back against the 'Quakes as the team lost their second match in a row.
Austin FC has four final matches to end the season, including two remaining home matches against the Houston Dynamo at 4 p.m. on Sunday and a final match at Q2 Stadium against Sporting Kansas City at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
Here's a live blog of the match:
85' San Jose makes it 4-0
Austin FC once again can't plug holes in the box as San Jose scores their fourth goal of the match off a set piece and header to make it 4-0 in the 85th minute. The Quakes' Carlos Fierro scores on a header from close up after a well-placed cross from Cristian Espinoza as a frustrated Stuver is unable to block the six-yard shot.
Frustrated and sluggish, Austin FC appears to have lost their chance at a win or draw in one of their worst losses by scoring margin this season.
59' Wondolowski scores for the "Quakes
Just a minute after he hits the pitch, MLS' all-time top scorer Chris Wondolowski tacks one more onto San Jose's lead as the home team leads 3-0 in the 59th minute. A beleaguered Austin leaves Wondolowski undefended as he receives the ball in the box, pauses and scores in the bottom right corner of goal.
It's looking to be an especially bad match for Austin, who already sit at the bottom of the West. The Verde and Black continue to be outperformed in their late-season road matches.
53' Austin doubles the lead
After a rough-and-tumble drive that saw two Austin FC players take a fall, San Jose's Benjamin Kikanovic shoots past Stuver to score the second goal of the match for the home team. The play drew ire from Austin FC players including Stuver, who said there was a handball in the box. Austin's defense continues to be outperformed in the match.
47' San Jose scores first
The Earthquakes finally capitalized on a sluggish Austin FC as San Jose's Javier "Chofis" Lopez snuck one past keeper Brad Stuver and a last-ditch dive from Austin's Jhohan Romana to net the first goal of the match. The goal is Lopez' 12th on the season.
40' Romana gets yellow carded
Romaña is trying to play flag football 😂 #AustinFC— Seth Davis (@sethdavis512) October 21, 2021
Austin FC's Jhohan Romana is the first to get yellow carded in the match after grabbing a jersey in the 40th minute of play. Seconds later, Austin nearly gets an opportunity as San Jose keeper JT Marcinkowski fumbles a blocked shot, but he passes the ball off before the Verde and Black can get one in off the rebound.
The Quakes repeat the move in the 41st minute as they nearly get one past Stuver, who is able to hold it down unguarded and grab a shot from Jeremy Ebobisse.
18' Stuver keeps it clean
Just like Saturday, it was Austin who struck first with a shot by Captain Alex Ring in just the second minute of play. Star newcomer Sebastian Driussi came soon after with a shot of his own, but the ball was once again kept out of goal.
Just over 10 minutes later, Austin keeper Brad Stuver got his first big test as the Quakes' Jeremy Ebobisse shot one towards the bottom left corner. In signature fashion, Stuver was able to keep a clean sheet.
Austin's "strongest lineup yet" may not have been able to finish in Saturday's loss, but they created plenty of chances. Wolff seems to have confidence in the starting XI and hasn't changed much for tonight.
Nick Lima is in for right back in Hector Jimenez's stead, while Cecilio Dominguez, Moussa Djitte and Sebastian Driussi lead up front. Center back Matt Besler remains out on concussion protocol.
Tesla's third-quarter profits were released on Wednesday afternoon and current richest-man-on-earth Elon Musk topped the charts since his high-profile transition to Austin.
Q3 held record-high deliveries for the electric vehicle manufacturer, despite chip shortages and supply chain issues. Revenue came in slightly shy of expectations but still yielded the most profitable quarter thus far for Tesla. Plus, adjusted earnings per share are also on the rise.
"A variety of challenges, including semiconductor shortages, congestion at ports and rolling blackouts, have been impacting our ability to keep factories running at full speed," Tesla said in a statement. "We believe our supply chain, engineering and production teams have been dealing with these global challenges with ingenuity, agility and flexibility."
According to Tesla's update, the EV giant's Q3 revenue came in at $13.76 billion—a big year-over-year increase as Tesla recorded $8.77 billion in Q3 of 2020. The expectation was $13.9 billion and though the company came in just a few million lower, it was the company's ninth-straight profitable quarter.
Though earnings were a touch lower than expected, adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.86, where expected had been $1.67, and a year ago was 76 cents per share.
An accomplishment for Tesla this quarter was delivering more than 241,300 vehicles worldwide from its California factory—almost half of what the company delivered throughout all of 2020.
This Q3 update comes on the heels of Tesla's announcement that it would move its headquarters to the capital city. Additionally, the new Gigafactory in southeast Travis County is looking more complete by the day. While full-scale production isn't slated to start until 2022, the factory has already begun testing its robotic assembly line.
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