Texas Ranger 2023 Chairman Russell vowed in an interview on Friday to bring back the 12-foot tall brass sculpture depicting Texas Ranger Captain Jay Banks that welcomed air travelers at Dallas Love Field from 1961 to 2020.
“We’re putting it back up,” Texas Rangers 2023 Chairman Russell Molina said on The Sara Carter Show Podcast. “And it’s gonna go back up in a public place.”
Texas Ranger 2023 is a committee and alliance of agencies organizing the bicentennial commemoration celebrations of the Texas Rangers.
“You can’t have a conversation about Texas without the Rangers being in it," Molina told podcast host Sara Carter.
MONUMENT OF HARRIET TUBMAN REPLACES COLUMBUS STATUE IN NEW JERSEY
The statue depicted Texas Ranger Jay Banks with the words “One Riot. One Ranger” on the base.
Airport officials decided to remove the iconic statue in 2020 after the book Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers published by author Doug J. Swanson raised concerns about the alleged racist past of Ranger Banks. The book also explored police brutality and racism against black people and Mexicans in Texas.
“Jay Banks was involved in efforts in 1957 to keep black children out of a white school,” Swanson told a Dallas television news outlet. “Ranger Banks was only following orders, but he was the face of resistance to integration in Mansfield in 1957.”
“It’s very easy to destroy stuff. Anybody can destroy something. Let’s build something,” Molina said, defending preserving Texas Ranger history.
Molina is raising funds to build a memorial set to be built to honor Texas Rangers and said he is hoping for its creation to be "middle part of April" this year.
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The Texas Rangers were founded in 1823 to help Stephen F. Austin, known as the “Father of Texas" and the "Father of The Texas Rangers" in his efforts to protect the 300 colonists coming to settle the land between the San Antonio and Brazos Rivers. These settlers were known as Austin's "Old 300" and he helped formed a militia to protect the frontier. The Texas Rangers helped protect citizens and soldiers from Mexican advances in the Texas Revolution. The Rangers have a complicated history but remain a world-renowned law enforcement agency to this day, helping with border security and investigations.