After coming under fire for a racist history, the controversial University of Texas alma mater "The Eyes of Texas" will remain the school song after a committee review found no racist intent, according to a report released Tuesday.
Students and some alumni have stood firm in their position that the song has a racist history, pointing to certain lyrics and the song's use at a minstrel show over 100 years ago. Issues with the song came after a summer of Black Lives Matter protests heightened social tensions—and were accompanied by demands for other changes, such as renaming UT buildings with Confederate namesakes. This led to hundreds refusing to sing the alma mater at football games, football players leaving the field during the playing of the song and even the band opting out of playing it in the stands this past season.
The song has created a division between the UT community, as hundreds of alumni and university donors sent emails to UT President Jay Hartzell demanding the song remain in place, The Texas Tribune reported last week.
In recent months, a committee made up of 24 faculty members, athletes, band members and alumni reviewed the song for its origins and use over the years and have since released a 58-page report. The report 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."
In summary, the committee wrote, "Research by the committee has uncovered important facts and historical context, some of which have never been systematically compiled and analyzed until now ... These facts add nuance and richness to the story of a song debuted in a racist setting, common for the time, but, the research shows, was intended to parody the famous phrases of the university president."
The report states that "the eyes of Texas are upon you" phrase drew inspiration from a favorite phrase of then-UT president William Prather. The controversial lyrics were believed to be drawn from a quote often repeated by leader of the Confederate army, Robert E. Lee: "The eyes of the south are upon you."
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
All the livelong day.
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
You cannot get away.
Do not think you can escape them
At night or early in the morn.
The Eyes of Texas are upon you
'Til Gabriel blows his horn.
But the committee found the song lyrics to have no connection to Lee. The committee also found the phrase "the eyes of ___________ are upon you" was often used before 1903.
And moving through the other lyrics, the report states that the words' meaning, which some associated with slaves escaping, is about elders having a watchful eye on students of the university.
Along with pages on various aspects of the song, the report offers 40 recommendations for healing from the history of the alma mater in a constructive way. View on page 9 here.
While the song is to stay, changes that did or are in the process of taking place on campus include:
- Renaming the Robert L. Moore building, one of several buildings that students have long protested for being named after an outspoken segregationist. Other protested buildings and landmarks, such as Littlefield Fountain and the statue of Texas Gov. Jim Hogg, will remain on campus.
- Renaming Joe Jamail Field in honor of Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams—two "Longhorn legends"—at "the suggestion of the Jamail family."
- Adding a display and statue of Herman Sweatt to the T.S. Painter Hall. Painter, a university president, denied Sweatt admittance to UT's law school and the case went to the Supreme Court, where Painter lost.
- Adding a statue for Julius Whittier, UT's first Black football player.
"My hope is that we can sing it together, mindful of our university's past and proud of the progress we've made since the 19th century."
- University of Texas athletes ask school to address racism - austonia ›
- Acho says University of Texas should address racist past - austonia ›
- Longhorns band will not play "Eyes of Texas" at football game ... ›
- UT students, alumni debate The Eyes of Texas school song - austonia ›
- Lawmakers gather at the Texas Capitol to oppose 'The Eyes of Texas' - austonia ›
- Longhorn Band will be required to play "The Eyes of Texas" next fall - austonia ›
- UT volleyball sweeps No. 1 Wisconsin, heads to championship match - austonia ›
- UT students plan walkout over 'The Eyes of Texas' controversy - austonia ›
- UT plan to create new band over song controversy criticized - austonia ›
- Like the pros: Texas' college athletes can now profit off of their name, image and likeness - austonia ›
- NAACP, University of Texas students file complaint against 'Eyes of Texas' - austonia ›
- City leaders, Jewish community groups speak out against anti-Semitic protest in Austin - austonia ›
- Former Longhorn Ricky Williams announces 'really meaningful' name change - austonia ›
Elon Musk has placed an order for a new, top-of-the-line private jet: a Gulfstream G700, Austonia has learned. Delivery is expected in early 2023.
Billed as offering “the most spacious cabin in history,” the aircraft seats 19 and soars above the rest of us at up to 51,000 feet. Base price: $78 million.
The Gulfstream G700 was awarded the 2022 International Yacht & Aviation Award for excellence in cabin design this year. (Gulfstream)
According to the Gulfstream website, the G700 can fly up to 7,500 nautical miles without refueling, enough range to fly nonstop from Austin to Hong Kong. Powered by two Rolls-Royce engines, it has its own Wi-Fi system, 20 oval windows measuring 28” x 21”, and two lavatories.
The sweet new ride will replace his current top-of-line private jet: a 2015 Gulfstream G650, the aircraft that has been made somewhat famous by the automated @elonjet Twitter account, which tracks and reports his personal aircraft’s movements using public data.
Landed in Austin, Texas, US. Apx. flt. time 44 Mins. pic.twitter.com/jZ7HI0i4iV
— ElonJet (@ElonJet) June 24, 2022
Musk has repeatedly championed “free speech” as a guiding ethic in his planned purchase of Twitter. Last December, Musk offered the teenager who built the @elonjet tracker $50,000 to shut it down, citing security concerns. It’s still up.
According to the @elonjet account, Musk’s jet last traveled to Austin, where it’s been since June 23. The associated data says that his flight to Austin burned $2,573 worth of aviation fuel and discharged 4 tons of carbon dioxide.
- Elon Musk's Austin residence is $12 million Lake Austin home ... ›
- Elon Musk challenges the Kremlin to a fight on Twitter - austonia ›
- Grimes reveals secret baby, a daughter, with Elon Musk - austonia ›
- Elon Musk reportedly bringing new Australian actress girlfriend to ... ›
- Elon Musk attends Charro Days festivities in South Texas - austonia ›
Enjoy live music all weekend long and check out the hotels’ state-of-the-art amenities between sets. Make a splash in the pool, enjoy outdoor fire pits, or challenge your friends in a yard game while enjoying a weekend full of live music! Did we mention the package includes deluxe accommodations and a bucket of beer? Oh, and if you needed more convincing, this pet-friendly hotel means the whole family can join in on the fun.
Explore any of the Court Hotels by Valencia Hotel Group for a memorable escape. Each property offers a unique experience remnant of yesteryear but with all of the modern amenities that make for a fun and comfortable stay. With acres of landscaped courtyards, relax and unwind in an outdoor environment perfect for doing everything or absolutely nothing at all. With locations in Austin, College Station, Irving, and Lubbock your urban retreat has never been so close.
Locals and travelers alike are invited to enjoy the deep roots of Texas music all summer long with a robust lineup of live performances. From the banks of the San Antonio Riverwalk to Irving’s manicured streets, Valencia’s hotels are a place to gather and reconnect, offering uniquely Texan settings for the weekly performances.
“We’re proud of the community we’ve fostered among Texas musicians and the many rising stars who perform at our properties,” says Amy Trench, corporate director of brand marketing & PR for Valencia Hotel Group.
With unique programming at each of Valencia’s properties, there’s something for everyone to enjoy all summer long.
If you’re a Valencia Hotel Group Rewards member, the perks are plentiful. Enjoy up to 10% off the Best Available Rate, and for a limited time, members can save up to 15% off a stay of 2 nights or more, for select stays in 2022.
But that’s really just the beginning. At select locations, you can enjoy discounts on weeknight stays, a complimentary third night, or curated packages for a romantic getaway or a night of watching the Verde at Q2 Stadium. You’ll also find special rates for AAA and AARP Members, educators, and front-line heroes including military, law enforcement, fire, and rescue workers.